Coming here in 2006, not knowing the language or the culture, I thought I was coming to love the people into relationship with God, to mentor, to teach inductive bible studies to believing women, and to share Christ with non-believers. My adult kids even said: Mom is going to share her hugs with the Germans.
The first few years were filled with a massive learning curve. Being 49 when I arrived, I quickly realized: my dendrites had to be tethered down to my bedposts at night!
Learning the language, the culture, becoming a part of communities, becoming family to gifted and enjoyable believers, encouraging women to become who God made them to be - God gifted me beyond measure. This was all a blessing...
Women were coming to Him, learning about Him, and sharing Him with their families and friends. Not something common in the darkened European continent. But, in my little yellow nest - God was moving!
But then my spirit began to weaken. Going back to the states for my furlough year in 2011, I began to question if I had the stamina to love as Christ was calling me to love. I began to question: How can I love people more?
Snapping at drivers, short with my words behind the servers in restaurants, irritable and confused as to why I was so snippy, I asked God, "What is the matter with me?"
Over time, He showed me I could not love enough. I don't have enough love in me to love the way that was needed.
For the last two years I've realized My love is truly not enough. Questioning: how do I love them better? brings me to the reality - I can 't.
I've pondered for months over the commandment in Luke 20:27
"He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"Of course, I stopped wrestling with the fact I can't love my neighbor until I really love myself. And loving myself means taking care of this heart, soul, and mind. Yes.
And, it also means taking care of this earthly body, that has been shamed and abused, that has been raped, and shattered. This life that has almost every woman's issue lived out. And this life that has lived into Him.
But - it is still not enough. I can't pull it up and MAKE IT HAPPEN! I can't do, I can't accomplish, I can't even be. Yes, I said it out loud - you heard it. I figured out long ago, I can't 'DO'. Accomplishments belong to God.
But everyone has told me I need to just 'BE'. What does that mean exactly? I've experienced it before - but how did I get there in my past? I seem at a loss.
Screaming out in my red-prayer-chair on the crux of 2014, God spoke. It wasn't like a whisper. He slid into my heart, tapped really quit loudly on my chest and said kinda up close and personal "loved", "you love because I FIRST LOVED YOU"
1 John 4:19
So the word for me this year is not Love. No.
What does that look like? Where will He take us in this LOVED life? For me here in Germany to love others, he says I will first be loved.
Now how incredibly fun is that?
Are you walking into being LOVED by Him in 2014?
Share with me. We all need the encouragement.
Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
with HoneyB and Ebenezer
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