I'm not gonna lie. I'm in a bit of what I'm going to describe as a "MISSIONARY FUNK" right now. Don't worry - it's all good. The Lord's got this thing. . . . this I know. My "missionary funkedness" is but a season, and one in which I feel sure that my faith will increase as I seek the face of the Lord and cling to Him.
I am defining it as a "MISSIONARY FUNK" because as opposed to a regular funk, it has a lot to do with the transitions that occur on the mission field and within mission organizations, and a lot to do with being an alien in a culture that I can't completely understand. Typically, I heart most things about my host culture, but from time to time I just want to put on my ruby red slippers and click my heels together. (Just so you know, in my mind when I have clicked my slippers and open my eyes, I'm at to Super Target:)
I am overcome with sadness right now, and yet I do have JOY. My sadness is the result of people coming and going, the deprivation of my own flesh, the reality that I WANT to please others but sometimes despite my best efforts I CAN NOT, and the hurt I share with others that are hurting. The grief of loss - I since it all around me right now, and it hurts. Joy is lurking, from the backseat . . . but at this moment, a tranquil sense of sadness is driving.
I just finished a book (praise me * praise me* I RARELY start/finish books. I tend to just fall asleep when I sit still -so this is HUGE FOR ME!) by Mary Beth Chapman called Choosing to See. It was an inspiring, difficult recount of a journey that she never saw herself on or would want to be on. I cried every single time I picked it up. She lost a young child, and the book was a transparent, gut wrenching look into how this altered the course of her life, her faith, her family's life, etc. The Lord is totally glorified in this book, even in the midst of a painful mess. Ultimately, it was about a time of proving one's faith. Mary Beth Chapman has cried out to the Lord, and He has clearly strengthened her, surrounded her with loving support, and allowed her to be a mighty voice for Him. But, even as glorifying as that it is, I doubt that she would have chosen those circumstances to prove her faith.
And so, I have been sitting with the question, "What are you, child of God, gonna do - who will you be - when the Lord tests your faith? Will your thoughts, actions, deeds PROVE that you know, trust, love the sovereign God of the universe when the outcome is not one you like?" This question haunts me right now. It terrifies me. I shudder at the implications.
Coincidentally (or not) I have been working thru what it means in biblical terms to "fight the good fight." 1 Timothy 1:18 "This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance wit the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight, keeping faith and good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith."
So, soon, oh so soon, I will share with you what I am discovering about fighting the good fight.
And as for the sadness, I am clinging to the light unto my feet:
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
"Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy," Psalm 30:11
P.S. For worried moms/mother-n-laws (and anyone else prone to worry) out there who may read this, DON'T WORRY. I have NOTHING to complain about - there is not something specific that has happened or some devastating event that you don't know about. My pain is of the empathetic nature, and about a current season in my journey of faith.