Thursday, February 11, 2010

Go, Send or Disobey

A few months back an anniversary of sorts passed by silently. I almost can't believe it, but it's been 5 years since my return from living in South Asia. Most people might not understand why or how 2 years living abroad could change a person. And honestly it's hard to explain other than saying that I went as one person and came back another. My perspectives and priorities of a lot of things changed.

The past 5 years have been interesting. I've somewhat bounced around to different places looking for an experience that feels similar to those 2 years. And to be honest, most days I feel like nothing can ever compare to that literal mountain top experience. I've struggled with the "what now?" question many times. Many people ask me if I would like to be back overseas someday and I always tell them yes. Videos like the one above make me want to pack a bag, jump on a plane and sort out the details later. But I am not in the position to do that right now. So what do I do with that life changing experience? How do I move forward?

Here's what I know...

-Like that quote in the video says, after all that I have seen, I could "choose to look the other way" but I "can never say again, 'I did not know. "

-I am drawn to people of other cultures. I swear to you I have an International radar. I can smell curry or hear another language a department store away. I'm more interested in getting to know the lady giving me a pedicure than she cares to know me. She's probably thinking "shut up lady and just let me paint your toes." Case in point, I was giddy for the rest of the day after meeting 2 of my new neighbors this past weekend. They are a young Muslim couple about my age and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't hide her very pregnant belly underneath her burka. I swear I saw her eyes smile when we met...after all, that's the only part of her that wasn't covered. I have a very focused mission...I NEED to see them again soon so this relationship can progress.

- I hope to one day live internationally again. A lot has changed since I lived in South Asia. Now with Skype, blogs, and IChat, you just make relationships happen and that becomes your new normal. It is hard, but I am willing to sacrifice relationships for His call abroad. (I realize this is much easier said than done)

-Just as much as I could see myself living internationally again, I could also see myself living in the USA, with a network of International friends, traveling abroad as often as I my time, job and finances would allow.

-The Lord has given me this love for the Nations and I realize that it's not everyone's love. For example, there are some great people out there who LOVE children's ministry. Would I do it? Yes, but do I LOVE it? Um, no. We each have a different ministry burden, they don't have to be the same and none are more pressing than the other. Painting a classroom in an inner-city elementary school is just as important as cleaning a wound at a medical camp overseas.

Here's what I can do while I wait for the unknowns:

- Be patient as I remind myself that everything is under God's control.
- Pray for BIG things!
- Be intentional about relationships in order to share Christ with others.
- Give to missions and ministries I believe in, because if we are not going or giving, we are disobeying. Amen?

p.s. In the video above at 2:34, that's a Buddhist stupa where I used to live and where 3 of my friends are missionaries now.


Amy Sue said...

Thank you for lifting the veil of your soul to expose your heartbeat. Beautifully put. I know that the longings in your heart are heard by your heavenly Father. I continue to pray with you for BIG things.

rachel said...

I love your heart!

mrs. darling said...

my 5 year anniversary of returning to the states was in december. and every day since that moment i stepped off the plane i have begged God to show me why i am here and not there. everything pales in comparison to your life there, doesn't it?

thank you for sharing your heart. and while everyone is different, i can say, to a certain extent, i understand. thank you for the reminder that being a missionary doesn't have to end just because i am in america. it's a life and a purpose that knows no borders. and i have the international radar too! pretty sure i have freaked out many africans i bump into in various places by my over-eagerness to be their friend!