On the Pursuit of True Happiness and Missionary-ing

17 05 2011

The Pursuit of True Happiness:

I read Mere Christianity again and noticed several times that Lewis talks about our denying true happiness for things we think make us happy.  So, in thinking about that and my life in general and the fact that I’m not getting any younger and that my love life is beginning to look like that of a snail (they don’t mate), it dawned on me.  I refuse to give up my dreams of a family to God.  Then it further dawned on me why: I don’t trust God with it.  I don’t think that God wants me to have a family.  I’m so scared that God wants me to be that Old Maid that I refuse to give my hopes up.  Now, what Lewis said (overtly? covertly? I don’t remember) was basically that if I would just give that up, I would be happier than I am now fighting to have it work my way.

This is what I “know” to be true. God’s plan for me is better than mine. God does not intend to make me miserable.  If God does intend to make miserable, I’ll still be happy about it if I were to actually let it work on me. 

I’m working on turning what I “know” into something I believe.  Something that works on me and changes me.  If God’s plan for me is to be an Old Maid, then I need to trust that it is the BEST possible thing for me and be joyful about it. 

There are some other things needing to go to God.  I have a hard time imagining a life where I can finish school, have a family, and be a missionary.  I’m not creative enough to reconcile all of that.  Thankfully, God is.

Speaking of missionaries…

Missionary-ing:

For several months now I’ve been feeling the missionary in me rising to the surface.  I’ve been reminiscing about Barranquilla and Kyiv and longing for my budget to be in a place that I can afford to go on a trip again.  But, here’s the thing: I don’t want to just go on a trip.  I want to BE a missionary.  I want to relocate, even if it’s just for a couple of months (like I did in Kyiv). 

A few things have contributed to reawakening this desire: 

First, a realization that I am a selfish woman.  My own preoccupation with my budget and my “stuff” MUST STOP.  I need to think outside myself.  I need to do outside myself.  And if I can do it somewhere that challenges my way of day-to-day living (aka: foods I like, language I speak, etc.) all the better.  A complete removal from my comfort zone would be nice.

Then, I’m working on VBS and decided to ask my friend Misael to do a video for the kids on his work in Bolivia.  We’ve joked some about me going to visit.  I really REALLY want to.  Being in touch with him the last few weeks has got me to thinkin….

Finally, I’ve been reading the Very Worst Missionary‘s blog.  I’ve actually read every post that didn’t give me an error when clicking the link.  I can’t help noticing that she talks a lot about missing home and how hard and lonely life away can be.  Granted the most I’ve been gone is 2 months, but I know how that feels. 

When I was in Kyiv, I stayed in a section of the church reserved for missionary teams.  I had a room to myself with 3 beds to choose from.  Very small, but it was “home” for 2 months.  About a month in, a missionary team from Atlanta came to the church.  They asked me to move down for about 4 nights with the women in the drug rehab wing (big church!).  So I did – begrudgingly.  I was homesick.  I missed my mom.  I missed my church.  I was irritated that more people weren’t emailing me to help me fill the void of English-speaking community.  So, one night I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.  I made it just off church grounds, sat down on a bench, and cried for about 30 minutes.  I was so lonely.  Yes, there were people around all the time. Yes, I loved those children (and I still think about them at least once a week).  Yes, the group from Atlanta spoke English.  But I was still lonely.  After that 30 minute cry, I felt much better.  In fact, I made it the rest of the trip without another meltdown.

All that to say this: I’d do it again.  Even knowing the intense loneliness that I felt that night, I’d do it again.  Even knowing the disruption to life-as-we-know-it, I’d do it again.  Even knowing that helping people with communicable diseases often means you’ll get them (strep throat in Barranquilla), I’d do it again. 

I’d like to go back to Colombia. 

Today in History:

2005: Toyota announces plans for Hybrid Camry. 

I know, I know, this seems really boring, but I chose it for a reason.  It reminds me of something that is soooooooo funny!

When I was in grad school I went to a Faith and Ecology seminar in Denton, TX with a couple other students.  Somehow the topic of catheters came up… So, Clayton, a rather funny fella, said he was going to develop catheters that were comfortable: Clayton’s Comfy Catheters.  Then we got on to the topic of electric cars.  Clayton thought it would be a brilliant idea to develop a car that ran on urine.  So, during a long road trip, all you had to do was hook up your Clayton’s Comfy Catheter and keep drinking your soda or tea or whatever.  No pit stops necessary.  Brilliant, right?  It gets brillianter.  Our prof. Dann May said, “It could be called the Toyota Pee-us!”

hahhaahhaaha!!!!

He also said, “Dann Hungry!!” but you probably don’t think that’s as funny as I do.

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2 responses

17 05 2011
Queen G

Jill. I completely understand. Our time in Licking was lonesome. Even though we got close to the people in Missouri, we missed home. Now, we miss being there. We are happy to be with friend and family, and boy was I mad that hardly any of our friends took interest in what we were doing. But it was rewarding to see the people we were able to help.

Go for it. You have our support and prayers!

23 05 2011
so, um, yeah….. « Life Has Never Been Normal

[…] you remember the other day when I blogged about wanting to be a missionary again?  Here is the post in question.  God has an interesting way of giving you what you ask […]

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