Monday, January 16, 2012

The Beginning was Simply...Grace


Jared, JJ, Susie and Abby Alleman :: Global Venture Staff :: Campus Crusade for Christ {Cru} ::
Soon to move to long-term assignment in Budapest, Hungary

If there is a beginning for my husband, Jared’s, and my ministry journey, it is simply one of grace.

Before we met, we both sensed the Lord’s calling on our lives.  I began a seminary degree and an ordination process and thought, then, that I would co-pastor with my husband and believed in my heart I knew who that would be.  Well, all of my clarity and dreams were gone in an instant and I was left broken and unable to pick up the pieces.

That is also when I experienced Real Grace; the Abba Father Love to a depth that has left me changed forever.  It is when I surrendered every plan I thought I had for my life {and I thought He had too} and followed the only thing that I knew clearly...that I was to go home.  This in itself was a gracious gift that I had been unwilling to receive previously.

Almost immediately, a job teaching at my old high school fell into my lap and after much coaxing I agreed to take it. A year after I started that job my mom was diagnosed with cancer and shortly after that I met Jared.  He was simply and beautifully my friend through the most difficult time in my life. We met through co-leading a Bible Study for students at the high school where I was teaching and we both attended.

At the end of that school year my mother went Home to Heaven with the firm belief from the two times she met Jared that he was ‘the one’ for me.  It was her{partially}answered prayer to the Lord one day in the hospital that she could ‘see each of her children happily married’ and THEN she would be 'ready to go.' I was the only one still single, and a month after she died Jared and I started dating. Six months later we were engaged and six months after that, we were married.

The only thing we knew on our wedding day was that we needed the Lord desperately to love each other for a lifetime.  However, during a time of prayer at our wedding, my college mentor prayed prophetically for the countries we would go to and the people who would hear the Gospel through our lives.

Then, shortly after we were married, we heard about the amazing opportunities to work with public school students in Hungary.  It was at a youth group meeting and a couple, Zach and Julie, were sharing about the English Camp there, hoping that some of the youth would serve as tutors.  Both Jared and I were stirred in a place deep within about this incredible ministry that brought together our shared passion to reach young people outside of the church. 

After the meeting, I asked Julie if there were any longer opportunities for us to somehow join this ministry. She mentioned a year internship.  For the next two years I continued to teach and coach and Jared worked at a local bank while we both served in the church and school.  During that time, the Lord kept reminding us of this opportunity in Hungary.  We began our application a little less than a year after we heard about the internship. 

A year later, following a lost application, the resignation of my teaching job and the miraculous provision, in three months, of everything that we needed for that year, {approximately $40,000 for the passports, visas, flights and all of our living and travel expenses} we boarded a plane in August, 2005 and our journey officially began.

However, it began long before in great grace.  Grace to make each of us His at a young age.  Grace to love me in all of the brokenness of shattered dreams and to heal me with His Abba Father touch.  Exceeding grace to give me a husband who models that Abba love profoundly to me. And the grace to allow me to know His heart of love for this man, my beloved husband, an oh-so-faithful preacher of the Gospel.

As his wife, the Lord has humbled me greatly and given me the privilege to journey with him as we cling desperately to His Infinite Grace, in all of our inadequacy and messy-broken faltering, and step hand-in-hand into this amazing calling of boldly proclaiming the Good News to the nations.

And so, this Grace, for us, is the beginning and the end and the everything-in-between.

All Because of Him, All for Him,


Abby

{p.s. I write regularly about Grace, The Journey and staying close to His heart at my blog Fan the Flame and there's lots more about our journey to Hungary at the Our Story page.}


Thank you to Carla for reaching out so beautifully to us, the ministry wives, and to Monique my blog and true friend for inviting me to be a part of it!

6 comments:

  1. God's grace and His plan are truly amazing! Thank you for sharing this story with us.

    joy and blessings,
    Alida

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  2. Beautiful Abby! I just love your family. Joy is in each of your smiles! Thank you for sharing your story, Abby. You inspire me and so many others. Meeting you via your blog was definitely a God thing. :)

    "And so, this Grace, for us, is the beginning and the end and the everything-in-between."... that's so true for all of us. You put it into beautiful words.

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  3. Abby, it all began with grace for us. And I'm so happy it will end with His grace. Thanks for your beautiful reminder, Sister!

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  4. Thank you sisters:} Alida, nice to meet you and rejoice in His plan together. Monique, you are SUCH and encourager...I thank my God at my every remembrance of YOU! AND Carla, I'm enjoying each interaction with you...the Lord fill you to overflowing as you minister, encourage, challenge and lead others to HIM:}

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  5. Thanks for sharing this story. Your family is beautiful. Blessings to you as you serve!

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  6. Thanks, Abby, for the reminder of God's Grace. It truly is sufficient for every walk phase of life. Excited to hear about your assignment in Budapest!

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