I remember vividly telling the Lord about seven years ago that I would do anything he asked of me and go anywhere he wanted, as long as that didn't include being a missionary in a foreign country. Verbatim, that's what I told him. I had a great fear of being called to live the life of a missionary, which in my mind conjured up images of living in a tent in a jungle somewhere, wearing rags for clothing and going to sleep each night with an empty belly.
Before you get upset with me, I should tell you that I realize that this is completely and totally wrong. But when you're a "high maintenance" kind of girl, and when you have melodramatic tendencies, these are the conclusions you tend to jump to. And to be fair, at this time in my life seven years ago I had never really met a "real life missionary" before.
So you can imagine my complete shock and surprise when in a recent conversation with my sister I blurted out that "I AM a missionary!"
The MOMENT that statement fled my mouth my mind said, "WHOA -- WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?"
During this phone conversation I was doing my best to encourage and uplift my sister, and had been reminding her of a couple of different scriptures in the Bible that spoke directly to her life at that moment. It was at that point that she said, "Jamie, I really think after your kids are grown you and Paul should be missionaries!" And instead of arguing with her about why that would, could, should never happen my big mouth blurted out, "I AM a missionary!"
I must admit to you that I've always felt more than inadequate at witnessing and evangelizing to people. I've never led anyone to Christ, and although I've given my testimony time and again to friends and family, I've never really given it to a stranger. It's not that I don't want to, and it's not that I'm ignorant of The Great Commission, it's just that truly I've never felt adequate to do it. I've stood before crowds of people and said what's on my heart, I've taught different classes in church, I've been a part of different ministries in different capacities, but I've never, ever proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a specific "Great Commission" kind of way.
But something within me has changed in the last seven years. My heart, my thinking -- I don't know -- something. And now I realize just what it means to be a missionary.
Dictionary.com defines a missionary as: a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities.
So I've come to discover that not only am I a missionary, but in fact we are ALL missionaries. Every one of us. And our mission field doesn't always have to be the far reaches of the Earth. I've been a missionary in Kansas City, Missouri. And I've been a missionary in Wichita, Kansas. And now I'm a missionary in Fort Worth, Texas. And you can be a missionary where you are. We are missionaries in our homes. We are missionaries in our families. We are missionaries to our friends. And we can ALL be missionaries to complete strangers.
It's true that every unbeliever needs to hear the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. They need to know who Jesus is and was and what he wants to do for them. But if there's one thing I've come to know in my own life it is this -- even believers need to hear the Good News from time to time.
So with new determination and an amazing lack of fear, I will gladly accept that I AM a missionary. And someday maybe that will mean that Paul and I will travel to new and far off places, but in this moment I will do my best to be a missionary right where the Lord has put me.
I AM a missionary -- and YOU ARE TOO!
2 years ago