I feel bad because I’ve traveled to so many places.
When people find out I’m “going” again, I usually receive one of three things: silence, critical remarks, or fake smiles and bursts of joy. Typically after people’s initial response I recieve blank stares of judgement, jealousy, and questions. Oh, and talking, lots of talking… Especially the kind that happens behind my back.
This isn’t true of everyone, a lot of people are genuinely very supportive, however I encounter the opposite response far too often, and it doesn’t feel so nice. Luckily for me, I live my life to please God and not man.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hopping on trains, planes, and automobiles. The thrill and whimsy of a new adventure never really wears off, but being in a constant state of “going” sure can make a girl feel like she needs to keep her life hidden.
In the beginning I publicly wrote things like,
Every morning I wake up and think to myself “where the heck am I? Is this real life? Did I actually just wake up to the sound of Vespas and the smell fresh baked bread?” I honestly feel like I am living in dreamland, and that at any moment my 8 am alarm will sound erasing this wonderful fantasy from my mind.
(Aix en Provence, France 2012)
My experience abroad thus far has been so wonderful that my happy heart could explode with rainbows, unicorns, and fairy dust that makes you fly. I left America with zero expectations on what I was about to endure in this new land, and I cannot fathom enough how greatly God has blessed each footstep I have taken on this grand journey… I am fortunate enough to call England my home, drink my fair share of tea (with the queen of course), and serve God through rain or shine… but mostly rain.
(Birmingham, England 2014)
These excerpts were written at a time when people thought I was just “getting it out of my system” – so to speak. Truthfully, I sort of believed that too. Two, maybe three years abroad doing ministry, and then I would begin my career and have some cool stories to tell my kids one day.
Not the case… It’s never going to get out of my system
It’s not my fault that God consistently calls me to go to different nations
It’s not my fault that He provides the finances
It’s not my fault that He chose this life for me
I do not “go” because I’m avoiding responsibilities.
I go because it comes with the destiny Jesus has called me to
It’s not everyone, but there are people who have the audacity to believe that I am living this missional lifestyle for my own gain. It may seem fun to the public eye (it definitely has its perks), but there is real pain in what I do as well.
It’s only been 4 years, and I love the ride so far, I really do. I’ve been in and out of the mission field and in and out of jobs in America, and I know I will eventually do ministry full time – forever. Whatever that looks like.
Truth is, sometimes I envy the 9-5 job. Sometimes I envy security. Sometimes I envy structure.
Is there anything wrong with that? Yes and No
Entering into full time ministry comes with many sacrifices that most people will never have to make.
Will I ever have a house? I hope
Will I ever be able to settle down? I hope
Will I ever be able to retire? I hope
Do I care? Yes and No
I may never get to experience what our society deems as normal, but I am willing to give it all up for a life in devotion to Jesus. When you know you are called, who can resist His will? I never want to walk through life wondering what God could have done through me if only I had obeyed Him when He called me.
You may never get to experience the gift of going, and I may never get to experience the gift of staying. Can’t we celebrate what we’ve each been given?