But They Had Families

Moses. Abraham. Noah.


I bet you’ve heard their stories.

Amazing men with incredible faith who did what God told them to do. Who trusted God with their whole hearts and did his works.

One defied a king and delivered his people from bondage with God’s direction. Another left his country and traveled across the map to a land God said would show him. Yet another built a boat in the middle of a desert and trusted God when He said it would rain.

But they had families. And whether or not their families heard God’s voice, whether or not they liked the idea, whether or not they thought it was crazy, they did what they were told.

They obeyed.

They trusted.


“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)

And so Abraham packed up and headed to Canaan (and he didn’t even know where it was, just that he was going to get there eventually). And his wife, his nephew, and a bunch of people from Haran, came with him. ‘Cause he said to. And ’cause God said to.


“Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.” (Exodus 4:20)

Moses had a wife and two kids. I mean, can’t you see their happy little family? “Behold, Gershom, get ye on this donkey and let us depart for the kingdom where the Pharaoh will probably want-eth to kill-eth us.”


“Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” (Genesis 4:16)

And I can see his sons, “Right, dad. Let’s make a boat… in the desert… and let’s just go ahead and tell everyone it’s gonna rain (whatever that is) and make fools of ourselves because you’re going through a mid-life crisis. Uh-huh.”


I’m not saying I know what it’s like to be a Bible-time teenager with parents going off the deep end.

What I am saying is that I know what it’s like to be modern day teenager with parents saying you’re going on the mission field. Not just that, but,

they don’t know what country,

they don’t know what mission board,

they don’t know the language,

they don’t have any training.

It makes ya feel weird, people. Really, really weird. Kinda like the world is ending, but maybe worse.

You don’t want to believe it. So you don’t.

You don’t want to see the signs God’s providing all along the way saying, Yeah, this is Me. I’m in control of this situation. I know what I’m doing. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

That’s what He’s saying… but it’s not what you want to hear. So you ignore it. And you continue to doubt.

I told my parents it was crazy.

And it was.

And it is.

It was embarrassing and scary and the best thing that could ever happen to me.


It was the ultimate trust fall. (Which, I admit, didn’t sound like such a good idea in the airplane.)

It’s opened my eyes to a whole new world. It’s helped me grow so much over the past 3 years. It’s shown me what trust is.

That’s not to say I’ve mastered the art of trust. “Trust and Obey” is still not my favorite hymn.

I still doubt sometimes. I also scream and cry and throw temper tantrums.

Sometimes I’m scared. Sometimes I’m angry. And it still seems crazy.

But in my heart, I know it’s what’s right.

I’m not in Egypt. I’m not in Canaan. I’m not on the Ark.

I’m in Ecuador.

And I’m learning to trust.


~Madeline Studebaker


  1. Julie Studebaker Noles says:

    I am indeed soo very proud of you and the good Christian lady you are! God does have awesome things in store for you! Just continue to trust in him and obey him and his word and he will see you through! Awesome job Madeline! much love and prayers babygirl!

  2. Alene Strickland says:

    I just Love to read your post Madeline as always they are so motivational,inspirational,encouraging,but most of all genuine heart-felt. I pray for a hedge of protection around you and your family as you continue to obey God,and spread the Gospel. Love and prayers for each and every one of you ….God Bless,Alene

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