[I say “Don’t Understand” instead of “Disagree” because, obviously, I
choose to operate in the realm of: If they understood, then they would
agree… but I know that’s not always the case.]
Another aspect of loneliness “out here” is when your loved ones don’t understand the Call you’ve answered.
Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s sad and maybe you’ve cried. For
the most part, my family’s pretty rockstar about this whole thing—I’m
blessed to have a family who knows our Father and they keep trusting Him
with me, or at least try to. But I know others here, many who have
raised their whole families and planted their whole lives here for the
sake of their One, True Love, and their loved ones, even after a decade
or two, don’t understand.
Living in this
region , many people think we’re walking into the face of danger. That
we’ve gone to some office, signed a release for our lives and have
essentially given up on living. Dramatic?Maybe. Mostly realistic?For many, yes. I get a lot of “WHY”s and shakes of the head and comments saying, “Oh, I could NEVER do that.” or “Wow… you’re so… brave…” or my personal favorite: “Aren’t you just SO scaaaarreedd???” [And this is from people that we love—I’m not gonna even touch how the people we don’t love so much react.]
a difference to be expect based on the like-mindedness of your loved
ones. If they aren’t like-minded with you, then… ok. It’s only grace that you can give them. They don’t share your heart or your Love, so it makes sense that maybe they’re not supportive [sometimes, though, these are the most supportive…]. But if they do know
your Love personally, and they don’t encourage you, celebrate with you
through the struggles and triumphs and “things you do for Love,” then… it’s hard.
And I think it’s totally ok to grieve these things.I think it’s ok to be sad for this loss. Some people’s families, especially my peers’, border on the “Ok, I think he’s got that almost all out of his system,”mentality.
They expect us young, singles to go away for a year, maybe two, and
then come back to our “senses” and settle down “at home.”
Well… if “home is where the heart is,”and your heart is given to a Relocater named “I AM,” then you’re kinda up a creek. [Or out in a desert under a bazillion twinkling stars conserving water.] Either way, your heart is changed and “home” no longer means the same thing it did just 1,000 days ago or maybe even 100. When friends are distraught that they’re not living up to the [earthly]
familial pressures to have a 9-5 job, get married and raise their kids
in the suburbs, I tell them, with a gentle smile on my face and a fire
in my eyes that, “We. Are. Ruined.”
We’re ruined for the ordinary. Please
don’t hear me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with 9-5 jobs, getting
married or living in the suburbs. I dig all those things—they’re
actually my roots. But I can’t do it. Not right now. So please don’t try
to make me. Because this should be ok, too. They say that some “Stay, Pay and Pray”while others “Go, Sow and Grow.”We’re just different parts of the same body—and that’s fantastic. What kills me is when families, couples, singles, humans, are out here, doing their thing for Love and they’re not backed up by the very people they hold dear.
And maybe that’s you today. Maybe your loved ones don’t understand your 3-week stint in the jungle or your 25 years in the city. And I’m here to say: “Ugh. I’m sorry.” Because I am.
Or maybe you’re that person who has a loved one “out there,” and you’re missing each other’s lives. I know that hurts, too. To be left and to be the leaver—they’re
both difficult roles to play. I feel those aches. I know what it’s like
to have your favorite person/people gone from your everyday life—to be
missing from around your table at the holidays, to not see babies grow,
to not watch all the Packer games together... and I know what it’s like
to be the missing one.
But I also find that it’s in these hurts that there is much beauty. And
I think each person needs to come to terms with that themselves. I
can’t make anyone understand or agree with my Call. But I do know that
my God is strong. I ask Him, for my friends and sometimes for myself, to place a peace and an understanding in our loved ones.
From Mrs Wooly-Head: I re-posted this because I have been there. Even after 6 years on the field and some time back in the US for home assignment, I still feel it. It is really hard to have people "against" our ministry, for whatever reason. The one thing that really hurts is people who say that we did our children a disservice by taking them to the mission field. Some have been particularly hurtful, saying that we neglected our children due to our call to the ministry. Not true, but no sense in telling these people that. They just don't understand, even though they serve the same Lord.
