30 Days 'Till Blast Off!

As the days tick away and we get closer and closer to departing for Mexico I am getting one question asked over and over. "Are you getting excited?".

I don't quite know how to respond.

Yes. I am excited. No, I'm not feeling very nervous. No, We aren't all packed up (it's hard to live a month with all our stuff packed up!).  But back to being excited.. some days I haven't felt very excited. I feel ready to move on. But some days my excitement for what we're doing wanes. Some days I feel discouraged and unmotivated. Some days I dread learning Spanish and then another language after that. But my desire to do this has not faded.

Some of our dear friends / teachers / mentors / fellow missionaries shared with us one time about how they were feeling as they headed to the airport to leave for New Guinea many years ago. The husband of this couple nearly had a panic attack. He became very afraid, and they nearly did not go. This man is one of the men Don and I respect most in life and one we look to for advice and wisdom. Seeing who he is today it is hard to imagine him nearly backing out so many years ago. But it's got me thinking about how we should feel as we ready for departure.

I have seen a variety of responses from our missionary friends as they ready for the field. And I think it is normal to be dealing with some discouragement as the time grows closer. Not everybody feels that way, some just get more and more excited. I'm sure the devil would like us to curl up in the fetal position and not go. That's not happening even though I have felt a little discouraged at times.  But I'm not going to fake that all I feel is excitement.  I think when believers hide their struggles or true feelings it isolates them from the body of Christ. And that is never good! People are always putting us on a pedestal as if we're something special, or as if we have some super human missionary ability. But it's not true, we're no different than you are.  I am no more capable of a task like this than you. So, these are my honest feelings as I look at myself in the mirror each morning and see who I really am.  I am fully incapable of an endeavor like this. I'm someone who fails in many ways each day. I'm a selfish wife. An inpatient mother. And people are counting on me and trusting that I (and we) will be awesome missionaries! It's a lot of pressure.

But, the truth about all of us is that nobody is cut out for this missionary life. It's going to be hard and on my own, I'm not up for the task. It's reminded me of how important my relationship with the Lord is. It might sound cliche to say, but it really is the truth. I will never succeed in life or ministry without the Lord. He sustains me. He carries me. He keeps me encouraged and energized. He gives me peace and comfort and wisdom and strength and grace. I know that this is only possible because of Him.

Both Don and I have been feeling like our vision and passion for this ministry are being re-kindled and re-shaped lately. Sometimes over the years we've been pursuing this our reasons for doing so can temporarily fade. But every now and then through different circumstances, trials, joys or experiences our fire is re-lit again. As our departure grows closer, I feel like that is happening for us once again. We are passionate about seeing the lost reached, especially those who have never had the chance to hear. So I'm excited to see what God does through me and through Don! How He will sustain us. And how He will make us capable of such a task.

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