There's this really funny thing about my future that I'd like to share with you. I'm never quite sure what's going to happen in it.
Now, I'm fairly certain what's going to be happening with me for the next four or five months, at least at this point. I'm going to be working, and then attending the Children's Ministry Institute. After that...well...I'm not quite sure.
I usually take long missions trips in the summers, or at least I have for the past three summers. I've been to three different continents and come home to my own. I've made friends in three countries, friends who have often gone back home to even more countries--from China to Taiwan and Canada and Mongolia, from Zambia to South Africa and Zimbabwe, from Romania to Hungary and Germany.
But for the first time since I was fourteen, I'm not planning on...anything. At this point, anything after April is one big, fat question mark. And even said question marks looks vaguely confused, like it was drawn by a kid with ADHD who's just gone on a massive sugar binge and can't draw straight to save his life. In other words, I'm really, really (really) not sure what's going to be happening in my life.
And the funny thing is, I'm really okay with that. I'm okay with not stressing about where I'm going to get the money to meet my deadlines, and having to buy clothes to go overseas, and not having to worry about visas and passports and plane tickets and what happens if my plane goes down and I land on a deserted island with polar bears and ominous messages left random places with Others living on the island that all the survivors have to learn to live with and eventually we'll all die and end up in some light-infested afterlife-esque scenario. That sounds eerily familiar. But you get my point.
And even though I'm still having to worry about money (I'm not freaking out I'm not freaking out I'm not freaking out omw i've got to have $3,000 more by January 23 what is happening my life is spinning out of control help), and I'm still going to have to buy new clothes, and there are problems of transportation to worry about--real, genuine concerns, all of them--it's refreshing, in a way. I have something to worry about that doesn't involve culture shock and new foods and strange languages. I don't have to worry that I'll mispronounce a word this summer and end up in a duel that will end my life. You know.
At the moment, my life is so shaping itself that I'll be at home next summer, working with our local Child Evangelism Fellowship branch, being the summer missions coordinator and reaching out to the community in my hometown. And even though I still long to be a missionary overseas, and I still want to go back to China, and there are so many places I want to travel to and experience...I'm okay with that. I'm okay with staying put, with trusting God that He's got the plans this time. Because if there's one thing I most definitely don't want to do, it's go against Him just because I've got this agenda, this idea that I have to go somewhere every summer and reach people for Him.
Right now, Amarillo is quite a big enough mission field. It's not the most glamorous, attention-grabbing job. I'm not going to have any eyes popping or excited 'wows' as I tell people that yes, I'll be staying home and helping teenagers run 5 Day Clubs while trying to get new Good News Clubs lined up, and would you like to help us?, but I truly think that's what God has for me this time around. 2014 might be different. Hey, summer 2013 might even end up shaping differently than I expect. Because if there's one thing I've definitely learned about my God, it's that he delights in springing surprises on people (I get this idea that God likes to craft delicious surprises for us, and he sprinkles them throughout our paths, and just waits to watch us open them. As we get closer and closer to what he's planned, he starts getting ever more excited, like a grandparent who knows his present is waiting at the bottom of the stack, and just can't wait to see the delight on his grandchild's face. And the minute the child actually opens it, he's almost as excited as the kid because, wow, look at how happy he is. I think if God is just as awesome and wonderful as the Bible says, he has to get a kick out of how happy he can make us...that, and he has a sense of humor).
But if that happens, and I get a delicious surprise, whether it be a call in the middle of the night that hey, we'd quite like you to come stay with us for three months, could you arrange to get a flight to Thailand in the next three days?, or if it's a simple, friendly call from someone I've not seen in awhile...I'm quite sure I'll thoroughly enjoy it.
And if I don't, I'm sure I'll enjoy that, too. Because why are we put where we are but to enjoy it?
- Kyla Denae