I find myself ending my first year as a missionary in the United States instead of Guatemala. I am continually being reminded that ministry can be done in many different ways. (If you are wondering, we will be returning to Guatemala in January. I am both excited and ready to return.)
I am learning to stop basing my self worth off of accomplishments, or the idea I’m doing something good, worthwhile, or big enough. I repeat this quote often,
“God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be FAITHFUL.” – Mother Teresa
Serving the Lord in Guatemala this year has been exciting, new, and everyone naturally treats it as amazing. Even without seeing all the great changes I hoped for, it was easy to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.
The last two month I spent most of my time either catching up with supporters, spending quality time with my siblings, or listening, supporting and being a friend for my mom. With seven kids still at home (most of them teenagers), homeschooling and ministry her life, although abundant, is busy and stressful. It has been an unexpected yet precious season. Although simply being a friend and listening ear doesn’t seem huge or glamorous, I am leaning no limit can be placed on its value.
This month (November) I’ve been spending time with my sister Beth who is expecting her second baby in 3 months. Her husband is working full time and spending every spare minute on renovating a camper. Which will be their new home in three weeks. Although it’s always been one of their dreams to have a mobile home for traveling, they never expected to have to move into one right now. Helping my sister pack up, prepare to move and spending time sitting on the floor playing with our babies together has been so special. I am certain I will look back on this month spent “simply living life with my sis and our babies” and treasure it forever.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, we got to spend time both Michael’s Mom and Dad. Evelynn is their first grand baby so it was an extra exciting time. We also had the opportunity to get all of Michael’s siblings together in one place for the first time in several years. It was a crazy, but super special little family reunion.
Some days I think what am I doing with my life? I am supposed to be a missionary in Guatemala and I have nothing to show for the last 3 months. But the truth is this isn’t my life, I don’t have to have great works to show off. This life I have is God’s and I am created to point to Him, to bring Him glory. So whether I’m loving the fatherless in Guatemala, listening and encouraging my mom, packing boxes with my sister, or playing with my baby doesn’t matter.
I never imagined my first year on the mission field ending with me in being US. I never considered what it would look like to have a pandemic during my first year in Guatemala. I honestly have never ever thought or imagined what it would be like to experience a pandemic in my lifetime.
Here I am in a situation I never dreamed of, seeking, surrendering, and serving, the Lord. No matter where I am or what task is before me, I always have the opportunity to do ministry, to point to Christ which is all I need to both be and believe my life holds worth and is successful.
I encourage you to think about what makes you feel successful and valuable. Then take a few minutes to pray and ask the Lord, “Am I trying to find my worth and success in the right place?”
Lot's of pictures, because I love pictures!