I always seem to be living on the edge. Never knowing for sure that I’m going to make it. Wondering how I’m going to make it from one week to the next. Having no idea where I’m headed, or what I’m supposed to be doing. I’ve been told to just decide what I want to do and do it. So easy to say. Much harder to do.
I mean, you can talk about trusting God, and it’s cool for a month, maybe two. It’s exciting, kind of an adrenaline rush. But when it turns into a long-term thing, and you have no assurance that you’re ever going to have any kind of stability, it gets much harder. Trusting God for the short term isn’t easy, but it’s way easier than trusting Him when things continually don’t work out the way you had hoped.
I remember hearing a talk at Ignite almost two years ago about some of the GCM people that went to the mission field somewhere, moved their whole families and all that. But when they got there everything started falling apart. They lost sponsors and all kinds of craziness. And the church plant just wouldn’t get off the ground. They had spent like a whole year like that when they came to speak at Ignite. Some of their team had given up and gone back home.
They were wondering if they had been mistaken about where God wanted them to go. They were wondering if they were doing something wrong. They had no assurance that they would be able to make it financially from month to month. And they had no assurance that they were making any difference in the country they were in. They were miserable. I don’t know whatever happened to that ministry and those people. I don’t know if they gave up and went home, or if things improved, or if they just kept enduring.
I’m not saying I don’t trust God. I just wonder if there’s something I should be doing differently. Something I’m missing. It just hurts to feel like you have no stability and no goal. It’s like, I don’ t know where I’m going, and I have no idea how I’m going to get there. Like being lost in the dark and running out of gas.
Should I stay on this road and hope that a gas station or road sign will appear? Should I try to go back to where I came from? Should I turn at the next intersection? Should I just stop and spend the night in my car on the side of the highway?
The only thing I know for sure that I want (being a wife and a mom) is something I have no control over. Aside from that, I just want to serve God and people somehow doing something that I am good at and enjoy. I don’t have any huge career goals because I don’t plan to be doing it my whole life. I want to be a mom. I want to help people. I want to serve God. I want to have fun doing those things.
The best thing I could imagine would be to somehow serve with my husband and make ministry a family thing. Not necessarily in “full-time” ministry (but maybe). Just feeling like we serve as a family. Like when I’m with my parents & brothers and we’re doing puppets all together and each of us has a role. That’s what I want to do with my life.
To me the greatest thing about serving God is doing it with people that I love. If I’m serving with people I don’t know and don’t connect with, it’s really hard. That’s why I keep staying in Columbia. Because at least here I have people that I care about that I can serve with.
But right now I have no husband and no kids. So I have to figure out how to do it by myself. Maybe that’s just wimpy. I never thought I’d see the day when getting married and having kids was such a strong pull for me. But then, I’m not the same person that arrived at MU in August 1999.
I just don’t have any strong inclination to go anywhere specific or do anything specific. Even if I stay in Columbia by default, I have no idea what I want to do. I feel like my life is on hold. Someone told me recently, “There isn’t a formula to figure it all out, but if you have no goals or ambition then you have no momentum to lead you anywhere and you will just stay where you are comfortable.”
That’s true in a way. Inertia keeps me here (and I mean here not only in a physical sense) because there is nothing to push me to do something else, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable. Because I have this feeling that I should be doing something. Not necessarily leaving this place (but maybe). But just doing something different.
But just changing for the sake of changing is silly. I need something to change TO. That’s the dilemma. And I realize no one can solve the riddle for me. It’s just good to hash it out.
And I know it’s hard for a lot of you to imagine being in my place because when you’re in the middle of school and you assume it will just all work out after graduation. And for a lot of people it does. Your degree provides you a job that you enjoy. Or you marry the love of your life. Or you go on staff just like you always wanted. But that doesn’t always happen.