|Two down, two to go
||[Jul. 2nd, 2008|10:04 pm]
There's a lot that's been going on with me, and a lot I've been thinking about.
There was another round of layoffs at my work recently. I wasn't a part of it, thankfully. But I've been around longer than most of the company, and I know they appreciate my work. If they ever let go of me, you'll know things are really bad. And it may get that bad in a few months. So for the first time in years I've started thinking about finding new work. I've got to get my resume together and be ready if I get fired. It may even be wise to start looking now. Certainly, no one in my current workplace would look down on me for leaving right now. But I do like working there, and I'm not sure what course I should take. And there's something else that is complicating that decision.
For most of the time I have been a Christian, I have been a missionary, at least in my heart. I have gone on several short term mission trips, and I loved the two years I spent in Amsterdam, helping the Zolder get started. I still yearn to go back to the field. I have ever since I got back from Holland. I haven't sought anything yet, though, because I didn't feel it was ever the right time. There have been several things which have held me back.
First, I came back from Holland with a very broken heart. I was incredibly lonely, emotionally beaten up or just exhausted, and I needed some time to rest and heal. I went to counseling for a while, which helped me get back on my feet and learn more about myself. I made good friends here, and got involved in a new group of young people at a fantastic church, which gave me a chance to practice my leadership skills. I am very glad for these things, because I really see how I needed them, and how useful they will be when I eventually do leave the US.
Although I wouldn't admit it, there were some other reasons why I was waiting here, too. First, I have enjoyed having a well paying job. Being constantly broke in Amsterdam wasn't fun. But now, I don't have to worry about money, and I have enough to be generous. I like being financially secure. But when that security keeps me from stepping out to do what I was meant to do, it becomes an idol of materialism. I do not look forward to raising support, and I know I would need to live on about half the income I have now. But I remember the parable of the farmer who scattered his seed, and I do not want these thorns to choke the life out of me. So I have let this go.
And while it can be embarrassing to admit, I think most of my readers will understand when I tell you that I also tarried here because I was hoping to find romance. I am a family man at heart, and I think life in general would be easier if I had someone to share the load. Most of us single people really would like to have that special relationship. I had hope I might find it, but that is gone for now. In good conscience, I cannot date any girl who is not also a missionary at heart, and at this point, I simply don't know anyone like that in the entire state. Part of me still didn't want to leave, until recently, when I was able to let that dream go, stop feeling sorry for myself, and fully embrace the beautiful life God has given me. Another idol out of the way, another dimension of freedom in my life, and another step closer to living my purpose.
Which leaves me with two obstacles I still have. The first and only real issue is that I don't know where I should go. Do I try to go back to Amsterdam? Do I go somewhere else in Europe? Do I go some other continent entirely? I have prayed for guidance, but I haven't really received any. Until recently, I don't suppose I was praying very sincerely. I am now. I feel ready to go, or more accurately ready to start that process. But how do know where to go until I receive God's call?
The second obstacle is less important. Once I figure out where to go, I'm not sure how to get there. There are enough missionary organizations which help with this sort of thing, so I'm not too worried about it. Of course, raising support will be a nightmare - one I'm not looking forward to. But then, I don't suppose anyone really does. If God is calling me to go, though, then he'll either find me the support I need, or he'll have something else really wonderful in mind. Either way, I just follow where he leads me and I'll be okay. Of course, if I were to go back to Amsterdam, I would probably have to raise support through GCM, which could be tricky because I'm not a part of GCM right now. But I'm sure that would work itself out too.
And I can't help but wonder at the timing of all of this. I may lose my job in a few months, and I feel free to pursue becoming a missionary again. Is this God lining things up? Should I be looking for another job at all, or looking at raising support? These thoughts are fresh in my mind, and I don't know the answer yet.
If you have any advice or comments on any of this, I'm all ears. I know what the Bible says about having many counselors.