TA Newsletter August 2011:
Audience of One
If you read our family site or read my articles, you may be sick of hearing this from me. I feel like I am still in a continuous transition in life. It is exciting, though, because I know God is shaping me and molding me. He continues to make me into what he wants me to be. I want to confess to you that I am a people-pleaser. I don’t think that being a people-pleaser is an overall bad thing, but Satan has a way with taking my selfish thoughts and using them for his glory.
The hardest part of this transition process that I am going through is letting go of things that I deem important, but that I just don’t have the time or energy to do. It is hard for me to let go of these things because they are the things I can write to you about and receive praise: Things that I am helping with here. Ways that I am trying to grow the kingdom. Opportunities that I am investing myself in to do my part of the work. I, me, myself, my–are you seeing the theme here? I have this burning desire within me to have you guys at home pat me on the back. I know this feeling and motivation is not from the Lord.
I have gone through some funks during the last few months with adjusting to a new baby, a new home, and family really being my most time-consuming priority. I have typed and said aloud that this is a good priority, and I am happy with fulfilling this role. In one of my cry sessions to Greg (bless him) not too long ago, I expressed my frustration in not being as involved in the “work” here. I want to do my part. I want to be more active with the kids at the library. I want to invest more time in evangelistic relationships, etc. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Megan, you say you are okay with keeping family and our home your top priority and that your happy with it.” I shook my head yes. He continued, “You say it, but I don’t think you believe it.” Isn’t it nice to have someone know you so well? He hit it dead on, and I have done some serious praying, contemplating, and reflecting. Along with that comes dreaming of the future, thinking more about what my role for the Kingdom looks like now, and really and truly finding contentment in where I find myself.
Children of God have a way of finding him when they seek him. I think there is a verse or two on this idea so why does it surprise me when it happens? This August God has blessed me multiple times in ways to affirm me (and I should live as if he is my audience of one). Greg has been doing an evangelistic study with two young mothers and Etelvina, one of our Christian sisters here. They would meet every Thursday evening in Etelvina’s home. For all of this month, they have had to meet in our home because Etelvina’s house was having some work done, and her son was sick. The first night they came I was delighted to meet two moms that seem to be in the same life situation as me–caring for little ones. One mom brings her 7 year and 13 month old. The other mom brings an 11 year, 8 year, and 6 month old. The older girls play with my two oldest while I babysit the two little ones (I have been blessed that Cohen sleeps through the study). I am not “evangelizing” these women or participating in the study, but I know what it feels like to not totally pay attention because of children. So my ministry is taking those babies and caring for them so that those two young mothers can delve into the word and be less distracted. After the first night was over I looked at Greg and said, “We are a team!” It wasn’t as though we haven’t been a team, but God hit me in the head with an opportunity to take part in the work and feel like I am being used. If there is any part of this ministry that I am excelling at right now it is in the childcare category.
Another blessing came through a conversation I had with a dear friend here. This friend actually moved to another country to pursue her masters degree. I have been a little bummed about her leaving because I wanted to have a deeper conversation about faith before her departure, but it never worked out. I have had this relationship for close to the three years I have lived here. My friend asked me to look out for her mother and check on her. The other day we Skyped, and she thanked me for being a support to her. She said I am the only person that she has shared her family’s struggles with, and she has full trust in my word to her. She said she could not understand why I would invest my time in her and believe in her the way that I have but she was so grateful. She is having a hard time in her new location–feeling homesick for Arequipa and constantly worrying about her mother. Even though I am not sitting down in a Bible study with this friend (I hope a day will come when we can), she made it evident in her words that we are on a deeper level of friendship and that she trusts me and admires the way I am trying to live my life here. My heart was smiling so big after that conversation. On a side note, this Peruvian friend speaks English fluently. We started our relationship on the basis that she could keep up her English by speaking to me. For those of you that know my struggle with the Spanish language, do you see why this is an even bigger blessing?
I could tell you more stories, but let’s just say that I am feeling much better about my purpose in the kingdom. Slowly but surely I am finding full contentment in my ministry as a wife and mother, but God has shown me ways that he can still use me for his glory outside of this role. Do you ever see a situation in your walk of faith and question if it is one of those works that God prepared you for in advance (Ephesians 2:10)? I love it when the Spirit seems to push me because I was prepared to do something. I leave you with this verse from Colossians 3:15-17:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.