Last week I was in North Carolina for my missionary orientation for TEAM. As most people in my life know, I will be moving to the Czech Republic to work as a church planter and to teach English.
Orientation was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much and I am so grateful to the TEAM staff for all of the work, effort and care that goes into the training and into each individual preparing to go out into the field. My brain is still on overload from all of the information, but I feel confident and equipped to take the next steps in this journey.
I also had the honour of meeting and getting to know some incredible people. I wish there had been more time to talk to everyone and hear their stories, and learn about what they are going to do. It was inspiring to see so many like-minded people coming together, and to share an instant connection because we’re all going out into the world to spread the gospel.
I could go on and on about how wonderful the experience was, but I want to focus on something that really stood out for me. One of the TEAM staff members shared about his years of working in missions, and all the stress and joy and struggle and excitement that goes with it. He warned all of us that being in the missions field will often mean having to give up our lives. He talked about how hard it is to leave family and friends, comfort zones, and ministries, and how the unexpected will happen and things will often be beyond on our control.
And he finished this with 3 simple words. “It’s worth it.”
I began to reflect on my own journey to be a full time missionary up to this point. It has happened fast, and somewhat unexpectedly, but it has been very God driven from the beginning.
A year ago I was not thinking about moving to the Czech Republic to be a missionary. Now I look back and see how God placed each stepping stone on my path to get me here.
I completed the lengthy and overwhelming application process in 4 months, and never once had any fears or doubts about what I was doing.
Because God told me to do it.
Everything has simply fallen into place since the very beginning. Because it has all come directly from God.
This has made me reflect back on various times in my life – through struggles, joy, frustration, laughter, and stress; in the times and events where I was following God and surrendering to Him, it was all worth it, both the good and the bad.
In the times where I tried to control things and step ahead of God’s plan, the outcome was never worth it. I was often left with pain or regret.
As I look back over the years, I see how God has led me here. Even when I ignored Him or pushed Him away, He has always found a way to steer me back to His purpose. And His purpose has always been worth it.
Missions has been a passion of mine for many years, but I look at my journey and where I am now, and recognize how perfect God’s timing is.
I wasn’t ready for this 5 years ago or even 3 years ago. I was still dealing with too many struggles, too many unhealed wounds, too many fears. It was something I wanted, but I was not equipped for. And God knew that.
God placed me on a journey to grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally, so that He could bring me here to this moment. He planned it all so perfectly.
So I could be ready.
And all of the time it took to get me, all of the stress and struggles and uncertainties, it was all worth it.
Anything we do for God and with God is worth it.
It’s easy to get ahead of ourselves and try to push our own agenda on Him. As humans, we are generally not good with the unknown, and we are often not very patient. We want the answers here and now.
It’s important to remember that it’s not about our timeline – it’s about His.
The waiting and the unknown are worth it if we are following His will.
A few years ago I finally, truly surrendered control of my life to God. And it has been worth it ever since.
In surrendering, I finally found freedom.
I found peace.
I found joy.
I found a deep, deep faith.
I discovered how truly powerful, amazing and breath-taking God’s love for me is.
And it is so worth it.
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