Belonging.

being a missionary wasn’t always something that I wanted. I wanted to climb the corporate ladder, shatter the glass ceiling with my iron fist. there are so many things about me that just don’t scream “MISSIONARY” in my mind. i minored in Women’s and Gender Studies at the big, huge party school that I attended. I have a business degree and actually really love business. I’m told that I have a “big” personality, which I think is just a nice way of saying that I’m a lot to handle. I’m not a huge fan of cooking and Preston does two-thirds of the cooking in our house. I’m opinionated. I’m strong-willed. Stubborn. I battle pride regularly (read: every day). I love to be in charge. 

And here we are, in India, as missionaries. Saying it is still weird for me and we’ve been here for almost TWO MONTHS. India, this super patriarchal culture, where it is absolutely difficult to be a woman in. Especially a woman like me. It’s the kind of place where a husband’s word is supreme, where they don’t take woman seriously, where I can’t look men in the eyes in public. And then there’s missionary life, which is like another new culture in and of itself. 

Confession: It’s been hard for me to find a sense of belonging here. Not in a “I hate this place and want to go home” kind of way, but more in a “fish out of water” kind of way. In a sense of knowing that this is absolutely where i’m supposed to be and loving the ministry that we’re doing, but feeling like I’m “too much” for my new cultures. Satan’s voice has been louder than ever, shouting at me, “YOU DON’T BELONG HERE! You aren’t good enough to be a missionary. You are not a good wife!” And being 8,000 miles away from home, he’s been telling me that not only do I not belong here, but I don’t belong anywhere. That I’ve already been forgotten about, replaced, etc. SO MANY LIES. 

And that’s what they are. They are lies. They are the voice of an enemy who wants anything but the name of the Lord proclaimed in this lost world. He doesn’t want us here, loving on the least of these. Combating these lies has been a daily battle of speaking truth over myself, having Preston speak truth over me and most importantly, listening to that still, small voice that is so much louder than the shouting if I really stop and listen. And what is the truth? The truth is that stereotypes are stupid. And that I’m not too much for this culture. That He created me and because of that He loves who I am. That He is refining me every single day. That I have gifts to contribute to this place. That I shouldn’t be ashamed of exactly who I am. That I have something to offer. That I don’t have to cook more or be more feminine to obtain His affection. That I am an awesome wife who is exactly what her husband needs. And that as long as I am abiding and finding myself in the Lord, that He is going to honor that. 

He created me to belong to Him and that is the most important part of my own sense of belonging. When I press into that, all of the rest of it is just stuff. It doesn’t matter as much, because the creator of the universe says that I am his and that He is mine. And that I’m not too much for Him. And that is enough for me. 

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5 thoughts on “Belonging.

  1. Alex, you will never be forgotten! We miss you and know that you are in God’s hands, doing God’s will. I’m praying for you and Preston, and that He will bless you both in all that you do. I’m in awe of your decision to go to India as missionaries, it is such a brave and unselfish thing. Keep on being you, like you said, God made you exactly the way He wanted you to be. Love you!

  2. Alex, thanks for your honest outpouring on this day. I so needed to read that as I struggle through something here. I am going to be able to get through today with a smile on my face and a peace in my heart. The kids in AWANA are loving hearing about you and Preston every week. They pray for y’all so earnestly every day. They can’t wait to hear new stories and are telling their parents and school mates and anyone that will listen. Y’all have captivated the minds of these young kids and the Holy Spirit is using you to stir their spirits. It has been humbling and awesome to watch and be a part of . . . to listen to those sweet voices pray for you and ask great questions and silly questions about y’all. I would love to work on setting up a Skype with these kids and y’all. They would be so elated to have a shout out from you guys in one of your blogs sometime. We have the 1st – 5th graders following you! You have groupies!!

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