to flourish {tales of a hometown missionary}

I bought books that year. Piles and piles of missionary biographies. A Chance To Die. Jungle Pilot. Evidence Not Seen. The Little Woman. These Strange Ashes. They stacked by my bedside and I immersed myself in the lives of men and women who gave up everything for the sake of Christ.

I learned. Words from Nate Saint and Amy Carmichael and Gladys Aylward began filling my thoughts, forcing me to push out of my comfort zone. They yanked my mind from daydreams of handsome knights to visions of a lost and dying people. People who lived next door. 

Then came the call. The one from church. From the pastor. Come lead our children’s department. I wanted to so badly.

It was the type of thing that I loved and excelled at. Teaching made me flourish. Yet, one blistering truth remained, even as I ached to agree to the position: I would not have energy to reach the children on my street if I was developing a children’s ministry at church. I called the pastor and told him I was unable to take the position.

After I hung up, I cried.

A few nights later I was watering the tulips that surrounded my front porch when Helen arrived. “Tasha, can I play your guitar?” she asked.

I sent her inside. “It’s in the office,” I explained, “just open the window and so I can hear you while I finish up.”

She pulled a chair over to the window and placed the brightly colored instrument across her knee. She strummed a discorded melody and tried to sing.

I come in empty and I leave filled

Bring my sickness and I leave healed

“Tasha?” she paused from her singing, “Is God really like a father?”

I looked up from the midnight tulips and my gaze met her confused blue eyes. I ached at the thought of her own father who had stood by while she was mistreated and abused. My mind screamed prayers as I softly began talking of God and fathers and the deep-deep love that led the Son to the cross.

After she went home I stood in hushed reverence. Please, please, Lord– make something useful out of my broken words. I wrapped the hose and wiped my bare feet on the front mat. A few hours later Delite and I took our evening walk and our conversation turned to prayer and then singing.

Let Your glory fall on this street

Let it go forth from here to the nation

Let your fragrance rest in this place

Lord, we want them to see Your face

And the truth shuddered near. Only in following the Master could I truly flourish. And this was the place He had called me to. This place filled with brokenness and beauty and hope and sorrow.

Part One: {In Jars of Clay}
Part Two: {Wind and Waves}
Part Three: {Miracles and Mustard Seeds}
Part Four: {Labels and Trust}
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15 thoughts on “to flourish {tales of a hometown missionary}

  1. Morning from Maine Natasha girl… I loved this post. You bring a beautiful balance of personal sharing and poetic writing. It’s always so refreshing when God’s Spirit whispers to us, “yes” you’re right where I want you… Thank you sister! ~ Blessings out, Amy 🙂

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  2. What I loved about this piece was how plainly you wrote about the pain in giving up what you would have liked to do. How that allowed you to fully do what you were meant to do. And that was beautiful. Thank you.

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  3. Pingback: Seeing True {tales of a hometown missionary} | embracing the miracle

  4. Wow, I have been reading your, In Jars of Clay, series. I am completely absorbed. I absolutely love the way God’s plans unfold never the way we plan them, but so much better than we could have ever dreamed them. 🙂

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    • So glad you’ve enjoyed them. It has been fun to hunt through journals and look at the events from my current viewpoint.

      God is so good!

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  5. Pingback: Songs to Believe In {tales of a hometown missionary} | embracing the miracle

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  8. Hi Natasha,
    Your story so far is SO similar to mine. Sometimes God leads us to do strange things even when we think we know we have it all figured out. I thought my ministry would only be stateside, I never thought I would go overseas. It sounded alright and all, but maybe something I would never do. But I was enjoying serving the Lord here already, and I had plans to do things in Colorado this summer and the next. But he recently required a lot of surrender on my part and has finally shown me Africa. I have no money and no idea how to get there or where that provision will come from, but the pride lesson was one thing that I really grasped at that point of surrender. I wasn’t going to make it on my own or in my own terms! My ideas of how I could provide are so silly! And this waiting period between going and that decision to allow Him to expand my vision beyond my plans has been so stretching!
    All that to say, I can relate to the whole idea of God refining us and making us ready for Him and His uses!

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

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