Leaving home and going home
As my two year commitment with OM Chile comes to an end, I am beginning to seriously reflect on my time here. There have been moments that I’ve wanted to extend my commitment and moments that I’ve wanted it to end as early as possible. Now that I can count down the months I have left in Chile on one hand my heart really begins to hurt at the thought of leaving my home here.
I have spent practically my entire adult life in Chile. I feel like I’ve grown up here. I learnt how to pay a bill. I learnt how to cook (and burnt many dishes along with way). I learnt how to make metro connections. I learnt a language. I’ve had my first full-time job. I got adopted by about five awesome Latino families! God called me to Chile and He has been good! He has provided everything I could have ever needed. Friends that have become family and a strange country that has become home. I feel like returning ‘home’ to the U.S.A. will be like stepping into a whole new world, learning everything all over again.
The past few weeks I have had moments of feeling so alone. I have felt as if no one will understand me when I return. This was not just a mission trip. This was a 24 month, fully immersed, fully engaged life of serving God in Chile. I feel like when my plane takes off, a huge piece of my heart will be ripped away.
I don’t know if any of you can relate to some of my slightly over-dramatic statements above, but if you can, I want to tell you that you are not alone.
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” - Mark 10:29-31 (NIV)
Jesus has called all those who believe in Him to follow Him. And that comes with a cost. From the moment we accept Jesus as our Saviour we give Him our lives. We need to be willing to do whatever He is leading us to do and we need to trust that it is also the best thing for us. Whether that means to study, not study, get married, stay single, serve in a small church, work in an office, go to a new country, return to your country, or simply just be still and wait.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” - Matthew 16:24 (NIV)
We are called to follow Jesus’ example and we are called to live it out with joy, even in difficult situations, so that when others see our lives they will want what we have.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” - James 1:2-3 (NIV)
It was a privilege to be used by God in Chile and now I know my time here is up. I don’t know what God has for me when I return to the U.S.A. but I know He always had, has, and will have, my best interest in mind because He loves me.
I am ready for the next adventure to begin in 2018 because I know I am never alone no matter what my job is, who my closest friends are, which country I live in or which language I speak. My heavenly Father holds my heart and He has great plans.