We just booked flights to go down to Bolivia in South America for 2 months. 2 MONTHS! That’s such a long time to be away from home anywhere, let alone in a country you’ve never been to before, eating food you don’t normally eat, where everyone speaks another language, and the culture is totally different from culture in the U.S.
On top of that, we’re doing all of this with a 1-year-old little boy. 15-hour travel days, long flights, higher altitude, new people, a new schedule, and nobody we know! Talk about crazy!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely excited about this trip! My husband and I both feel called to do missions, and know that by going, we’re totally in the will of God. We’re excited to see the doors God opens, the experiences we’ll have, the souls that will be nurtured, and the personal growth that will happen.
But every so often, my mama heart twinges a little.
This doesn’t feel comfortable. This doesn’t feel safe.
Here I am taking my little boy halfway across the world to a third-world country.
What kind of parent does that? Apparently me.
I want to be faithful to where God calls me. I want to teach Leland that God’s goal for us is not comfort. It is not our pleasure, our material possessions, or even our safety. And I want to live my life in a way that actually shows that to my son. This is such a huge leap of faith for me. It’s revealing to me what’s really important. It’s making me choose. Do I really believe what I say I believe? Do I think it’s worth risking everything to follow Jesus and go where He tells me to go? Do I love Jesus, and love obeying and making disciples more than I love the safety of comfort of my family?
Not that you have to go live in a third-world country with your kids to be following Jesus. God calls you to be faithful and to be making disciples in the specific setting God has called YOU to – at work, at school, in a new city, or right next door. But for Connor and me, I know being faithful includes taking our family into situations that just don’t make sense if you’re looking from the outside in, and having people ask, “Why would you do that?”
I think the bigger question is: What would I lose if I didn’t? I believe I would lose a great deal. We all would. What would happen if I let fear rule? If I kept Leland in a safe little bubble where I felt calm and in control, and my biggest fear was him eating mud pies or not sharing in the church nursery?
I don’t know that he would believe me. I don’t know that he would believe me when I said, “I want to make disciples.” I don’t know that he would believe me when I said, “I’m chasing after Jesus.” I don’t know that he would believe me when I said, “I care about the souls of people who don’t know Him,” “I’m trying to follow God’s will and His calling in my life,” or “Jesus is worth risking everything for.” Not if I’m letting my feelings and my fear be greater than the calling He has placed on my life.
My goal as a mom is to be raising little people who become disciples of Jesus, and who make disciples of Jesus. Whatever the cost. Whatever the discomfort. Whatever the sacrifice.
This is why I will take my baby to a third-world country. This is why I will fight against fear and doubt and being afraid of the unknown. This is why I look to eventually doing full-time missions. This is why I smile and say, “Because this is what God has called us to” to those who don’t understand.
Because Jesus is worth it.