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I am still amazed that, although I am 75 years old, I will be deploying from the U.S. to the Middle East as a Foursquare worker in October. How incredibly surprising!

God’s hand leads us all of our lives, from our earliest beginnings until we’re living in the prime of our calling.

I have seen His hand as a ribbon of grace throughout my entire life, beginning with my earliest years, spent in the Middle East while my father worked for the government. That was an amazing time for me, going to school and loving the people and food. There’s a special love in me for the land of my childhood. Their language—the sound and syntax of it—delights my heart.

Not long ago, I visited some friends working for God there, in a country where it’s estimated that only 1 percent of the population believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We were sitting together, talking, and I said, “You know how much I love you both, and if there was ever anything I could do for you …”

One of them answered, “We’ve always wanted you to come here for a season and help us.”

My heart leapt with joy. We prayed together, and I heard the Lord’s voice warmly speak: Wouldn’t you want to come to the land of Aslan? For me, with my lifelong love of C.S. Lewis’s stories, that question was the signaling seal of God’s guiding hand in this decision.

When the Lord calls us, He puts it in others to recognize and endorse that call. When Ted Vail, director of Foursquare Missions International (FMI), found out what I’d heard, he was thrilled: “That’s perfect for you!” The whole Foursquare team has been an incredible blessing, encouraging me as I prepare to transition out of my job and even helping me make a support page.

My prayer is: “Lord, give me direction. I’m so happy and honored! Give me dreams, visions and clarity. May Your Word confirm Your plan.”

We all have very human emotions God has given us—that’s good, not bad! Emotions talk to us and give us signals as part of our call. Because we’re finite, we need to place our emotions on the altar before the Lord, and submit our will and dreams to Him.

My prayer is: “Lord, give me direction. I’m so happy and honored! Give me dreams, visions and clarity. May Your Word confirm Your plan.”

God is faithful to give those emotions and our calling back to us in pure form, assuring us that we’re not holding on to them improperly.

Also, obstacles are part of any journey. But our King knows what to do with those, too. In John 16:33, He said: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (NKJV). If you find yourself in a similar situation, take those obstacles to God and ask: “Are You putting these here so You can give me redirection? Or are these just hellish, mean discouragements from the enemy?”

Our Lord’s instruction does not cause condemnation. If God is speaking, we’ll have freedom in redirection. If it is the enemy, we’ll feel burdened. Statements such as, “You’re not worthy,” “You can’t do this,” or “You should be afraid,” are not God’s voice. Do not listen to words of discouragement.

He designed me to be this age and to deploy now for His reasons and glory.

Where I’m digging deep into my trust in God is regarding my home. I’m a special assignment worker, which means that I’ll be gone for a year or two and must rent my house until I return, and I have cats that will need care while I’m away. Another area of challenge will be leaving family and friends for a season. It’s still a bit nerve-wracking and faith building, but the Lord will take care of my practical needs!

As I take this step to follow His call, I know firmly: He designed me to be this age and to deploy now for His reasons and glory.

In Judges 5:21, Deborah sang: “O my soul, march on in strength!” I love that verse because I feel that. Through all of the travel and years, God has given me the strength to march on!

Feel called to missions too?

Sheridan Michael (name changed due to security risks in deployment nation) has been serving The Foursquare Church for more than 10 years and has traveled to 29 nations in the past 17 years. This story was written from an interview with Rachel Chimits.

is a Foursquare worker deployed to serve in the Middle East.