People like to refer to events that have many ups and downs as emotional roller coasters. I have even done this from time to time, especially in regards to our adoption. I have been wondering if one could accurately describe missions work as an emotional roller coaster. In my opinion, that’s a “no”. See, the problem is, I like roller coasters. They are fun. I like the ups, I really like the downs. I even like it when you go into a dark tunnel and don’t know which one is coming. Roller coasters are fun (for me). Now, if you don’t like them, I can see how you could equate emotionally unstable events in your life to a roller coaster, but I do like them, so the analogy just doesn’t work for my brain–at least not for an experience as long term as this one.
I would refer to this experience as something closer to a horror flick. I do not like horror stories. I do not watch them anymore. When I used to, I couldn’t sleep at night. So, I choose to avoid them. From my younger years, I know that there are funny parts, there are parts that make you go, “awwww”, and then WHAM! there is a bad part. Totally unexpected (in good horror films), someone/something pops up to ruin the day and the character is left running for their life in sheer terror. Yes, I believe this is a more accurate description of missions work. There are funny parts, there are parts that melt your heart, there are also parts that make you want to run, screaming, to your mommy for comfort. Unfortunately, your mommy is no where to be found. Why? Well, because you have left everything familiar and comfortable behind. You are in the middle of, what often feels like, another planet. Everything is strange, comfort is hard to find. Perhaps this should be a sci-fi horror film.
So, why am I choosing to live this life when I generally avoid the types of films that I can equate it to? Well…there are a few major differences. For one, there is a point. The point is that people need to know Jesus. Someone has to tell them. A few extra people in heaven is worth me not knowing when the next “bad guy” is going to jump out from behind the door to scare the crud out of me or just plain ruin my day. Two, I don’t have a mommy to run to, but I do have Jesus. Learning to rely more fully in Him is worth it. He brings great comfort time and time again and always just when we need it most. It’s not the comfort we are used to, surely, but it is there all the same. Third, each day is a new day and all the bad things that happened the day before can so quickly be forgotten when God reveals to us a part of His plan for our being here. It’s good to have those little reassurances every once in a while. Fourth, we know it is not all about us (even though the reasons I already listed are about us). Sure, we are learning things through this process (MAJOR things), but that’s not the over all point. We are here to serve a purpose, we are here because God called us to be here. Being anywhere else would surely have much more horrid consequences than serving in missions.
In case anyone wonders, I am writing this from a very good place. There have been no recent horrors, but this almost assures me that one is right around the corner. I am ready, I think I am ready… Oh boy.