Tonight was my last night with a two month commitment that started 18 months ago. A commitment that was supposed to be simply filling in as an interpreter for a short time turned into TTY phone calls, letters and weekly visits for 18 months.
I loved it from the get-go. I dreaded it every Wednesday from the get-go. The look on the man’s face tonight reminded me why I never “called in sick”. The deep hug as he walked out the door for the last time reminded me why I never acted on the grumbling and frustrations I always seemed to have at the last minute.
God wanted me involved in this man’s spiritual growth. I agreed to it because “two months” sounded incredibly noncommital. Exhausted college students like noncommital things. God kept me coming even past the two month commitment date because He knew I needed that connection to the culture and language of my heart.
I learned seeveral things about ministry while loving up on this man for almost the past 2 years.
1) The more you dread the task, the more God’s work shocks you.
2) Most of what God does through you is incredibly miniscule and unseen– that’s okay.
3) The more you tell God you’re too weak to serve, the longer He surprises you with the strength to serve anyway.
4) You can go in thinking people need you and you will always leave feeling as if you needed them.
5) The second you learn to trust God with your time, resources and energy, He’ll trust you with His time resources and energy.
6) Heart involvment isn’t an option, it’s a necessity.
I closed the chapter of a huge part of my heart this evening as this man and I said our final good byes. He started out as a mission of mine and ended up a friend who taught me just as much as he learned from me.
Welcome to the unsung beauty of missions, Friends. Missions isn’t always romantically beautiful… but it can stlil change your life forever.