I was sure that when my mother died it would be the most difficult experience of my life. But somehow looking back, life seems more challenging right now. I don’ think I’ve ever felt as alone as I do here. Or as lost. Or as disconnected from God.
This may sound confusing if you are looking in from the outside. Because from the outside it appears like things are just fine. But they always aren’t.
Thankfully, the internet has helped me stay connected to my family and friends back home. But that’s not nearly enough.
Facebook, email, and Instagram don’t make up for the warm embrace of someone you love and care about. Seeing pictures of your friends and family getting together is not the same as being there with them. Hearing about an event you missed, like a wedding or graduation, is not the same as attending the event first-hand and celebrating with everyone.
When I think about my future, it makes me nervous. I have no job and no home. I know where I want to live and work, but I have no guarantees that my future is waiting for me there. I’m not sure what kind of work I will find (or will find me) when I return.
That was really exciting for me at one point. But right now, it’s also really scary.
I have a chance to start over and I’m worried I won’t make the right decision. I want my time here to have mattered when I return to the states. I want my life, my job, where I live, how I spend my time – all of it – to be different. I don’t want to forget the things I’ve seen here or the people I’ve met.
What keeps me up at night the most is my relationship with God. On mission, more than any other time in my life, I’ve asked God to guide my steps and my decisions. I’ve put complete faith in Him, believing that whatever happens is God’s will.
That’s not always been pleasant for me. I’ve had more than my share of disappointments over the last year. I still trust God. But I’m not always happy with what he chooses for me. Sometimes I get downright angry because what I want and what God wants are not the same thing.
I’m glad that I have been able to report about happier moments here and expect to do so again in the near future. But I write this post today because I feel it is important for me to be honest about my struggle. Mission life is hard. Don’t believe for a minute that it’s not.
I’m happy with my decision to be here. I am going to APPRECIATE my family and friends soooo much more when I’m back in the states. I think being able to step away from my 20-year career was also a great thing. There is a part of me that’s super-excited to discover what I will be doing for a living one year from now.
And, though I’m sure I will continue to struggle with God’s plan for me, I’m proud of myself for taking such a leap of faith. Nothing else brought me here except for a desire to please God and do His will. He called and I answered.
Today, I ask you to pray for missioners everywhere who are separated from their families in an effort to bring God’s message of peace and hope to people all over the world. Pray that they may have strength to deal with daily struggles. That they can be hopeful about their futures and do great work when they return to their homes. But, most importantly, please pray that they never regret their decision to love God by serving and walking with others.
On behalf of all of us, THANK YOU.