Do you ever feel tired and weary, and maybe think you can’t go on any further? Well, I have felt that. And it is a difficult place to be in. Honestly, I felt that way after being on the mission field for only three months. I live in Serbia, and I have loved this country for such a long time. It was like a dream come true to finally be living here after so many years of working toward this. And then tragedy struck. One time after another. Every week for the first two months I was here I got bad news of some sort or something bad happened to me. I couldn’t catch a break, and I started to think that this was going to be my new normal. That is when I realized that what was getting me through all of this was the excitement of my dream coming true, not letting the Lord carry me through all of these things. I was trying to do all of it in my own strength.
One evening at a conference I attended in Hungary, one of my friends was going to perform some music he had written and recorded. I had just found out some bad news about my grandmother earlier that day, so I was in a particularly fragile state. A couple of people at the conference suggested that it might be a good idea for me to go home for a few weeks to be with my grandmother and family after all of these circumstances happening. But I didn’t feel at peace with that decision. I knew I still felt called to be in Serbia, even with everything that was going on at home. I thought about skipping out on my friend’s concert and just going to bed, but something told me to sit through it. So, I went. And God spoke to me clearly through his music. The first verse of the first song went like this: “Don’t give up, don’t go home. Make up your mind today, sister.” I had chills all over my body, I was crying, and laughing simultaneously. Here is the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgMcu0K6b4
I was in shock after hearing that song and hearing how clearly God spoke to me in that moment. I was confident that I wasn’t to go home yet. I know now that it was the nudging of the Holy Spirit for me to go to that concert. Since then, I have been leaning on God to meet my needs and carry me when I need to be carried. I am thankful for the people He has placed in my life in this season…God can show up in many different shapes and sizes; we can’t put Him in a box. Like in a song or in the people He surrounds us with.
I think, as missionaries, we think we are somehow different. That the things that get to other people won’t get to us. Or things that we used to struggle with won’t be a struggle anymore. I am here to say that is not true. That actually might be the opposite of the truth. A lot of times when a new missionary goes onto the field, there is only a small community of believers or none at all. So, our struggles are actually magnified. I learned this the hard way. I struggle with things over here that I never dreamed I would struggle with. That is why my relationship with God is so important. If I am not leaning on Him, then I am leaning on myself and that is a scary thought! He has been so patient and so gentle with me these past 8 months as I have adjusted to being on the field. He has had grace upon grace, and I am thankful for that. I hope and pray that I don’t forget what happened in the first three months of being a field missionary. And I hope God doesn’t have to remind me who I need to rely on again.