I remember thinking about missions before we had arrived overseas. I imagined it out, excited, and also scared at times. I knew some of what to expect, from growing up overseas, but being an mk is not the same as being the grown up missionary.
Details were fuzzy in my imagination of the future, but one thing that was generally in my dreams about my life overseas was production. We were going to go somewhere, and be a part of doing all of these great things, and have all of these results to show for it.
Success. Some of us are so success oriented aren’t we? Maybe even most of us. That’s not necessarily a bad thing actually. But what do we do when we don’t attain the success that we were grasping for? Or when we realize that God’s definition of success and our definition are not quite the same thing?
We’ve been overseas for a few years now. There have been some pretty neat things that we’ve been given the privilege of being a part of. There have been successes, by our definition of the word.
There have also been periods of time where it’s hard to see the progress. Where being a missionary looks less like going out and doing all of these great things, and more like trying to be a good example in front of the kids when mom or dad has been sick for two straight weeks.
Those are the times when I’m tempted to wonder why God brought me here. How do I glorify Him by being sick and unable to do what it is that I thought He wanted me to do?
I’m still mulling this one over, because we are in the midst of one of those phases right now. There is amazing stuff happening around us, which is super encouraging! We want to be more involved in it! But life for us personally is little steps forward. We are progressing, but can we really call it success?
And we are back to the continual questions, “Who calls the shots in my life? Whose version of success do we go with?”
Because maybe success is choosing that right attitude when all I want to do is pout like my 2 year old. Or just acceptance that I. am. not. in. control. Maybe God counts it a success when He sees my stubborn, stubborn will bend a little and trust Him a little more even though I don’t understand everything that’s going on.
We tell our kids often, “We’re here on earth to glorify God.” I guess we are all in varying processes of internalizing that truth. God is the One who chooses what it means to glorify Him. And He wants everything, not just what I can “do” for Him.