|Photos Creds: Johanna Love|
For so long, I struggled with this ideal lifestyle, of becoming a missionary overseas and really living out the Gospel there, that I ignored what He was doing in my life presently. I use to tell people, “Oh ya, He’s just preparing me right now during this season. And then I’ll live overseas in His own timing.” But over the years, I began to wonder, “Is my plan even His plan?”
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19: 21)
Have I been caught up with my own devised reality that I’ve sadly neglected the reality that God has set before me? Yes. And I feel we all tend to do this as well. I believe God instills in each of us a set of passions and desires that come from Him; and although they are all good, we tend to get lost in them rather than be fully present in what God is working in our lives currently.
For me, I struggled with this. struggle with this. Not being fully content of where I am, and always searching for escape from my reality to achieve a faux reality in which everything is what it should be. At least, what I think is what it should be. And because of this tension between the two realities that cannot coexist with each other, I’m constantly caught in limbo. That feeling where your heart is beating uncontrollably fast and your mind is filled with limitless thoughts that you convince yourself that you just might explode; yep, this happens quite too often for me.
As cheesy and cliché as it may sound, I am a missionary … now; and whether I’m in Costa Mesa or overseas, I continue to be a missionary … that never ceases. Every day is an opportunity; and if I don’t take that opportunity, it is wasted. I mean, if I can’t even live out the Gospel here at a place I call my home, how do I expect to do the same in a different country?
I have the opportunity to minister to my coworkers, the people I see more often than my friends. And to be honest, I tend to turn my back on them and treat them as just people I don’t need to spend my time with. I’d convince myself that “they’re my coworkers.” Over the past few years, I’ve had the most amazing, most honest, and difficult conversations with my coworkers, all of which I had the opportunity to share my heart and sharing God’s word. A coworker, now friend, shared with me how her and her husband prayed for the first time together and God revealed Himself to them for the first time.
When I had the opportunity to lead a team to Mozambique this past summer, my coworkers donated their money and art supplies because they wanted to help but never had an opportunity to do so before. We talk about miracles as if they only happened in the Bible or when we hear stories from people coming back from their mission trips. But these are the miracles I was able to witness because I chose to follow God’s heart, and His heart lead me to these people over the years.
Maybe it’s time for each us to do the same … to start listening and seeing what God is doing in our lives.
And who knows? Maybe becoming an overseas missionary is still in the works. Or maybe I’m called to be a missionary here, my home. Wherever He calls me to, I will follow Him.