The Plain, Ineloquent Truth

     Four months ago I moved from Canon City, Colorado to Chiang Mai, Thailand.  I can’t really find words to depict life since then. You see, it used to be that words came easily to me. They don’t anymore. They haven’t for a very long time. In fact, I’ve been waiting to write this post till I can explain myself with beautiful and eloquent words. But in truth, to write these following words eloquently would be nothing less of an oxymoron.

People speculate and form expectations on things they know nothing about. One of these things is what it is like being a kid on the “mission field”. This is something I’ve dealt with somewhat my whole life.  I don’t blame them, really. It’s no wonder they gain false impressions when they just see pictures of us holding tigers, riding bikes, and sipping smoothies.

I guess that’s why I’m writing this. Because pictures can’t show you what real life is like right now. And because, please, do not ask me one more time what my normal day’s schedule is like … because, I do school, eat, and sleep just like other kids my age.

Life isn’t a romantic adventure. When you visit a country for a few weeks you may be constantly experiencing “spiritual highs” and having new and exotic experiences…. But please, don’t think that that is how life is for the missionary kids you visited who live there all the time. After a little bit, what was new is old, and what was is exciting is sometimes very hard. (But this I can only say for myself because I can’t speculate and form expectations on other missionary kid’s lives which I know nothing about.) 

It’s normal life, only now I am surrounded by a language I can’t understand, deprived of normal food, sweaty all the time, far from family, constantly the weird foreigner, living a life none of my peers in the States can understand, am losing hair, getting boils and trying to somehow, someway find a “home” for my heart in a place that holds almost no similarity to the place I once called home.

No, it’s not glamorous.

I don’t write this to complain. I write this to encourage you to take a step back and look again at what missions really are. I write this to urge you to stop waiting to love people till the ideal time comes. Love now. Serve God now. Don’t wait till you can finally be in missions, thinking it will somehow be easier for you to serve there. Don’t wait till the timing is more convenient. Don’t wait around for the ideal people group you feel “called” to be plopped on your lap. Start the lifestyle of missions now.

Come on, no matter where you are called it is never going to be easy or automatic to truly love. The world is full of people who desperately need love and who are impossible to love on your own. God wants to love people through you.  God has called you be a “missionary” and I challenge you to be obedient to His calling on your life…whether that takes you to the jungles of Africa or hometown USA.

Secondly, I write this to ask all those who have friends who are “missionary kids” to pray for them, do everything you possibly can to keep in touch with them, and understand when they think differently then you. Don’t pressure them with expectations that just aren’t realistic.

Lastly, I just want you to know (more than anything) that GOD IS FAITHFUL. It is a beautiful, beautiful truth that He has been confirming over and over the past several months. It is the Truth that is worth every battle we face, and every mountain we climb in order for the world to hear it’s good news.

>>It truly will be worth it all when we see Jesus.<<

  [[Forgive me for the disconnected ramblings and the lack of suitable words. I’ll try not to do it this way again. 😉 ]]

vintagey

photo via pinterest

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8 thoughts on “The Plain, Ineloquent Truth

  1. Words well chosen, words well spoken, Monica. May God continue to meet you in Thailand pouring out His steadfast love on you. Adjustments to new settings are hard, especially in a country with another language, other foods, other climate, and many other “strange” practices to our way of doing. Hang in there. Where God calls He enables, whether it is here or there. Pace yourself, allow yourself to adjust, sorrow over what is missing, give thanks for what is good and continue to look for God and see.

  2. I don’t know you, but I want you to know that I completely understand all of this. We’re just normal kids who live normal lives with pretty normal friends around us, except that we’re the foreigner and the stutterer and the one they think might be shy cuz we can’t speak their language yet. It can be so hard and frustrating and lonely. Nothing at all like a short term mission high, not even remotely. But as someone who went through all of this, I just want to say: as soon as you can really, really give up your past and embrace where you are, you can gain a second (or third or fifth or whatever this may be for you) earthly home and God’s blessings just overflow. It might take a while, but it is SO worth it!

    • yes! thank you Janessa for your words of encouragement and wisdom… I don’t take it lightly! I’m trying to learn to give this whole thing time… I’m in no means in despair of this place ever becoming home 🙂 . Thank you!!!!

  3. I well remember the days when I lived in Haiti with my family. I was glad to be there, but as you stated, life is real. I had even left a boyfriend back in PA. I remember not getting letters from him for 4weeks straight. This was the day before easy communication. Mail plane came once a week, if the weather was good…. I learned to love the Haitian people. But most of all I think I learned to treasure time with my sisters and my mother. Not sure if that is what a person is to learn as a mission teen, but know this is one thing I learned. I am sure much more was learned through the time my family lived in Haiti. I have been to Haiti a number of times since I am married to that boyfriend that sent me long letters, and each time I fly into that country it feels like I am going home, and have tears in my eyes.
    Blessings to you and your family.
    Diane Histand

  4. Wow. I’ve been blessed, Monica. I really needed this. I feel God calling me to be a missionary right .h.e.r.e. in Burgettstown and I’ve been resisting… cuz I’ve always dreamed of something more glamorous. Thank you for this reminder and awesome encouragement and challenge.

  5. Thanks for sharing, Monica, and for being honest and sincere! I will definitely pray for you and your family as you adjust to this new phase of life. May God pour out His abundant blessings on you all and continue to show you the simple beauties in everyday things!

  6. Thanks for your honest words. Eloquent or not, they keep things in perspective for a deep-rooted Virginia girl like me who is sometimes impatient for the Next Big Thing. On opposite sides of the world, sometimes wishing to switch places, we serve the same Father and I am entrusting you to Him today.
    Pardon the extensive stalking. 🙂

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