During 2011 I remember having a conversation with God inquiring if I could be of service more with the skills and talents I had actually possessed, rather than having a list of roles that needed filling at church that I neither enjoyed or really cared for at times. I wanted to be able to incorporate my unique individuality and even personal interests.
It seemed, to me, a tall order, and I guess I was really putting it all on the table to see how He'd respond in person. I was determined to experiment with the way I personally experienced Him and hoped He'd speak to me as He did the spiritual heroes I so admired.
From the inception of my faith walk 10 years earlier, I'd experience an inner-yearning each time I'd hear, read about, or spoke to anyone who was involved with overseas mission service. I'd burn and internally look heavenward saying 'Here I am, send me!'. I had no idea what I was to do about it, I was a single parent, on a limited income and wading through debt, but I continually felt the pull.
So I lived my life, served locally, and over time got out of debt.
The years melted into a decade.
I had embarked on a new phase of life as 2010 drew to a close. The Lord had positioned me into self-employment and I was still getting my feet, when, during mid-2011, a phone call from my girlfriend gnawed at me unexpectedly.
She'd called to tell me of her desire to be part of an overseas mission trip. As much as I was thrilled for her, it somewhat left me feeling disquieted and if I was honest, jealous.
With an attitude of frustration, I rounded on the Lord letting Him have it as it were, like a finger-wagging Mother with a 'go-to-your-room', 'wait-till-your-father-gets-home' attitude. At the time I felt an inner caution in expressing my annoyance like this, it isn't in my nature to speak so disrespectfully and although experiencing real vexation I equally kept apologising for it.
I reasoned that He had big shoulders to handle my spat, although not my fineness few moments, I was earnest in trying to make sense of this emotional tide I unexpectedly found myself riding. I felt like I had missed the boat or something, as overseas mission service had been my dream, and I now saw myself as moving away from it, being self-employed.
I remember the bold statement that I put to the Lord to end my side of the conversation, who are we kidding, rant.
"You know my life and how tight things have been financially through the years, You know I won't be prepared to give it up once I start earning more money and deeper into committed business relationships that'll be too hard to give it up just to go overseas for a mission trip. If you want me, come get me, do something about it now!".
I was not prepared for what happened next.
Alone in my room, I felt the atmosphere charge as He walked in unseen. I'd been pacing and talking and although expecting a reply I didn't anticipate the strength of physical presence or to hear Him audibly!
His voice reverberated both inside my being and outside all around me.
"Will you GO for Me?"
It was as if He'd been waiting for me to draw a breath to get a word in edgeways. I simply responded with a verbal and heartfelt "Yeeesss! You know I would"at the moment. Then the reality of it all hit me, the Lord God had just spoken audibly to me and I had absentmindedly replied!
This was the third time in my Christian experience that He'd asked me. Twice before He'd spoken to me in a quiet moment and simply asked "Will you help me?", to which I said "Of course", and before I fully registered what had happened the moment was gone.
But this time He stayed as he had more to say.
When the Creator of worlds Himself tells you to sit - one simply sits! And my immediate seat as on the edge of the bed. Before me, a pulsating blue orb appeared. It was as clear as day but at the same time, I knew I was having a vision. The fact that the Almighty was actually talking to me for real, kinda had me focused at the time on what He was saying rather than how it was being delivered!
The hovering blue pulsating orb began to get bigger from hundreds of little lights that were streaming out of my ears and entering into it. Then the Lord said,
"These 'lights' represent all the ideas you've had in your life..."
He showed me individual ideas from different times of my life, from ages 6 through to adulthood. Then He continued,
"...I gave you every one of these ideas, and now we are going to work together to make them come alive for one big purpose. Tania, you can go anywhere in the world you like as I know it's a desire of your heart. Wherever you go I want you to offer your business services to My ministries while you live with them, helping project them in an attractive way to their communities, because when they look more professional people will trust them more and seek out their products and services and I'll have more reach in their neighbourhoods and lives. Offer your time for half a week and they will look after you and if you do this I will keep you in paying clients.
Tania, will you GO for me?...
That question again, and this time there was no absent-mindedness and heartfeltly replied,
"Yes Lord, I'll go for you."
"...Good, I want you to sell everything you own. I will take care of yours and Sofia's needs."
And it was over. The atmosphere returned to normal and I was alone feeling awed and tearful at what just happened.
I'd just been called into ministry.
That happened on a Thursday. By the following week's end, I'd been officially invited to work with a ministry in either Tennessee, USA or Bangkok, Thailand as their graphic designer. It didn't matter to me where I went, but I'd always wanted to go to the States and was halfway through saying the word "Tenne...." when "Thailand" fell out of my mouth. So Thailand it was.
My whole life dramatically took a right turn. The Lord orchestrated the removal all obstacles and comfort blankets; inspired me with courage; and confirmed, time and again, my new 'calling' through the Word, circumstances, mentors, friends and even my non-Christian family who were all telling me it was my time to 'fly'.
Four months later we walked away from our home having sold, donated and given away everything I owned and condensed what was left, into two bags. I placed a box of photos and important documents in my parent's storage unit and my daughter had her things boxed up and sent on to her new home in the deep south of New Zealand where she would spend the following year studying music.
We began our foray into house sitting and enjoyed Christmas as we finalised our plans before I drove Sofia down to Invercargill to settle her into her new life. 3 weeks later I handed her my car as we shared goodbyes then I bused the length of New Zealand to Auckland where I got to say goodbye to my closest friends and family. I then flew out to Thailand where I spent 2012.
Thus began my location independent lifestyle and adventure in doing business God's way. Being true to His word, He has always kept me in paying clients and everything I do fulfils my greatest passions and interests.