One Year Ago Today…

One year ago today (and also, just so happens, my birth-mother’s birthday), I was sitting in my house in Dallas intensely praying about what I believed God was leading me to do.  I surrendered to Him and said, “Open the door and I will walk through it” – and I made some specific requests for provision (contacts, information, etc.) to do what He was calling me to do.  After that intense time of prayer, I opened an email (that I intended to delete) that sent me following a bread crumb trail that brought me to where I am today.  The first people I found as Ecuador contacts were my now friends, Steve and Dana.  I dug around in my email archives and found the following email I sent them that day:

December 22, 2012

Dear Steve & Dana,

I’m literally in tears as I write this, however I don’t know where to begin.  To sum up a very long story, God told me 4 years ago to begin getting my house in order because He was going to send me somewhere.  We had a lot of conversations – I believed Him, but could not see how because of many things that stood in the way.  But He began to highlight Ecuador to me and I’ve been praying about it ever since.

Then suddenly, mid last year, in a six month wave everything changed.  My totally healthy mom took a fall that sent us into one medical event after another, ending with her somewhat surprising death in January.  In the midst of that, my husband of 22 years left (subsequently divorcing me in June).  I have no children, no siblings, no job, nothing to hold me any longer.  I began to ask the Lord, “Is it still Ecuador?” and each time would get a “yes” confirmation.

The Lord gifted me with an amazing trip to Israel that I just returned from – a sweet fulfillment of a long-time desire that ended a very hard year.  I felt so strongly that it was a line of demarcation and that soon after things would shift and happen quickly for me.  As I was re-baptized in the Jordan River, I said that after all the death in my life this past year, I was doing this to say yes to the new life God has for me and that I was willing to follow Him wherever He leads me.  I’ve sought Him even harder ever since to show me the path and doors I’m to walk through (I’d already spent the last year beginning the process of “getting my house in order”).  One thing I have strongly been praying is that He would provide connections for me, due to my now vulnerable and independent status.  I had once again prayed these things very strongly this morning – then opened my email to an Ecuador Living newsletter (and I don’t look at many of them) about Las Palmas.  As I began to research it, I sensed God saying this was where I am supposed to be.  I saw your house construction and testimony on the website.  Then I Googled Puerto Cayo to find out more about the area – and the last link I clicked, without realizing it, was your blog!  As soon as I saw the picture I recognized you from the Las Palmas website.  And then I read your last post – just two days ago – and you said you were about to leave for Ecuador and told your story of your dad passing away in January (like my mom).  Then when I read that you are believers – the tears began to flow and I cannot stop!

I am so overwhelmed that it appears that God is answering my prayers and flinging open the doors I’ve asked for!  I have sensed strongly that God wants me to move within the next 6 months and I did not have a clue how that could happen.

Everything I’ve read in the last 2 hours continues to show me that this is from God!  It is a huge and scary leap for me, but I know Who He is and that His plans for me are good.  I will likely have to buy my property and move to Ecuador sight unseen.  I am praying that you are some of the contact people God would provide to help me do this.  If I purchase a Las Palmas lot, would you be willing to help me with advice and insight from the other side?

There is so much more to share with you about all the amazing connecting pieces, but I hope this is enough to help you to pray and see if God would lead you to connect with and help me do this.  I would hope that we could talk by phone some time soon.  I know you are in the middle of a ton of things getting settled in, but please let me know if/when it might be convenient for you.

Thanks & blessings!
Mary Chandler

They responded to my email the day after Christmas, we messaged and Skyped and the rest is history – once again, what a difference a year can make!  When you totally surrender your life to God, you may not know where you will go or how you will get there, but you can trust it will be good and the Journey will be anything but boring!

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