I first have to apologize for not updating my blog in a long time. Eesh, I promise I’ll work on getting better at this.
This time of formation with Family Missions Company has been wonderful and blessed beyond measure. I am extremely excited to tell you that I will be spending at least the next year in Malaybalay, Philippines serving and telling people about the amazing, fulfilling love our Lord has for them!
A couple weeks ago, before returning home to spend time with our families for Christmas, the other new missionaries and I were honored with a special commissioning mass to celebrate becoming missionaries! We received missionary crosses and the priest gave us a special blessing.
The inspiration for this blog post comes from a few questions that I’ve been asked a lot lately; “Are you scared? Are you going to miss your family? How long do you plan on doing this?” I seem to always take a deep breath before answering and no matter how many times I’m asked I can never get my response to come out right. Even though they’re normal questions to be asked, and I would probably ask them too if I wasn’t the one becoming a missionary, it never gets easier to answer them! So, I’ve been praying about why that is for a while and I really felt the Lord answering each of the questions for me through one word: love. Without the undeniable knowledge that God loves me, I could not do this. Without the burning desire to share this love with His sons and daughters, the poorest of the poor, who are in situations that no human should ever find themselves in, I couldn’t do this. Without the longing to share my knowledge of salvation, which is only possible through His love, I couldn’t do this!
In Matthew 17:1, the Transfiguration, Jesus calls Peter, James, and John to the top of Mount Tabor. I can imagine how beautiful the view of the whole area of Galilee was from the top of the mountain, and not to mention the beauty of the transfiguration. However, I’m sure that if you were the disciples, not only do you love the glory that the Lord is showing you, but you also love that it’s just you and Jesus. The disciples wanted to be there because He was there, but Jesus soon told them that they would have to leave. I can imagine them begging the Lord to stay; “Lord I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave this.”
I can relate to the disciples in this situation. I’ve been preparing to leave my family to go halfway around the world. It would’ve been so easy to say “No Lord. I’m not going to the Philippines because it’s going to be hard, and I don’t want to leave school or my family and friends.” It would’ve been so much easier to just become a nurse! “God, can’t I glorify you in becoming a nurse?!”
Again I hear the disciples say, “Lord, I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave this.” They do end up leaving… They go from the top of Mount Tabor, and eventually to the top of Mount Calvary. We all love the story of the transfiguration. We all love being comfortable and having everything we need. However, did anyone get saved at the transfiguration? No. Our redemption happened at Mount Calvary. The world was saved by Jesus emptying Himself on the cross.
It’s hard to go to the cross. It’s hard knowing that I’m not going to see my family for months, and it’s even harder knowing that I have no idea why God has asked me to go to the Philippines. “God, I don’t want to go to Calvary, but if you’ll be there, then I want to go too. If you’re calling me to the cross, Lord, I’ll go, if you go.”
God is asking me to leave a lot of things, but He’s also calling me to a greater love for His people and a deeper commitment to Him. When times get really hard, when I feel lost and I miss my family the only thing that will pull me through is love. The love that I know God has for me. The love that I know God has for the people of the Philippines. The love that I know God has for you. Jesus left Mount Tabor and went to Mount Calvary because He loves us. The Lord has called me to follow Him, to leave my family, and go to the Philippines because He trusts me to share his love with those who don’t know Him. Of course I’m scared. I’ll absolutely miss my family! I have no idea how long God is going to need me to do this, but Lord, if you go, I want to go too.