This is a picture I took of my dearest friend/neighbor holding a globe.  Really?  You didn't know that was a globe?!  Let's just say I'm talented at stating the obvious.  Anyway, the story behind it is that she is soon leaving for Australia to work in a YWAM birthing center for a year.  One whole year of missing my dear Orissa...sigh.  How exciting it will be to hear her God-stories, though!    How awesome it will be to pray for her as she brings life in more ways than one into this aching world!

Along those lines, my sister-in-law is also leaving in a week for the mission field.  She will be attending a missions school in India for six weeks.  I can't wait to hear about what God is doing in India as well!  Both of them are setting up a blog and I know I'll be on them every day.

I can't wait to hear exciting news from the mission field, but do you want to know the real truth?  The real truth is that I want to be the one going.  I have always desired to be a foreign missionary.  When I was five years old my favorite story was about a missionary named Amy Carmichael.  I admire that woman so greatly.  I always wanted to follow that calling.  I just knew I was supposed to be a missionary.

I do know that where I live is a huge, hurting mission field in itself and I am called to be a missionary wherever I am,  but at the same time I just can't explain away my passion for the nations.  Sometimes the longing to be on a foreign field becomes so great I start becoming discontent with where I am.  My conversations with God begin to sound like this, 

"God, why are we still here?  When are you going to give us clear direction on where to go?  You know we aren't going to take this step without you.  We're just waiting on you, God."

And then his response,
"And I'm just waiting for you to be content with where you are."

Oh boy.  I was afraid he'd say that.  Being content is not very easy for me.  I can be joyful, but to be content?  That would mean I would have to stop striving and wishing and wanting and longing for what I don't have and even for what I'm not.  

"Okay, God, what are you saying to me?  I'm listening."

"What you do for me doesn't define who you are, I define who you are."

"Oh, wow. Thank you for helping me understand this, Lord.  Help me remember it."

I'm always desperately wanting to DO something for God and somehow that DOING begins to DEFINE me.  Don't get me wrong, doing good works is important, faith without works is dead.  But it's when we begin to define ourselves by what we are doing FOR God, instead of what HE has already done and WHO HE IS within us that we begin to lose sight of the simple message of Christ.

I'm studying what Paul wrote here:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4: 12-13
So what's the secret to being content?  It is the knowledge that I can do everything through him.  Only through Jesus.  It is IN him that I find contentment.  He is my I AM.

**To read more of this conversation I had with God, you can click here.


Alicia said...

OH, how awesome for your friend and sister in law! I knew someone who was also involved in YWAM!!! What an awesome opportunity!!!!!

Mom2Valerie said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Joye! I always enjoy hearing what God is doing in your life. So glad to hear your eye is healing nicely too!

He And Me + 3 said...

You hit the nail on the head. Awesome. I am trying and trying to teach my kids to be content. It is a tough task...but it is something God wants from us. So I must press on.
My aunt and uncle are missionaries(directors) and have been with YWAM for a long time. They love it and have been all over.

Sarah Dawn said...

The YWAM birthing center, loving it, well may be a bit biased as we serve with YWAM as well! Joye, you are a missionary. All of us are called to share His light in the sphere of influence that God has given us. We're no different on the "mission field", it's just our sphere of influence is now Costa Rica. Imagine the lives you are touching for Him through this blog. Your words reach the nations!

Hugs from this missionary mommy,
Sarah Dawn

Kristin said...

That is exactly what I needed to hear Joye! Thank you so much for your encouragement and for always being such a wonderful friend! I will look forward to reading your friend's blogs and hearing about their stories too.

Beth in NC said...

I'm sure your heart pleases the Father. I have no doubt that God will use you wherever He places you. Who knows what the future holds!

Muthering Heights said...

Very well said!

Carrie said...

Great pictures! I wish them best wishes and safety during their travels! My husband's cousing completed a mission trip recently and was gone for 2 years...most of his time spent in India and traveling to various villages and orphanges! he had some wonderful stories and experiences to share with us! How awesome!

christy rose said...

Oh Joye! How beautiful this is! God revealed a wonderful revelation to you here!
"What you do for me does not define who you are, I define who you are!"
So many people who love God very much do not understand this at all. God wants us to know that Jesus makes us satisfying to God. Who He is in us will empower us to do all that we do for Him anyways. Our works are an overflow of His power in us. I thoroughly enjoyed what you wrote from your heart here today.


Lucy said...

"What you do for me doesn't define who you are, I define who you are" - so often do I have to remind myself of this!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog :)

Jenn said...

I too struggle w/ the desire to serve Him else-where, forgetting that here is the most important place to start...thanks for sharing your heart;)

Jennifer said...

Oh yeah.

I can sooo relate.

I get really wrapped up in the "doing", that I have a hard time just resting in Him.

Great post.

mimi said...

Great post. One that gets me thinking!

AmyP said...

So...I read your full prayer post on your other blog. I have almost the same conversation in my prayer journal. Thank you. Thank you for putting this out there. And thank you for staying dedicated even though it's not time yet. I'm praying for you now, but also for where God will take you and your family. I cannot wait to see this process. Keep writing. And taking pictures. Love it...


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