Could a calling be clearer?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. -Charles R. Swindoll

So for the last week I have been at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island. I worked as a staff member there in 2007 and returned this past week as a counselor for the high school session. It was soooo much fun! And intense. There was just so much going on there. It was amazing to see God's presence among the kids (though they're really teenagers). Though the chaplain say when leaving that God doesn't exist solely at camp and that God isn't camp, it really feels so powerful there. The atmosphere is made to foster that feeling, with an abundance of worship and conversation. I knew coming into camp that the campers teach you more about God than you teach them about Him. It was certainly true this week.

I have struggled a lot since I came home with being with, living with, my youngest sister Madison. I'm 21 and she's 12. 9 years is a huuuuuge age gap. I am looking for a job and she's looking forward to 8th grade. Our lives are not on the same page. In the family (or age) book, we're in completely different chapters. The disconnect has been a constant struggle for me. My parents don't seem to understand why we don't get along- but it's clear to me. She hasn't grown up and neither have I. I'm not really supposed to be here, I'm an interloper in this household- staying when I should be visiting. I can't understand why she acts the way she does and then we fight. And then I think "why on earth did I just fight with a 12 year-old?" and then I realize it's because she drives me nuts and the circle continues. But she'll be a teenager in a month and I'm going to have to remember what it was like to be a teenager in order to relate (or at least attempt) to her. Being a counselor helped me realize that I can relate to teenagers, that my stories and problems and relationships with friends (and boys, though I hate to admit it and dread to think that she will ever be interested in them and thank the good Lord that she still thinks they're gross) are applicable to them. I just hope I can help her. I never had an older sister and I just don't want to flunk as one for her. I'm doing the best I can. I'm trying.

You know, dear readers, whoever you are, that I'm struggling in finding a calling, in finding what I want to do with my life. Well, I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm being called to a life of missionary work. I would really like it to be work abroad, and I've had a few doors open to me that might provide a good opportunity. I really and truly have felt this calling. You know when you're thinking about something and someone says something about it and your ears perk up? And you think it's just a coincidence? Well it happened roughly seven or eight times at camp- calling for prayers for would-be missionaries, mentioned in a study group, a couple of times in a worship service, another by a conversation with a person who hardly knows me. I'd have to be a prize idiot to walk away from God's voice. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, let's go over a few things.

A. I have no intention of becoming an imperialistic missionary or any type to press my culture upon another, assuming mine is better than theirs. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not run that way.
B. I would love to focus on servant work. I like to share what I believe in discussions and I like to show what I believe through my actions. I don't want to be a hypocritical Christian, I want to be one who lives the faith, because that is just as important as believing it. (This goes right along with my last post about chapter 2 in James.)
C. I accept the fact that I might have to go to some place that is scary or different and that might not involve flowers or puppies or rainbows. I get that. But I also know that it would be stupid to go to a war zone in Afghanistan by myself. Danger does not equal stupidity. I know that it will be uncomfortable.
D. Missions come in all forms. I don't really think my personality jives with that of a soap box preacher. I know several who would, but that's not me. We'll have to see where I am taken.
E. I don't know when I'm going. But I'm not going to wait for opportunity to knock. I'm going to go find it.

I will prepare and someday my chance will come. -Abraham Lincoln

"Now the Lord came to me saying,
'Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.'
Then I said, 'Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the Lord said to me,
'Do not say I am only a boy'; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.'
then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, 'Now I have put my words in your mouth.'"
-Jeremiah 1:4-9

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