God's Brave Women - A Missionary's Story
If you had asked me in 2009, when I was single and teaching pre-school, where I saw myself in 10 years, the answer would NOT have been “in North Africa.”
And then there’s God.
I have been living overseas almost two years, attempting to learn three different languages (each in part; none fluently!) and, I have to say, I never saw this coming. And I don’t think anyone else who knows me did either! I have always been the close-to-home/ in-my-comfort-zone type. But when I first met my future husband I knew God was changing my life. This man knew that he wanted to serve Christ through missions in an African or Asian country. The Lord eventually led us to be married and start a family and later directed us to this 99% Muslim nation.
So, here we are in 2019... I am no longer close to home. And in this new life and location I rarely feel that I have a comfort zone. What I see, feel, do, smell, appear like, dress like, and often talk like are totally unfamiliar and (often) uncomfortable. When asked to write for this BRAVE series I hesitated internally because I do not feel very brave! What I have embraced is so different– after almost two years, I still struggle.
I definitely needed courage at first in attempting the unknown. I left “the known” behind – and included in that is “the loved.” Parents, siblings, relatives, brothers and sisters in Christ, dear friends, sweet smiles, familiar hugs, laughs, inside jokes, treasured relationships. And don’t even get me started on nieces and nephews… for this heart who loves the littles that’s where the tears REALLY kick in.
To be honest, after all this time, I still need bravery. Like, huge, grace-given bravery to each day face the heartache of being separated from all my loves. I have learned that I must let myself simultaneously feel the ache while embracing the new reality. It cannot be avoided. I know that Jesus Himself did not avoid this when He came to earth and was separated from His Heavenly Father and Home. Yet, I’m learning that it’s not just more courage that I need…