An invitation to adventure. Burgeoning hope. Tantalizing questions. Moments of unavoidable trepidation. These were the companions of Sheila’s heart as she arrived in Cambodia to explore how God was working there and what she could do to serve Him. She’d come in response to the Spirit’s urging that she reopen communication with a recent acquaintance, a woman who owned an interior design business in Phnom Penh. To Sheila’s surprise, the connection led almost immediately to a job offer as General Manager of the business, a contract to commence as early as January 2012.
Feeling the compelling invitation of Jesus to join in His work in Cambodia, Sheila nevertheless knew she needed to discuss the decision with her daughters, her family, and her faithful supporters back home. She returned to the States to find that the decision-making process unexpectedly reawakened deep grief that had only recently begun to ease; a move to Cambodia would mean physical separation from her daughters at a precarious emotional time for them all. The transition would also require her to say goodbye to cherished friends and to let go of the family home, a tangible symbol of so many blessings she’d enjoyed there.
Isn’t it true that just when the pruned vine begins to demonstrate vigorous regrowth, the wise Gardener once again applies the shears in order to allow space for sun-drenched fruit to multiply tenfold? Sheila grappled for days with the certainty of the sacrifices required of her and those she loved, but ultimately reached a place of confidence that God had opened this path for her to follow.
Although letting go was heart-wrenching, Sheila still assertively states, “It was essential to moving on into a new life of purpose and abundance. What lay ahead was also beautiful.” She eagerly embraced the invitation to a simpler lifestyle based completely on trust that “the Lord had it all covered.” Did she wonder where she might be living? Did she wrestle with fears of loneliness? Was she skeptical about language and cultural barriers or concerned about her professional suitability for the job? Perhaps, but God knew all of that, too...