Halloween, Day of the Dead, and All Saints Day… three days to celebrate the dead, the eternal unknown, and fear. I heard this phrase first from Joyce Meyers and since then from various sources: “Do it scared.” Nike’s brazen catch phrase shouts: Just do it!
Through the pain, doubt, confusion, fear and trials a passion beating in the chests of emboldened missionaries around the world drives us to remain steadfast. To deny the existence of these hardships is to belittle the price paid for centuries to get the message of the Good News to all corners of humanity.
In sharing these thoughts I do not hope to garner pity or sympathy. I desire to first thank God that he has enabled me to confront these issues instead of cowering, crippled and paralyzed, in the face of impossibilities. As a secondary measure I hope to portray honestly some realities that those who want to dedicate their lives to missions can expect to face.
10. Deceived – I worry that the sacrifice we have made is too great in comparison to the good we assume we are doing.
9. Harmed – The calloused skin around my heart makes it hard for me to feel compassion and makes it easy to block out the hurting people around me.
8. Harming – I fear our kids will suffer irreparable harm.
7. Inadequacy – It often feels as though our best just isn’t good enough to confront the enormity of the needs surrounding us.
6. Misunderstood – Sometimes I think people perceive us as money mongers because we might push too hard to finance the things that we think we need to do.
5. Compromise – With all the adapting and flexibility demanded by the conglomerate roles of wife, mother, Bolivian resident, U.S. citizen, and missionary I think I will lose myself and therein lose every bit of authenticity and relevancy.
4. Overextended – Living on the extreme edge in so many areas of life I wonder if there will be an event that pushes us over and sends us tumbling down the incline to certain defeat.
3. Blindsided – I put a bunch of pressure on myself to excel at everything I attempt. I know that I cannot hope to be the best in everything. So I am concerned that the things I have chosen to let slide are actually the things that end up being the most important, but I find out too late.
2. Identity – I fear I am driven by the validation which come from accomplishments because so often I am consumed by what we do. I lose sight of the truth of who I am and who God is in my life.
1. Disappointing – What scares me most is the sense that I will be a big, fat disappointment.
Man! If that’s not a downer list, I don’t know what is.
*** Tomorrow I reveal my new novel project for the month of November. It will be a much happier post.
Thank you for reading my lists. On this day 10 years ago we boarded a Bolivia bound plane with our tiny children. The next day, November 1st, we were swallowed up by the foreign. I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have some trepidation about the next 10 years ahead of us. If I know one thing I know it won’t be boring. Onward.