The truth? Last year, I sat at missionary candidate school and I cried as I asked my husband, “Can we really do this? Can we really do this to our kids?” You see, deputation can be a daunting task. Missions conferences all over the U.S., late nights, long drives, strange beds...
Yesterday afternoon, I found myself at BIMI’s headquarters, sitting in the same exact bedroom we had last year. I’ve often thought about the 2017 training session where Mrs. Snyder had all the second-year candidate school ladies share lessons and blessings from THEIR first year of deputation . . . Now, here I am, myself. We’ve only been “full time” since January, but oh how our lives have changed since this time last summer!
What would I say to those following along behind us? What would I share with the missionary mamas who are just about to embark on this deputation journey?
There will be “fewer” – fewer movies and TV shows, fewer possessions that you feel are “must haves”, fewer evenings alone with your husband . . . But there will be “more” too – more restaurants, more opportunities for creative romance, more road trip photos, more friends than you’ve ever had before, more preaching from God’s Word . . . Don’t be afraid to embrace the changes!
Psalm 65:11 “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness. . .”
You’re going to swap overwhelming “Mommy tasks”. Piles of dishes and meals to prepare will turn into packing, unpacking, and re-packing, and organizing things to occupy your children in the car for hours on end.
Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Education for the children will switch from “at the kitchen table” to clipboards, and missionary encounters, and totally awesome field trips along the way.
Deuteronomy 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.”
Be prepared for days you want to jump out of the van and leave your husband behind - LOL, and moments when you realize you’ve never been closer together as a family in your life. God’s blessings are always there if you look for them.
Psalm 26:3 “For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes . . .”
Open your heart to love and be loved by ladies in churches all across America. Open your heart to love and be loved by fellow missionary wives all over the globe.
Psalm 26:12 “My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.”
Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.”
Don’t let your guard down in thinking that 15 or 20 “church days” in a month is “sufficient” or “enough” – You’re going to need your PERSONAL time with the Lord like never before. You’re going to need some special-to-you deputation verses to cling to, as well. God is the Only One Who can see you through this journey!
Psalm 119:2 “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
It is vital that you “love on” your children daily – hugs, snuggles, books, audio adventures, art projects (even in hotel rooms), puppets, funny songs in the car . . .
Genesis 33:5 “. . . And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.”
Be ready to use some God-given creativity. You may be making peanut butter sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, when the sliced bread is running low. You may be laying your kiddos crossways in order to fit three to a bed, or placing a sleeping bag on top of a deflated air mattress for added cushioning. Make sure you have plenty of Bible songs, and coloring sheets, and washable crayons in your “back pocket”. Ask the Lord to help you be flexible!
Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.”
Your children are going to love it more than you ever thought they would! Sure, they’re going to have days when they admit, “I want to go home!” You are too! But most of the time they’re going to be begging to be the next one to push the elevator button, and asking if they can have waffles at the continental breakfast. They’re going to be excited to sit beside the pastor’s wife at the missions banquet, and inviting other children to look at their display table. They’re going to be telling others about cool places they’ve visited, and requesting to see your hostess’ talking parrot as soon as they wake up in the morning. Deputation can be a childhood adventure they’ll never forget!
Isaiah 54:13 “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD;and great
shall be the peace of thy children.”
God can take care of any and every financial difficulty you’ll face. You can truly leave every need and every want in His care. You might be running low on gasoline or “Goldfish” crackers, needing a date night with your husband, worrying about how worn your girls’ church shoes are, or thinking how pleasant it would be for them to have a new book to read or a doll to share this journey with them, and the Lord will suddenly provide! Sometimes from a corner you never would have expected . . . When you’re doing God’s will, He truly DOES take care of you! He shows Himself FAITHFUL – again, and again, and again, and again . . .
Matthew 6:32 “ . . . for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
Are you about to “step out by faith”, as they say? Is the “road to missions” laying before you? Rest assured that the Lord is by your side!
Psalm 121:8 “The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
May the Lord bless you, Dear Ladies, as you seek to serve Him with your lives!