Wednesday, January 29, 2014

having it all together?

One of the biggest lies in our christian circles is that people in ministry have it all together. It's so easy to put people up on a pedestal who have shown the world that they want to serve him with their life as well as their vocation. We don't think that they would ever struggle with the same daily life issues and troubles that we go through. We think they are free from temptation and incapable of having rough seasons. They have given their whole life to the Lord, so it is just easy for them to live for Him, right?
 I am here to be honest and say it's not easy for us. I have felt the need to try to keep up the facade that I have it all together, and I bought into the lie that if anyone saw how messy my life really is, they wonder what God ever saw in me. I fight against the temptation to be believe that my worth as a person in ministry is dictated by my fruit and not being the best at everything means I am a failure. We struggle with the daily grind (cleaning up splatters of milk off the wall and cheerios on the floor... mounds of laundry that never stop... kids that don't obey...dinner that does not cook itself, and the dishes that go with it) We struggle with temptation for all kinds of things- envy, impatience, disrespect, anger, and the list goes on. We struggle with discouragement and fight against the desire to quit and go home (searching for that easy life we though we could find serving!). We long to be noticed and cared for, but many times it is just assumed we are ok, so our trials go unnoticed. Often, we work so hard caring for others and being out serving that we don't know we are struggling ourselves until we are at a breaking point.We go through seasons of loneliness and we watch our children walk through loneliness and the sad goodbyes with grandparents on the other side of the world that will rip your heart out. It's not easy. Often it's not at all fun and exotic to live on the other side of the world, even though we do have those moments as well. I have so many things that make life here more comfortable than I expected, but then I have a month like this one and I realize that this really is my life, with the joys and the pain. It will always be about goodbyes. It will always have struggles. I will always be an outsider, and even when I go home to my home culture, I will be weird there too. I don't know the latest fashions or keep up with many US cultural trends. My husband and I will not always see eye to eye, and we will go through times of miscommunication. I try my very best at language, but it will never be as comfortable as English is for me. I will be tempted in ways I never thought possible, and I will give in to discouragement more times than I can count. It will never be easy.  But when I signed up for this, did anyone say it would be easy? no, not really. I think I just bought into the lie that if I was called to it, I'd just love it all the time. I imagined that the one who called would make the road "easy" and I would not have deep valleys of struggle. Or maybe I thought I would love the valleys because thats where the Lord grows us the most. But here I am. wishing things were different. being in a valley, but just feeling alone. too often giving in to discouragement and discontentment. giving in to anger (esp at my kids, who are just being kids) And I am asking the lord for the grace to just make it through the day. On the one hand, I know its just part of life here, and what better place to be than at the "end of Sarah" so that HIS power can be seen though my life... and the other hand knows it's good, but feels the pain and "not-at-all fun-ness" of it. I want to go into survival mode where I don't have to think about the implications of my actions and just survive for a while. Maybe no one would fault me for it... we are under lots of stress just living in a third world country.... with twin toddlers and minimal help around the house, full time ministry and language study, sometimes just getting a healthy dinner on the table, clean laundry, and a mopped floor are as unattainable as the underdog getting the gold medal. I don't mean to complain, but honestly we all feel this way at times. But I can't just survive here. If all I needed to do was feed my family and keep house, I could do that anywhere, but I am called here. And I can't not share truth. I can't stop learning language. I can't spend my days grieving what I can't have only to miss the things I do have. So this blog may be mostly for me to write it out to give myself that motivation to press on. Or to ask HIM to give me the motivation and discernment to know what to pour my life into. To open the word when I am discouraged. To write a letter to someone who might also be discouraged. To lovingly prepare dinner and clean my house for HIS glory. To treat my husband with respect. To share truth with my neighbors and intentionally go out to meet people. To study language when a TV show would be much more fun. To invite people over for chai and prayer. To trust that HIS plan is way better than mine and I can trust the future to Him, and He will take care of it.  "Even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you." Phil. 2:17

Encourage someone who is serving around you today. Let them know you support them and let them be real around you. None of us deserve to be on any pedestals except for the one we follow, who saved us. Lift Him High!

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