FACT: If you are 24 years old and single and God calls you to move overseas, get ready for the people around you to think you have lost your ever-loving mind!
Don’t get me wrong, everyone (well..almost everyone) has been supportive, appreciative, and encouraging in their own special way. Even so, sometimes I can’t help but laugh at things people say in response to my future-
Well meaning family member- (squeezing me so tight I start turning blue) Leah! You’re back!! We’ve missed you so much! I want to hear ALL about your year! How was it?!
Me- Okay well it was…good? Hard? Amazing? All just a long dream? I’m still not real sure..
Well meaning family member- Oh it just sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to see your pictures. So what will you do now that your world tour is over? Have you started applying for jobs?
Me- I’m actually moving to the Philippines in April! One of my teammates from last year and I are going to join the ministry we served with while we were in the Philippines. We will work a lot with the youth- focusing on discipleship with the leaders so Filipinos can reach their own people for Christ. Meagan and I are also really passionate about starting a ministry for the street children there so that will be mostly what we foc—
Well meaning family member- …wait, you said you’re moving there? THIS April?
Me- yes, moving. Like…a one-way plane ticket kind of thing. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I just told God yes I’ll go.
Well meaning family member- Okay…is this Meagan person a boy? It must be serious…
Me- Actually, Meagan is a girl.
Well meaning family member- Oh, Meagan, right…I guess that makes sense. Then I just have one question- what about getting married? You DO want to get married soon right? I mean Leah you’re 24, and if you move off to the Philippines how do you think that will ever happen? Surely all your friends are married by now…doesn’t that worry you? Are you really okay with being single and being a missionary?
Me- Haha while I appreciate your deep concern for my love life- I’m not worried. Really. If he comes…he comes! I’m good.
Well meaning family member- sigh…
Sweet church member- I heard you’re going to the Philippines! That’s great! So when will you be doing your deputation?
Me- (whispering to my mom) umm mom…what’s deputation again?
(mom reminds me that deputation is when missionaries take a year…or two…or three and travel around to hundreds of churches raising support and getting appointed by them to do God’s work in whatever nation they’re called to)
Me- Oh right…I’m actually not going to do that. I don’t need much to live, seeing as I’m single and all (see scenario 1). And I know God doesn’t want me to wait that long. The need is so great right now- I’ve seen it. Every day people are dying without knowing Jesus. Right this minute while we’re talking, actually. So I’m going as soon as I possibly can. And call me crazy…but I really think He will provide.
Sweet church member- you’re fearless, little one. May God bless you.
Me- (smiling, but silently screaming inside- I’m not little anymore!!!!!!!!!!!) Thank you.
My youngest brother- Bro. Rob used you as an example in Sunday School today when he was talking about missionaries…not gonna lie, it was kinda weird for me.
Me- Weird? Why?
My youngest brother- Uh well he mentioned Kim Combs and the Lupers and then he started talking about you and it was just weird. Those other people- they’re older, and I mean, you’re my sister. He called you a missionary…it’s all just too weird.
Me- I feel ya.
My doctor- You’re moving to the Philippines? How cool?! What will you be doing?
Me- (I give her my 3 minute speal on what I’m doing…)
My doctor- Ok bye! You have fun now! I’ll be watching for you on TV over there saving lives and stuff!
Me- Wait…what? TV? I think you might be confused…
I love it.
I know I’m not the norm…although I wish I was! I know that most 24 year olds right now are starting their careers and a family, getting settled into a lifestyle. And I appreciate that people care enough (for the both of us) about my love life or lack thereof and whether I’ll be safe and healthy overseas.
But I know in the deepest places of my heart that God is with me and for me.
I’ve had this peace in my heart since the very beginning that I just can’t put into words. Its this peace that lets me sleep at night instead of worrying about how the money will come in. Its this peace that fills that place in my heart where a husband would be. And its this peace that leads me through every single day and every conversation.
“He who calls you is faithful, He will surely do it.” -1 Thessalonians 5:24