Updated: Mar 12, 2022
Chris and I have received two questions more than any others about our year ahead: “You’re doing what?” followed by, “Why?” These are fair questions from caring friends and family. If you’ve read our blog (serendipitously or intentionally) and you’re curious about the Ungoverned Heart and our missionary year, this post briefly explains what we’re doing and why.
The idea of the ungoverned heart emerged after the sharp plow’s blade of widowhood tilled and turned my heart leaving deep, exposed furrows. The plowing along with the fertilizer of my former service as a corporate chaplain and a subsequent fallow year were God’s preparation for this new life season.
Chris and I met last Spring and our courtship conversations about God and His wonder were plentiful and always rich and satisfying. Having been reared in a mainline Protestant faith, I began to realize I had a limited, constrained view of God and a limited ability to see, believe, and trust Him to do the seemingly impossible. During chaplaincy, I witnessed great suffering and difficulty. My wrenched heart desperately wanted to end the suffering and lostness I saw but I did not feel equipped or qualified to be an effective instrument in God's hand to heal the sick, free the bound, feed the hungry, and reconcile wayward hearts to God.
My own heart’s ability to allow God to do what He wanted to do through me was constrained by a governor. As I prayed and encouraged, the visible results of my prayers and efforts were lackluster. My search to see Scripture fulfilled, here and now, to witness the life-changing power of God in the lives of His beautifully created ones led me to ask Him to remove my heart’s governor so that I could seek Him and His ways with ALL of my heart. I want to see God's power unleashed for His people and His glory. As a result, this new season of the ungoverned heart is His answer to that prayer. It is the fulfillment of my desire to seek and follow God with an ungoverned heart.
I shared with Chris my heart’s desire and a wild thought I had one day about traveling the US “on mission” in search of a life with an ungoverned heart. The “hows” and “whats” and “whens” of that life began to sprout. As we continued to dream together, God watered our vision with encouragers and equippers. Here’s our vision for our first year together:
1. GROW IN INTIMACY: With God and each other as a new Husband and Wife (“He who has found a wife has found a good thing” - Prov 18:22)
2. GROW IN HEARING THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT: To live every day learning His voice and listening to Him to tell us where to go and to whom to share Jesus; to live not a formalized ministry but to live day by day in the “sacrament of the present moment” looking for His Ministry (“I only do what I see the Father doing” - Jn 5:19)
3. “SEIZE THE DAY—CARPE DIEM”: To not assume we have tomorrow (“You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” - James 4: 14)
4. DISCOVER OUR MINISTRY TOGETHER: To not be folded into the ministry of another but live anew with a “clean slate” and explore together where He would lead us (”Anyone unified with the Father gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” - 2 Co 5:17)
5. GROW IN TRUSTING ABBA DADDY (“Our times and our future is in His Hands” - Ps 31:15)
6. MAKE MY NEW WIFE HAPPY (“When a Man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” - Deut 24:5)
7. BOLD FAITH: To follow with passionate abandon and childlike faith a VISION AND A DREAM (“The harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the LORD of the harvest to send laborers into His harvest. Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” - Mt 9:37-38, Jn 4: 35)
We covet your prayers as we embark on our missionary year with ungoverned hearts! Our prayers are plentiful for you as well.
- Susan of the Wildflowers