I have been living on the missions field for almost 22 months now! How crazy is that! I still remember the day I was sitting in Panera's restaurant debating about whether or not missions was really something I felt like God was calling me to or if it was just a pipe dream that I'd romanticized by reading too many missionary biographies! Even during my application process, I recall dreaming about what life on this missions field would look like and the kind of person I would become serving God with all that I am. And let me tell, as great as my imagination is, I was no where close to picturing what this life style would be like. I don't think I could have prepared myself for all that has happened in my time here in Ecuador, and I don't think I could have predicted how it all would turn out. It certainly hasn't been easy, but it's also been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my entire life, and while I wonder sometimes, knowing what I know now, if I would still have signed up to come, I know if I hadn't made that leap of faith, I wouldn't be the person I am today! Living in Ecuador as a missionary has changed me...it's changed my faith... it's changed what I believe about myself and about others... and it's opened my eyes to a deeper truth about the world around me. And while I will always fundamentally be me, I know when I return home in a few months, I will not be the same girl who stepped on the plane at the start of this journey...and I must admit I am kind of proud of that.
One thing that living on the missions field has taught me, is that no matter how hard and how lonely things get, God is always there! I know that sounds so Christian Cliché. I can almost hear the choir singing "what a friend we have in Jesus" in the background as I stay that, but it's so true! I love my friends. I am lucky to have the friends I have, even when we go thru rough patches, but they are all 3000 miles away and while I have the permission to call them at any hour of the day or night, if I need them, the only person I 've ever felt comfortable enough to call out to in the wee hours of the night when the tears are flowing and I just need someone to listen...is my God. And what I've found in those moments is that He is always there!
Now that is not to say that God's always there making me feel all warm and cozy and like I am always in the right! No, in fact God sometimes is the one calling me out on my crap and reminding me that I am the reason why things are the way that they are! But you know what? Sometimes I need that. Sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on and a God whose going to wipe my tears and tell me everything's going to be okay...and other times I need a God whose going to pull me up by boot straps and tell me to get out there and do my part to make things right! I might not always like it, but God always knows what I need, when I need it and exactly how to push me, encourage me or comfort me. I can honestly say, living in the comforts of the USA I never would have learned to have the kind of dependence on Him that can trust His approach, no matter what it is. In fact I've never really needed God like I have on this missions field. But what I know for sure now...having willingly put myself in this place, patiently enduring all that has come my way...is that God is faithful and He will never turn His back on me. In Him I completely trust! Amen.