Saturday, July 29, 2017

I Am Not Cut Out For This

I've had that thought hundreds of times over these past sixteen years of missions: I am not cut out for this.

I am probably the least adventurous person on earth.  I need a plan.  I need a schedule.  I need things to go according to plan and to schedule.  

I hate transitions.  I hate change.  I think I would be happy if everything in my life could stay exactly the same, always and forever.  

Yet here I am in a life that is full of adventure, whether it's as simple as a chicken on the loose in my house or as scary as a snake in my daughter's bed.  I'm living in a culture that does not value plans or schedules (but thinks people are a lot more important...I guess there's a point there).  And even when I try to live by a plan anyway, then I lose electricity or the store is out of sugar or the rain has closed the roads.

And now here I am, facing another international move, yet again.  We leave America on Wednesday to return to Tanzania.  The anxiety keeps me up at night and wakes me early in the morning.  I despise saying goodbye to the people we love; it rips my heart out every time.  But I know that even once I get back and get settled, that I will continue to thrust myself into these transitions over and over again.  I have put down roots in Tanzania, but I am a guest.  It will never be permanent.

I think to myself, Why on earth did I choose this life?  I am not cut out for this.

So why do I keep doing it?

You could call it a calling, but that makes it sound so noble and sacrificial and godly and stuff.  When in reality, I want to do this.  I want this life.  It's complicated, isn't it?  Because if I say I want it, then that makes it seem like there are no sacrifices and I never get sad or have regrets.  But if I say that I am just being obedient to a calling, then that makes me seem like a martyr.

Choosing this life is both of those explanations.  Yes, I hate spontaneity and change and transition--but I've lived long enough to see the joy that makes it worth it.  Yes, I'm not too thrilled about living a life in two worlds and all the packing and the sense of rootlessness.  But there's that joy again.  The joy of learning from other cultures.  The joy in living a life of purpose.  The joy of living a life with less.  The joy that comes from anxiety that is cast upon Him.

And really, we're not cut out for a lot of things, are we?  We get into marriage, or motherhood, or the menial job, or the stressful job, and we think, I'm not cut out for this.  But we keep doing it anyway, because there's always joy.  Joy in doing hard things.  Joy in getting through a day we never thought we would live through.  Joy in knowing that no matter how bad it gets, this life is not all there is.  

But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.







Post a Comment