Wednesday, December 28, 2011
If you ask anyone around here what my biggest fear is, they would probably tell you it is this little guy pictured above. Yes, he is small, but is loaded with poison that comes directly from the fires of hell.
So far, I have been blessed enough to not be stung by one of these, and even better is that my kids haven't been stung either. I know ladies who have been stung, though and most of them equate the pain with childbirth. However, one pretty awesome Tribal Wife named Nina, described this pain to me in terms of Twilight. She said, "You know in the last book when Bella gets changed to a vampire and she describes that horrendously painful burning? That is what it reminded me of." Wow! Scary! So you see this fear is not irrational at all.
However, this really isn't my greatest fear here. My greatest fear is failure. As we sit in meetings discussing all the ins and outs of planting a church in the jungle, I seem to get more and more overwhelmed at all the mistakes that there are too be made. Like, don't have too much stuff. Having too much stuff can cause all sorts of problems and the greatest of these is perpetuating the cargo cult here in PNG.
It is also a mistake to have too little stuff and try to live exactly like the people,because if you or your kids get too sick, then you have to leave and well, obviously you can't continue the work in a hospital in America.
These are just a few of the millions of mistakes that one can make that can be devastating to the work, and as I think back on my life and my track record in life and ministry, I get really freaked out that I am going to royally screw everything up.
I remember in middle school walking around claiming to be a "Christian" yet living however I wanted to. I worshiped the idols of acceptance and popularity above living out my faith. I was a liar and a hypocrite and who knows how many people I could have shared Christ with, but instead turned them off of this thing called "Christianity" with my selfishness.
Then in High School, I repented and decided to devote my life to following Christ entirely. For a brief moment I think I was a pretty good representative of a Jesus follower until I again got distracted by my own hobbies and dreams. I still lived a very moral life and read my Bible and prayed everyday, but my daily thoughts and conversations revolved horses or boys and I spent very little time sharing about the most valuable and most important relationship in my life. Again, how many people could I have really shown true life too, but didn't because I was too wrapped up in my self again.
College time comes and I decided to go to school to study the Bible. I knew that I had to give up my dreams and desires in order to receive the BETTER things that Christ promised me. I fell in love with the study of His word, however, I let knowledge "puff" me up instead of increase my love. I walked around like I was the only one who truly knew God's Word and that I had so much to offer the Christian world if only they would just listen to me. Sadly, at this time I was serving as a youth minister in a church and thought that what these kids needed most was knowledge from my very overly inflated head and did not give them the 2 things they actually need most...time and love.
And then there are the years as the youth minister's wife. Those are almost too painful to talk about. Again, selfishness kept me from spending time with kids and loving them the way they needed to be loved. Instead, I blamed them for taking my new husband away from me for 60 to 70 hours a week.
So, now here I sit. Scared to death that I am going to get in the way again. That my ugly selfishness will ruin the very thing we have come here to do. I have spent lots of time in prayer asking God if I can do this? If He is sure that He wants to send me, the most selfish person on the planet into the middle of the jungle to give myself to a people who need to know how much He loves them.
Slowly, though, I am beginning to learn that He does want to send me, the most selfish person on the planet to these people. Through each of those phases of my life that I regret so much, God has shown me that He loved me and used me in small ways, anyway. He humbled me and taught me how to be more like Him through each difficult circumstance. He has shown me that He loves to use broken and weak people in the lives of other broken and weak people.
So, now I take this fear and give it back to Him. Knowing He will use it to remind me of what I do not want to experience again, and to remind me that He is always faithful even when we are selfish turds.