Over the years, the road to missionary life has often been a painful one. Sometimes it's a good pain - like a hunger pain reminding you that you need better sustenance. The challenges have driven me to my knees in search of my Bread of Life. The pain has shown me my sin and strongholds to battle. A good pain. But it's also just been like a grief pain. Some things are just sad. Or just scary. Or just plain difficult, even when you know the Lord is weaving together a beautiful masterpiece in the end. Even then, it is still painful to go through that refinement. I'm grateful for the Lord's patience with me. And His blessings through these painful circumstances. I want to share a quick story with you that has been a faith builder for me. Because it demonstrates to me just how much my Lord cares for me as His daughter.
Derek and I were invited to speak at Redeemer Presbyterian's Missions Conference in Valdosta, GA. He shared at the men's breakfast, and I was able to share at the ladie's coffee. There have been very few places in our life where we felt instantly connected and loved by a community of people. Redeemer is a special place, and the people so obviously love the Lord and each other. It was truly a privilege to feel connected to the Body of Christ at this church.
But the time leading up to the conference was one of the most difficult times in my life. I had no idea what I had to share with these ladies. But it turned out to be a healing experience for me, and somehow it seems that the Lord used it to encourage others. So I decided to share it here, too. Feel free to read the text or listen to the recording. And remember that you are not alone!
Our current life is chaotic. We have two kids under the age of two, two full-time jobs that both require additional work in the evenings, several ministries, support raising, and maintaining a household. Frankly, it's ridiculous. And normally the last thing on the list is the first to get thrown to the wind.
I know we've all heard it before - "The laundry will get taken care of eventually. Play with your kids now!" That sounds really good, and I tend to live my life by that mantra. But eventually your kids must have clothes to wear. And there comes a time when you can no longer just put on shoes so that your feet don't feel when the floor crumbs stick to them. So there's obviously some balance; one which I'm struggling to find! I often feel like I'm drowning in this current stage, and the Lord has been sweetly teaching me through it all. Like how to say no. And how to scale back. And how to keep a schedule so that your family doesn't get pushed to the side. And those are difficult to learn, but oh! How difficult it has been to learn how to humble myself and accept help from others.
I know that many, many people are going to watch that video and chuckle with an empathy that you can only have if you've lived through it. I know my kids are normal, and I'm not alone. And most of the time, I've been okay with the chaos. But then we started support-raising.