missionary momYou sold your things, you packed up your children, got your shots, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Following your husband to the ends of the earth, to be a missionary. This was your dream, your greatest ambition. You had it all worked out in your mind. You envisioned it with great joy. Believing somehow God could use you to change the world, turning it upside down.

You made it through the long flight, enduring leg cramps, and grouchy children. And then the plane landed. You were there, you had made it to the place where all your dreams would come true. A couple of weeks later, as reality and culture shock hit, however, you wonder where you went wrong.

I know because this was my story. I couldn’t wait to get to the other side of the world. I couldn’t wait to be used of God. I longed to be about what God had called me to. Yet, somehow along the way, through the stress and spiritual oppression. I found myself wanting to just get back on the plane and head for home.

Somehow being a missionary wasn’t as glamorous as I had thought. Because life still takes place every day. Instead of being about ministry, I found myself being about the wash and cooking. Which seems to take twice as long. I found myself sitting at the table helping the kids with their homework. And I wondered, what was I doing here. Where are you God? What happened to my dream? This is not what I had planned.

But you see God wasn’t done. I have learned that God is at work even in the mundane.

Often as missionaries, we think God will use us to change a nation, leading people to know Him. And certainly He does use us. But more often than not, He also uses the nation and the people to change us.

It’s hard to find ones’ place on the field. It’s hard to feel you belong, when you stand out everywhere you go. But, each day, God is using these things to strip away the junk. Each day God is molding and shaping you, to get you ready for more.

“Unless a grain of wheat dies, it can not bear fruit.” This is the verse that repeatedly went through my head upon our arrival on the field. And God whispered to my soul. I know this isnt’ fun, I know this isn’t what you had in mind, but I’m at work here. Because until you are dead to yourself, only then can I live fully through you. Until you are dead to yourself, and I am fully on the throne in your life. You can not and will not bear fruit. For apart from Me, you can do nothing.

So to the missionary mom, to the one who is discouraged. To the one who is questioning the why’s and just want to go home. I want to encourage you and say you aren’t alone. And though it is painful, God is indeed up to something more.