Today, we are pleased to present a guest author on our blog – Katie Grasty.
I was humbled and honored when I was asked to share with you what God has done in my life since surrendering to missions. I want to be open and honest with you. My husband, John, and I have two precious and energetic boys, Elijah (6 years old) and Andrew (2 years old). Our journey began in 2011. John was the youth pastor in our church. I knew his heart was restless, and we were seeking God to know what He desired of us to do. We talked of several different options, but we didn’t really discuss serving as missionaries.
In the spring, John attended a missions church planting conference in Georgia. I had a feeling that he was going to get an answer to our prayers that weekend. I wish that I could say that he came home to a sweet, submissive wife, but it was quite the opposite. I feared what God had possibly done in his heart. So…I purposefully did not talk to him about his weekend, and neither did John, which confirmed in me that God had burdened him to go. After a day or so of tossing every scenario around in my head and driving myself crazy, the Lord gently reminded me that I was John’s wife and where he goes, I go. Finally, I broke the silence and simply said to him, “Where are we going?” He looked at me with a sweet smile and said, “Slovenia”.
I knew the road to get to Slovenia was going to be long and difficult. I had little exposure to missions. I knew I had a lot to learn. The next three years of deputation held many ups and downs for me. I wanted to yield to God’s plan for our lives and embrace it with excitement. And yet my flesh kept fighting it. “For that which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Rom. 7:15 One day I would say, “Ok, Lord, I’ll surrender.” And the next morning I would wake up and say, “Oh Lord, I can’t do this. I can’t leave my family. I can’t leave my church family. I can’t pull my kids away from everything they’ve ever known. I can’t give up my dreams of them playing baseball and hunting and fishing with their pappy.” There were days I felt as though I couldn’t breath, as if I was dying. And the truth of the matter is that I was dying…to myself. I had such a tight grip on things in my life. Realizing that I had allowed these things to come before Christ was heart breaking. Realizing that I was willing to let thousands of people go their whole life without hearing of Christ, just so I could go to my church and be near my family—it broke my heart. WHO WAS I?
I know this may not be a very popular way to put it, but I saw myself as a very spoiled American church girl. Let me be clear. Those things I desired were not wrong, but when they came between me and Christ, they were VERY wrong.
Through this struggle, I fell in love with Christ in a deeper way than ever before. He so patiently and lovingly guided me through those days. He had to show me how weak and feeble my flesh was so that I could see how strong and mighty He is. I knew I could not do this, but He knew He could do it through me. I just needed to be a willing vessel.
Then the day arrived for us to board the plane for Slovenia. I’ll never forget the moment they announced for us to board. My older son, Elijah, had been such a trooper all through deputation, and he was excited to go. But while standing in line waiting to board, he looked up at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mom, I can’t do this. I don’t want to go to Slovenia. I want to stay in America.” Once again, my heart broke. As my eyes filled with tears, all I could do was hug him and tell him that it was going to be ok. My mind went back to the things God had shown me in His Word. I thought to myself, “Lord, you said you would never leave us, that your strength is made perfect in our weakness, that your grace is sufficient. We need all this right now.”
I don’t think I can ever explain to you the awesomeness of what awaited us in Ljubljana. The moment we stepped off the plane, it was as if Jesus was the first to welcome us with outstretched arms. Full of grace and strength. His peace truly passed my understanding.
Over the past six months of living here, Christ has led us to each thing He had prepared for us. He gave us a beautiful home and car. And the people we have met…WOW! I don’t take one friendship here for granted. I see it as divine appointments. I sit in amazement with how He has taken care of our children. Elijah had a dream list. He wanted to learn how to swim, how to play the ukulele, and to take martial arts. Within the first two months, God had given him all those desires of his heart. They literally fell right into our lap. We hadn’t even had time to pursue them. Andrew is only 2 years old, but he calls this his home. He loves talking with his grandparents on Face Time. He sits and laughs and laughs with them.
God has shown me that I didn’t lose anything in leaving my home in America, but I have gained so much in coming to Slovenia. Do we still have hard days? Yes! Is learning a new language fun? Not for me! But do I regret our decision to surrender to missions? Absolutely not! I would never trade anything in this world for knowing Christ the way I know Him today.