These past several weeks, I have felt like a hero from one of the good stories of old. You know… the ones that were once told around campfires and at festivals by storytellers. The kinds of stories that people would sit around for hours listening to them because they couldn’t bear the thought of walking away and always wondering what happens next. I feel like I’m a hero (or something) who has spent the last few weeks frolicking in meadows and walking through dark scary forests (with lions and tigers and bears and other such terrifying creatures), being encouraged by wise mentors and having to fight the scary villains that appear along the way, looking forward at the vast unknown of life overseas and also looking at the people and places that I will be leaving behind. In all of this, one of the things that has amazed me most is that, rather than inviting people to listen to some ancient tale that happened long ago, I get to invite people into the journey as it is happening now. They get to become a real part of the journey as they too get to walk through scary forests and enjoy lovely naps in the sun, battle dragons and maybe a few giants while also occasionally befriending unlikely characters along the way. My expectations of who I would be in this process and how the journey would begin have been totally turned upside down in a truly fantastic way.
- I thought that I would be like an epic character from one of my favorite stories- like Aragorn or William Wallace making one of their epic motivational speeches before battle. I thought I would get to welcome people into the adventure of living in God’s Kingdom with me…and look really, really cool doing it. The truth is, I may have had a few moments of feeling truly awesome, but I have also had plenty of moments of awkwardness and uncomfortable silences (the parts they edit out of movies and can only be found sometimes in the unabridged versions of books). In the midst of some incredible events that I wish I could have videotaped and shown people because they showcase my occasional awesomeness, I have also had many moments of not being the epic one.
- After this last training, I wanted to come back and be the sagely one who would come back and share her bountiful wisdom about the overseas world with the people at home. I pictured myself being the old, wise one who people could come to for advice about a plethora of topics and could speak for hours on the deeper aspects of the vision I have been given for this journey. The truth is… I often feel much more like a child. When people ask questions, I often feel like I just get to point to my Father and trust Him to translate in their hearts the things I can’t explain or don’t have words for.
Ultimately, I thought I would walk through this process much like a person who has it all put together, but have found that I am much more like a child, running through my Father’s kingdom (bare feet and all), occasionally stumbling and fumbling and falling, but ultimately growing closer to my Father and inviting others to do the same.
I have found that our journeys are much less about having fantastic theological answers or looking really awesome in our walk God or having a brilliant work ethic that shows we are serious about what God has called us to do and much more about growing closer to our Father and bringing others to intimacy with Him. It’s less about us feeling accomplished in what we’ve done or are about to do, and much more about walking with Him and trusting Him to be the one who ultimately changes people’s hearts and moves them to join the adventure. We just get to be a part of the process and a part of the journey; living out of a place of His ultimate victory.