We’ve been on pre-field for a little over a year now. And what were realizing is that this phase of life has some unique challenges in it. We want to give you a glimpse of what those are… and the “pros” that accompany them.
5. Loneliness. Apart from the few people we went through New Missionary Orientation and trainings with, we know very few people who are pursuing international missions. So feeling like the only ones going through this can leave us feeling lonely.
Pro: Allen and I are learning to rely more on each other and more on the Lord in our times of loneliness. It’s so tempting to just turn on Netflix or scroll Instagram and zone out. But we are learning to tune into how the other is doing and connect instead of disconnect.
4. Setting Goals… and Falling Under Attack. It seems that every time we set a goal (for example, to be at 70% of our monthly funding by July 31), we face a huge wave of attacks. This month – this week! – we found out our van needs a new (or used or rebuilt) transmission. Simultaneously, my grandfather’s health is declining and he is preparing to enter eternity. Allen’s classes have been crazy stressful. But as soon as we stop striving, things mellow out and it’s pretty smooth sailing.
Pro: We have to rely on the Lord to provide our partners and funding. We have to go to battle and fight for what He has called us to. And we have to do it together. Remember how He provided 50% in like 6 weeks last summer?! That was amazing.
3. Balance. Marriage, kids, ministry, work, school, prefield… finding a way to make them all mix and meld together is a challenge. It’s hard to strike that great balance between all. the. things.
Pro: I stopped folding our kids’ clothes. They just get jumbled up in their drawers anyway. So now, I sort the laundry into three basket (one for each of them) and just toss the clothes into their dressers. We’ve learned to simplify and reflect on our priorities, which had been super helpful. Also, all of our shirts in the picture below say “exhausted” (parent version) or “exhausting” (kid version). That about sums it up.
2. Desiring to be In-Country. Especially after our site visit, our hearts are for Togo. The people are all beautiful… but many of them are spiritually lost and in dire need of a Savior. Already, we want to be there serving them and sharing the Good News. But it isn’t our time yet.
Pro: We get more time in America, with our friends and family!
1. Counting the Cost. We are excited to be on pre-field… but that means having to count the cost of following Christ. Giving up our home, vehicles, most of our physical belongings is tough. Saying, “Lord, we’d like to do xyz … but even more so, we want to follow You!” is tough, too.
Pro: Counting the cost and determining the sacrifice is worthy is always a pro. It makes us more like Christ, who counted the cost and gave His all.
I guess every phase of life has challenges. But the challenges aren’t what matters. What matters is how we walk through them.
Oh Lord, find us faithful to the call. Find us faithful to You.