And so we have arrived at the final part in the series documenting my struggles with 2013. I’m glad you have read along. The words I wrote in this particular post were all written last week and they were actually part of a conversation I had online with a friend who lives in another country. (Betcha can’t guess which country she lives in… If you guessed Germany you’d be wrong!) Anyway, she and I were talking about the difficulties we are having with where we each ended up for the time and struggling with finding our peace. I hope you’ll find the peace that I have as you read through the next few paragraphs.
I have a precious cousin (we were supposed to be sisters, I think) who is a real-live missionary. She has lived in foreign countries and been the hands and feet of Jesus in a very real and meaningful way. I am honored to know her and in many ways, wish I could be like her.
In this Christian life we live, Matt and I truly believe God puts us where He wants us. The Army just thinks it cuts our orders. We’re not officially missionaries, but in some ways, we are. We don’t “proselytize” but we do try to show Jesus to those around us, even if we do so often without saying His name. (Totally different from missionaries in that respect and yet we do pray others are drawn to Him by what they see in us. Just a little overwhelming at times.)
I’m reading a book to the boys about a missionary to people of the jungles of South America, Bruce Olson. (The book is called Bruchko and can be found on Amazon.) He wrote this at the end of chapter 12, when he was just about as “DONE” as he could be, as low as he could go, as tired of being in the jungles as one could possibly be:
“There is an old gospel song that says, “If you can’t bear the cross, then you can’t wear the crown.” I realized I didn’t want the cross. I wanted the crown, with all its jewels without ever carrying the cross. Looking again at the old woman, I wasn’t even sure I wanted the crown.”
Doesn’t that hit it?!? There are times we just want to receive the crown of Jesus and don’t want to mess our hands with the cross He carried or the cross we’re to bear. And there are other times we are so exhausted (or tired or selfish or self-centered or weak) that we don’t even want the crown. For me, at this moment, the “cross” is simply to live where God has called me to. To do so with a positive attitude; to raise my family and be available to those around me who need me. He didn’t ask me to leave the comforts of civilization and live for years on end with no real food, no real clothes, no iPhone. I haven’t been asked to live life in the jungles, living in a communal tent with 80 Motilone Indians, pooping just outside the front door, sharing grubs and monkey meat for my meals. Reading Bruchko has given me a new perspective on my selfishness.
I expect Jesus has grace for us in those moments. Praise God I KNOW He has grace for us in those moments. I am so in need of that grace and mercy when I become selfish and petty.
Part of my healing has come in the understanding that my home is where my husband and children are; it’s where God has called me to. God has placed in my heart a deep desire to host. I’ve already begun thinking of Thanksgiving and decorated for fall. I’m also thinking of my nearest neighbors, many of whom are experiencing their first duty stations. My goal is to make them feel as welcomed into the Army as I did. I love LOVE the unique tight-knit community that the Army has and, if I don’t show it to these new military members, they might not have the same positive experiences with the Army that I have had.
I am thankful that my calling at this point in my life allows me such amazing opportunities to see the world, visit with other people, and have access to amazingly available creature comforts such as air conditioning, coffee makers, automobiles, and internet. I am slowly getting over my selfishness and looking at the infinite blessings I have in my life.
Thank you for reading along. I am sure I will complain again about something that annoys me. I am sure that when I see snowy pictures from friends in other parts of the world I will find my heart stinging with the longing that I believe God put in my heart for snow and cold weather, but I will commit to trying harder to be thankful for the blessings in the place He has called me to be for this moment.
Other posts in this series:
Leaving home to go home. (Series Intro.)
Leaving home to go home. (Part 1.)
Leaving home to go home. (Part 2.)
Leaving home to go home. (Part 3.)
Leaving home to go home. (Part 4.)
Leaving home to go home. (Part 5.) You are here.}