For as long as I can remember, I've had an adventurous spirit that always seemed to take me to far-away places.
You know how some girls get giddy with excitement when they walk into a store with pretty shoes and cute accessories? Yeah, I've never really experienced that, but that's how I feel when I have a plane ticket in my hands. Sometimes I almost think I can hear the pages of my passport scream, "Stamp me! Stamp MEEE!"
I had a light-up globe in my room at home and sometimes I'd look at it at night and just imagine what it must be like in India and Zimbabwe and Lebanon, and other far-off places. The thought of traveling and experiencing the world was exhilarating to me.
Because of my dad's job (which involves a lot of travel), I was able to travel a good bit as a kid. Each time I went overseas, I felt like I was in my element. Some people want to stay in nice hotels and have a luxurious vacation, but I loved the excitement of living like a local.
Some of my fondest memories are of digging wells in hot, humid Sri Lanka. Each day I'd come back looking like I had taken a mud bath. After making sure there were no snakes or spiders in the shower, I'd get clean in the freezing water and sit on the porch of our bungalow with a cup of tea, soaking up the simplicity of life over there. I. LOVED. it.
Through all of my travels and time away from home, I never really experienced being homesick. I missed my family, of course, but I knew they would always be at home and never really thought twice about leaving.
But for some reason, at the age of 24, I feel a strange longing for home. I can't even believe I just wrote that! You'd think that I would have felt this when I was a 6-year-old kid on an airplane all by myself. But nope, crazy me has it all backwards and had a delayed reaction I suppose.
I think that I'm beginning to see the realistic side of living far away from home, while it used to just seem romantic and exotic. Going on a short-term trip is one thing, but missing out on holidays, and graduations and weddings...that's when it starts to hurt. And not even just the big stuff. I miss the simple things about being at home with my family. Just going on walks and sitting around the dinner table and hanging out with my friends.
When Jesus called the disciples, he said, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Without hesitation, they dropped their nets and immediately followed him. They didn't have time to say goodbye to their families or anything. They dropped everything to follow Him.
The message of the Gospel is becoming much more real to me now that I'm living on the opposite side of the continent. I'm understanding the weight of the sacrifice it takes to follow Christ to the ends of the earth. It doesn't just mean going on a fun trip and getting a stamp in my passport. It means giving up time with the ones I love the most. So am I really willing to do this?
There was a day last week when all I wanted to do was get in my car and just start driving home. It's tough to be alone, especially when I can't clearly see how God is using me or where He is leading me. BUT- I know God is faithful and He loves each one of us more than we can even begin to fathom. He loves me. He loves me. HE loves ME.
Silly me for forgetting that.
When I answered the call to missions as a young teenager, I may not have fully understood what that meant, but I don't doubt that God really was calling me. So even though it's tough and confusing and all I want to do is go home, I know I need to persevere.
God is faithful. He always has been and I know He will be this time too.
How have you experienced His faithfulness?