Letting Go

“The next ten years, at least,” was always my answer when people asked me how long I wanted to live in the Middle East. Following the greats before me like Annie Armstrong and Lottie Moon, I admired the kind of faith and sacrifice they possessed.

My whole life geared toward that moment of stepping on the plane and beginning this adventure I had prayed for, researched, and anticipated.

In that moment, I thought that was the final surrender, to leave behind my family, my friends, my comforts, and my ability to communicate within my culture. I really did think I had reached my one big free fall and everything after was going to be a continuum based off of that jump.

Little did I know the true surrender would happen 2 years later, when God told me my one-way-ticket plan was not His and it was time to go back.


Did I hear this all wrong?

I thought the surrender was getting there, but it was the journey God wanted my heart to be on that was most important. To Him, it was never the one big jump; it’s a series of releases, where God is asking me to accept Who He is in my life and the way He loves, and allow those truths to permeate my day-to-day life.

If I didn’t let the Middle East go, then I was clearly going to miss out on a bigger part of the story God wanted to write. He used that season of surrender to show me how He valued me, and His love was not contingent on the work I was doing or where I lived.

So I let go.

It was the most difficult decision of my life. The woman I left behind in the Middle East was the only one I had ever known.

To say this surrender has been easy would not be true. Each day I have to remember where God has brought me and trust He is writing a new story in my life. His greater story so far has looked like a spouse and a growing baby in my belly.

This story is far greater and far more different than I could have dreamed.

What part of your story are you struggling to hand the pen over to God? Maybe today is the day to take a step toward surrender. He is the King of making things new from places we never would have imagined.


Abi Khavari traveled the world, writing for a non-profit agency in the Middle East. She now lives in Colorado, got married recently, and is earning her masters degree in counseling.









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