I spent about 12 days earlier this month in the mountains of northeastern PA. Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary on Oct 7, and we had a family dinner the day after at a Japanese steakhouse. Fun times!
I also hung out with my sisters, my parents, my nieces and nephews; went to a few high school footballs games, went to a pumpkin patch, went to the Crayola factory, enjoyed the fall foilage and the cool temperatures.
While I was there, my sisters and my mom had colds of varying severity. I brought a cold home as a souvenir. Wonderful. For the last week my head feels full, I felt dizzy, sneezy, sleepy, and probably dopey! Hopefully I'm at the end of this head congestion so I can get back into the swing of things!
A birthday is coming up soon. Yep, it's mine. I'll be 29 with 19 years of experience!
If you want to comment, and finding that you can't, I'm trying to figure that out. I changed it to so that anyone can comment, but I'm finding that there are still problems. I'm hoping to get that worked out, so hang on!
Edited to add: I believe the comment problem is resolved, so please add your comments! Thank you!
Being missionaries, not having a home in the states, and having to travel alot, sometimes we don't feel like we belong where we are. We are going to a church, not our home church, and not a supporting church, but we are welcome there and we have a sense of belonging. We have family members who we can stay with who make us feel welcome, and we feel like we belong. We visit churches, whether they are partners or not, who truly make us feel welcome.
Then we have our adopted country. That is where we have an apartment that we can call our own. We feel God has called us there. Our team welcomes us, and our national partners welcome us, but do we really feel like we belong? In a country where language and culture is different from what we are used to? We have a sense of belonging, but it is not "home."
Two things I've learned in thinking about this. One is that I want people to feel welcome, either in my presence, or in my home, for however long they need or like. I don't want anyone to feel unwelcome, that they are a burden to me. I want to treat them how I would like to be treated as a guest, or even better, as a member of a close knit family of which they are a part!
The second thing that I have to remember is that this is not my true home. As a Christian, I will never really belong , as my true home is in heaven.
John 14:1-4 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions;] if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
*Having the stomach flu really stinks. Especially when it comes with a sore throat and cold symptoms
*Using Quicken instead of my checkbook register is SO much easier! I finally gave up using the checkbook register - I ran out of pages anyway. Just entering transactions into the cash account and letting it do the figuring, well, it's just too easy! I make so many math mistakes, even using a calculator.
*I'm having mashed potatoes for lunch. They don't make my stomach feel worse. I had them for supper last night too.
*Hoping I can make it through the day, having our last training session for partnership development at 3:30. I may have to take some "taking care of the call of nature" breaks throughout the day!
Sometimes I wake up and feel like I need more sleep. ALOT more sleep.
Thankfully, today wasn't one of those days.
I did my morning routine, took my husband to help his brother on a project, kept laundry going, did some housework, took a shower, did some school planning. After lunch, I took the young lady for a driving lesson (she did very well! ) and then did some shopping over in L-land. I forgot it was Saturday of a holiday weekend, so it was busy, though not really that bad. I hit every yellow or red light on the way over and back, so we just had fun with it instead of complaining about it.
By the time we got back it was almost 5. I relaxed for a little bit, folded the laundry, and ordered pizza for supper!
I had my 2 mile walk, now it is time to relax a little more!
Last night, when I couldn't sleep, I got up, grabbed my Kindle, and headed for the living room. I'm currently reading "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore.
I'll have to write a little summary about the book, but a Bible verse quoted in the book encouraged me.
Isaiah 41:9-10 " I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God."
Sometimes I can't seem to figure out what I'm doing wrong or how to make things right.
I feel like my name is mud.
The muddled thoughts in my head do not seem to clear up with fish oil pills. Or 8 glasses of water a day. Or making my bed.
Sometimes a 3 mile walk helps.
A night where I can't fall asleep does not.
It's so GOOD that I have faith and trust in the Lord Jesus. He adopted me and chose me!
"...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved." Ephesians 1:4-6