Previously on Droll Digression:
God has allowed me to unwind, and taught me to trust Him with my future and see the smaller picture.
Once I was able to grasp the concept of viewing every day as my full-time ministry, life was a little easier to take. On a good day, I would wake up, have my quiet time, and look around for ways to serve. On a bad day, I was either incredibly lazy (big shocker there!) or right back to my worrying self. Things were looking up, but I was still praying for a more long-term direction with my life. Having peace wasn't the same as having an answer for those who wanted to know what I was going to do with my degree. There was always someone asking, and every conversation along those lines left me frustrated with my lack of direction. I still felt stranded in darkness, but I was no longer afraid, because I knew that I wasn't lost, but right where I was supposed to be.
Around this time God began to show me that this has often been the way He does things. For example, in Sunday School we are going through the Gospel of John. One Sunday my teacher noted that John the Baptist was led out to the desert, and spent some time there before his ministry began. It was so comforting to me to know that I wasn't the only one who felt they'd been taken out to a desolate place before their life's purpose came to fruition. What was John doing in the wilderness before he began to preach? I can only assume that he was drawing near to God.
That Sunday it became clear to me that even though I don't know what my future holds-I don't know if I'll ever get married, I don't know if I'll ever have a great job, or if I'll ever have enough money to buy a motorcycle or restore an old volkswagen beetle or bus-I do know that I have a great God, and that I could never cease to know Him and His Word better. I also realized that, rather than sit around waiting to be told what to do with my life, I should be preparing for whatever it is that God would have me do. If He called me to the mission field, would I be in-shape enough to work for Him? If He calls me to teach His Word, do I know it well enough to teach it? If He calls me to be a wife and mother, am I disciplined enough to care for a household and support my husband and children? Even if the answer was "maybe," it was obvious to me that I needed much improvement in all of these areas. This improvement became my day-to-day mission.
As I slowly grew closer to the Lord in these ways (and oh, oh! how far I have to go!) He began to answer some of my prayers. When I was willing to set long-term goals aside, He gave me a few. First, He allowed me to remember that I would have the free time to serve at Camp this year - something I very much wanted to do last year, but couldn't get the time off for.
Second, He allowed me to remember Wycliffe.
Back when I was still swamped with schoolwork, a missionary and good friend of our pastor's family visited my church while on furlough. She works for Wycliffe Bible Translators as a teacher to the children of missionaries in Africa. At the time, I was considering working to become an English teacher, so I was very interested in what she had to say. The next day I got online, and while I was looking for information regarding teaching, I discovered something called T.O.T.A.L - a Taste of Translation and Linguistics. It was a week-long workshop-type-thing in which you could see if Bible translation was something you could do, or you were interested in. It sounded amazing, but the only one near enough for me to attend happened to fall on my finals week.
For months I had completely forgotten that TOTAL existed, or that I had ever considered working with Wycliffe. Then, one evening, I was talking to Mom about the future. I don't remember all that was said, except that I mentioned the missionary who had visited earlier. As soon as I said her name, I remembered TOTAL. The next day I excitedly looked into it and signed up. During the first week of June, I'll be TOTAL-ing it up! It's been wonderful waiting for it. Whenever I am tempted to grow discontent, the Lord reminds me that He gave me a plan through June, and that He is faithful to take care of me after that, too. I don't know what to expect when I go. It could be that the Lord calls me to Bible translation, or it could be that He calls me to work in another area with Wycliffe, or it could be that He uses this to show me that He isn't calling me to such missions. I'm open to anything, and I'm praying that I stay that way.
God is good, my friends. Even when the future looks very bleak, we can trust Him! Even when all of the wisdom being given to us doesn't seem to mesh with our lives, He can make sense of it! He is marvelous! Who is like Him?
I want to end with a bit of realism. While God has been showing me so many things, I have not been receiving them perfectly. In fact, far from it! The more He blesses me, the harder it is to fight laziness. Some days I don't even struggle, I just give in whole-heartedly. I hate it. I hate the sluggishness that clings to my eyes when it's time to wake up, I hate feeling so lethargic when I need to work. I am so LAZY! If you don't believe me, you should see my bedroom. But I do hate it, and I am fighting it. God is faithful. By His strength, I will win this battle.
He is worthy of all praise! Worship the Good Shepherd, my fellow sheep! Bow before Him, for He is faithful!