Did you know that missionaries are people, just like you? Did you know that we are not flawless? That we are not always in perfect communion with God or other people? That we struggle?
Shocking, I know.
Want to know what I have been struggling with lately? What part of my current situation that I find the hardest? Want to PRAY for me better? I thought you might. So let me back up a little bit.
Last year, I attended a 3 week missionary training in Colorado. At the time, I was just restarting my support raising venture, following the closing of my previous mission board. I was in the beginning stages, the honeymoon phase, if you will. I was not yet fully ‘in the trenches’. I truly enjoyed my time there – learning, being challenged, growing, and developing friendship – but I know now that I did not fully grasp much of what was being taught. Because I wasn’t ‘there’ yet. There was one portion of our teaching that was aimed at helping us transplant ourselves to the country God was sending us. And one of the phases of this transplant was being rootless. Going from being rooted in the states, to uprooting ourselves, and replanting in our host country.
I didn’t feel that lesson like I feel it now. Last year I was still firmly planted in MI. I had a home church that was wonderful, I was surrounded by family and friends and I was able to spend time with them. I saw everyone on about a weekly basis, and life was just not that crazy.
Fastforward to today.
Today I am transient. I make it to a service with my home church about once a month. I get to spend time with my friends every once in a while. I have to get an oil change in my car every month and a half instead of every 3 months because I drive so much. I am often lonely, exhausted, and disconnected. On those Sundays that I get to be with my home church, surrounded by people who know me, and whom I know, it feels like I have missed so much…that everyone but me is ‘in the loop’.
I miss community. I miss being rooted somewhere. I miss knowing people’s names and playing with their kids. I miss blending into a crowd! I miss not being the center of attention…the oddball in a church of people who are rooted together. I miss deep conversations that are not necessarily focused on mission work. I miss being KNOWN.
Is my life all bad? Is it a constant struggle that is making me question the call to South Africa? Am I falling into depression? Absolutely not. I am so eager to serve God in Africa! And He has been teaching me wonderful things and has been showing Himself faithful with each step. But there are days when being rootless is a struggle. So PRAY!