Wind and Waves {tales of a hometown missionary}

I was eighteen. I braved the storms so expertly. I faced the sorrows so bravely. I proclaimed so very loudly that the God I served calmed wind and waves and I had no reason to fear.

It was true but I didn’t really know it.  

There was head-knowledge that had not turned into heart-knowledge and I had no idea the journey God would lead me on.

That year God said, “no”, to the relationship I longed for most. I drank the bitter cup, still clinging to my ideals and smoothing out my surface.

It was the year of proving and I jumped in with both feet. I would not marry, not yet, but I would do the mission work I longed to do and I would provide my own way. My mind calculated costs and multiplied figures until I had a five-year-plan in place.

The first house I bought was not too far from home. I painted and worked and hired men to do the jobs I couldn’t complete myself. I sold it one year later and tripled my investment.

I spent a year at Bible College. Studying. Comparing notes. Devouring Scripture. I did my volunteer work in a little trailer park with kids of all sizes and shapes. I dreamed dreams and felt the voice of God.

Go to the children.

He said it over and over. In every way possible. My five-year-plan was becoming clearer.

I went home at the end of that year and bought another house. A rambling two-story monster on the edge of town. Three years and I would have it paid off. Three years and I could be living in Haiti or Africa with income coming from home.

The voice, the same one that whispered about the lost children, spoke again and I trembled in shock. I looked around. I closed my eyes. It kept speaking. Over and over. Louder and louder.

But, God?!

The voice that commands the wind and the waves is not one to be ignored.  (<–tweet this)

Hands shaking, I did the one thing that would ruin every plan I had made. I walked up to the couple that was planning to rent from me and gave them my house. Two weeks later we sat in a lawyer’s office with men shaking their heads in confusion and I signed away every last cent I had.

I didn’t understand it either. I smiled confidently but I was shaking. I may have still looked smooth on the outside but the roughness of cracks were scraping me raw. How could I serve a God who didn’t make sense? Did He have some little secret for me? Some whispered miracle? But He was silent. 

The hardest part about giving my house away was not the money I no longer had but the answers I could no longer give. I had no plan. Nothing to tell people when they asked. I was nineteen and living at home.  Nothing but a bi-weekly paycheck.

I thought the lesson that God meant for me to learn was about His provision. I was wrong. It was all about pride. All about my smooth surface and my hidden scars.

Scars that would be ripped back open and left to bleed until I was forced to look at myself and deal with them. Scars that would leave cracks on my surface.

In one summer my family faced harsh betrayal, our church began splintering and the hurts that I had whispered about in a loving safe place were thrust into the open and torn apart by wolves. My deepest wounds were mocked and I recoiled in horror.

In one summer I went from a confidant “missionary-to-be” and crumbled into a broken-bleeding mess.  So much for smooth surfaces.

God?!

His answer made my ears itch, I disliked it so much. I wanted to be a martyr. I wanted to be the wounded. And God stood and pointed firm, like He did with Job so many, many years ago. Who are you?  

I was a hopelessly lost sinner. One in desperate need of a Savior. StillIt wasn’t a one-time jump from sinner to saint. It was a journey that would last a lifetime.

And a crack appeared.

Something deep, deeper than I had ever felt, began rising in me. A fluttering of brilliant life-altering truth: God was faithful even in brokenness. Maybe even especially in brokenness.

In one summer I fell to pieces and in the hushed silence afterward I learned to know truth. The truth that when smoothness disappears the doors fling open for the breath of God to fill and triumph and declare redemption. I just had to wait and watch. He was coming.

Part One {In Jars of Clay}
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14 thoughts on “Wind and Waves {tales of a hometown missionary}

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  9. Wow! I could have written this–it is my story. I only lack the ability you possess to say it as poignantly. GOD bless you for being so open–so vulnerable–so truthful; I needed your words desperately–they are healing-balm for my broken spirit.

    Like

  10. Pingback: Broken Stories {tales of a hometown missionary} | Natasha Metzler

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