There is beauty in the going.
I am getting ready to go on a two-month outreach to Uganda. I am going to Africa! The adventurer within me jumped at this immediately, but lately I've felt mostly just felt tired. Extreme excitement and expectancy has slowly morphed into what am I doing? It would be easier to just stay, more comfortable, less money spent. Honestly it doesn’t just feel overwhelming- it is overwhelming. I have no idea what will happen, who I will meet, how I will feel or what it is going to look like.
On top of all of this, this time, as an outreach leader I have way more to think about. The excitement of the going can be drowned under the weight of everything: the expectations, the to-do list, the pressure, and the logistics. Everything from a to z seems to pile up. It becomes an uphill battle that feels as if I will never be able to win.
Through this process, I've been learning: facing the field isn’t easy, but there is something beautiful about it.
In this season I’ve had the privilege of being in the business of discipleship and now I get to take that same adventure out into the nations. I’ve been able to walk with people as they seek Jesus and see His transformation in their lives. Not only do I get to now go and do that in the nations, I get to see God move in the hearts of men in a brand new place I’ve never been before. I get to fall in love with the people of Uganda and serve them with all that I have. I get to learn more of God’s heart and experience an unfamiliar culture; I get to encounter within this culture a completely different expression of worship from my own.
A couple of days ago I felt God nudging me to come sit with him by the ocean. For a few minutes I sat there, in awe of His creation, in awe of His faithfulness as He spoke encouragement and life over me. The warm sun, a cool breeze, a few simple and precious moments with my heavenly Father- and I was caught up in Him. Everything, every burden and worry fell away as I sat there with God.
And God spoke:
"The difficulties do not outweigh the beauty, they are in fact overshadowed by it."
It may feel overwhelming preparing to face the field. Facing the unknowns, the stress of getting everything planned and ready is challenging but is it all so worth it. Everything difficult about going out onto the mission field is so insignificant in light of what you gain by going. The beauty is in the going: walking hand in hand with God into the unknown you gain an adventure, an increased dependence on Him, character growth, a faith increase, a glimpse of the beauty of the Father, an expanded heart for a different people group, moments to learn and grow in relationships, and opportunities to love and speak life over people across the world.
The process of facing and going into the mission field is one of refining.
The challenges, the difficulties, the experiences good and bad, God uses all of this to refine us, to mold us like clay more and more into His image. He uses little details, like our struggles and our joys during the adventure to make us better and for us to know Him more.
My challenge is: TRUST.
I must submit to Him, submit to the process. I need to go into missions with open hands and an expectant heart, ready and eager to watch how God moves.
I’m all in for this journey in the field, and I’m not so overwhelmed anymore.
Whatever it looks like, God- I want the end result to be more of you.