Editor’s Note: Missioner Brandon Newland reflects on the past two years in Jamaica as he looks ahead to his return to the US where he will start a new chapter in his life.
With only a little more than a month left of my time on mission in Jamaica, it is time to deal with my inevitable return to the United States and the question of how to become a part of that society again. The fear of putting myself out there again in the job world can be a little terrifying when the outcome is so uncertain. Will I be able to find a job that I like which can support me in the life and opportunities I want to pursue?
I finished my master’s degree just before coming to Jamaica, which drained me of my savings. For the past two years, I have been living on the stipend that FMS provides. Consequently, my largest fear at the moment is being able to support myself.
I fear having to take any job that I can when I return to the US just to make ends meet in the beginning. I fear resigning myself to a life substandard to what I think I can achieve. Another fear is that all my past experiences will not positively affect an employer’s perception of me and I will continue to be passed over for those who have more specified training.
Needless to say, I have a lot of worries and anxieties about coming home. All that being said, I cannot let myself fear becoming successful. After an experience like living overseas on mission for two years, I know that I want to continue on the path of serving and helping others. Success is not determined by a title, salary, or position. I believe that to have success in my life, I must stay focused on what I want to achieve.
In the past, I had trouble putting myself out there and conquering my goals, but having finished two years here in Sav, in a culture so foreign to me, I finally have the confidence and determination I need to pursue my dreams when I return home.
I must pay attention to how the wind is blowing in my life and walk in that direction. I never want to pass up an opportunity to learn or to help someone. I like to think my numerous and varied experiences on mission would add a lot to any company, and I need to maintain that thought each and every time I am given an opportunity.
As everyone likes to state, “Success doesn’t come easy,” and if you fear it then you are assured that it will never cross your threshold.
I give thanks every day for the amount of life I’ve been able to live at this point and it is time for me to make good use of the lessons, skills, and relationships I’ve accrued during my time. I hope my path becomes clear soon, but until then, I’ll keep sending out resumes and trying to be upbeat.
Some day, hopefully soon, I’ll look back at this and laugh and wonder why, after all the blessings that arose after challenges on mission, I was so fearful of success.
Reflection Questions: What worries and anxieties are at the forefront of your mind right now? Have you brought them to prayer?