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I will never…

Here we are, a family in disarray, because we are moving back to the States after a decade of living in Bangkok.  We are not moving back by choice, but instead out of necessity.  Our doctors and therapists have informed us that Marley needs stateside speech therapy.  So, we are now choosing to temporarily leave our Thailand ministry, so our daughter will have a chance at full verbal communication.

Maybe another day I will blog about our struggle between God’s calling and providing for our daughter, but for now, I want to focus on something different.  For the past ten years, during conversations with my wife, I have proclaimed that I would never move back to the States without a job.  Now, we are preparing to move Stateside without a job.  Arrogantly, I have also told her that I would not work in a traditional church setting.  Yet, I have applied for church positions that are close to Marley’s therapist.  And finally, I will never move back home, is becoming a strong possibility.  Every time I told Jana that I would never do something, she would say you never know what God might have in store for you.  And now, I am swallowing my pride and realizing that God’s plan might be a  “I will never”!

You think I should know by now that I am not in control. It is very easy to state God is in control, but difficult to live it.  No matter how much I plan or prepare, God’s will, will be done.  Should we just throw out all future plans and preparations?  Absolutely not, but when our future becomes so comfortable that we proudly state we will never do something, then there is a problem.  Make your plans and set up your safety nets, but don’t be surprised when God changes it.  God has a plan for me, and regardless how grand I think my plan might be, if does not matter.  We believe in a God of eternity and as believers we must trust His plan will impact the kingdom more than our plan.  That does not mean His plan will be easier, but it will have an eternal purpose.  My, I will never statements were arrogant attempts to keep God from messing with my plan.  God has humbled me, and finally I am realizing that the only thing I can do is pray and trust.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.


Jack Barr

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand. Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas. After completing their undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees they flew to Bangkok for the first time. For the past ten years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand. Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan while living overseas. Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”? Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan. They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions. Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.

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