I don't know about you all, but I think it's been far too long since we had a Show Your Real post...We were going strong as a monthly series, but I dropped the ball on coordinating things, so we took a little unintended break. Thankfully, there are a still a bunch of super wise, super awesome ladies lined up to share, and today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one such lady: Danielle is a blog-friend-of-a-blog-friend, so I haven't gotten to meet her in person...and since she lives in Bangkok, that's probably not going to happen any time soon. But- what I love about Danielle, in getting to know her through her writing, our writers' Facebook group, and some google hangouts, is that though her life may seem totally unrelatable (she lives in Thailand with her missionary husband, and their two adopted teenage girls....Not exactly what I deal with daily...) she, herself, is totally relatable. She's encouraging, honest, and all around good stuff. So I'm thankful to have her posting here today.
A year and a half ago, my husband and I picked up our suburban, happy, well- established life and moved overseas to serve as missionaries in Bangkok. He had been working with this particular organization traveling to South America for years, and was now going to be doing the same thing traveling throughout Asia.
Obviously, the decision to move was hard. I really liked my life. And there was a lot of sadness that came from knowing that it would never be the same.
With that decision also came lots of praise. People in the church seemed so impressed by us. It was a similar reaction to when we adopted our girls. People talked about our “selflessness” and “great faith”, and in an instant I felt like the world’s biggest hypocrite.
When we adopted our girls, I was a hot mess of emotions throughout the entire process. God certainly used it to grow my faith, but I wrestled with him at every turn. Then, when we brought the girls home, there were tears for months. They couldn’t speak English, and I couldn’t figure out how to communicate things with them. It was a rough few months that would probably not have been best described as selfless or characterized by great faith.
Moving overseas was no different.
I thought I would do well on this little adventure. I thought the gospel would trump my need for comfort and that I would instantly become the “selfless, faith-filled missionary” everyone thought I already was.
Well, I didn’t. I had one of the hardest years of my life, in a country that is far from difficult to live in. I was not only in culture shock, but I was so sidetracked from the kingdom purposes God had used to draw us here. All I could think of was getting back home.
The reality was I was still a hot mess. I was no holier, or more obedient than those who were living “normal” lives in their home countries. I was a sin-filled, cry baby at times.
But, God was the same overseas. He was slow to anger, and gracious to me. He brought to the surface the sin that had been brewing in my heart. He relentlessly pursued worked through the many things that clearly still needed to be worked through.
The reality is moving overseas as a missionary brought a lot of my junk to the surface. It revealed a ton about God and a ton about me. Unfortunately it didn’t reveal this quietly obedient heart whose main purpose was to honor God among the nations.
I believe he is getting me there with some time, lots of grace, and unwavering patience. And for that I am grateful.
Show Your Real is a series of guest posts centered around the concept of authenticity. The goal is to encourage each other to expose the reality of our lives- good and bad- and to foster a sense of community that goes beyond the often surface-y interactions of social media. And you're all invited to participate! Please write, caption, comment, link, and hashtag to spread the #showyourreal love. And if you would like to contribute a guest post to the series, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org).