This month, my husband and I are celebrating 10 years on the mission field. Because of this huge milestone (well, huge to me), my thoughts have gone back to what I was like back then and how much I’ve changed in these 10 years.
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but when I started out as a new missionary wife, my attitude was not what it should have been. I was an arrogant know-it-all. I had tons of energy, but no wisdom. I was confident in myself. I felt like I was a strong person, I knew my Bible, and I was ready to work hard and be successful.
But somewhere along the way, it got hard. I got tired. I failed. I disappointed people. There were defeats, and basically I got broken. That’s ok with me. I needed it. It was painful, but necessary.
But the problem I’ve just noticed is that I went from one extreme to the other. I went from being super confident and strong in myself to now feeling like a failure and full of weaknesses and defeats. I can’t do anything right, so why try. And I’ve wondered if God made a mistake in making me the wife of a missionary.
But recently God has been impressing upon my heart that that is still not the attitude He wants me to have, especially considering these verses I read just this morning.
Psa 44:5-8, “Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.”
I need to have confidence, as long as it’s in Him! I need to have power and strength, as long as I get it from Him. I need to work hard and do well, as long as He gets the glory. I need to be zealous, as long as I’m doing it to honour Christ. I need to be humble, but not defeated.
The problem with the first two mindsets is that they are all about me. Whenever it’s all about me, it’s wrong. Serving God has little to do with me and everything to do with God.
7 thoughts on “It’s Not All About Me”
This is a great reminder, Teri. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Excellent, Teri. Loved learning about your “lessons learned.” I really believe your experience is very typical. After all the excitement of deputation and being sent by the home church, people arrive on the field ready to take on the world. Then comes reality and hardship, along with the realization that you are so limited. I loved your post. Excellent!
I have been in those 2 places many times myself. This was very good! Thank you for your encouraging words!
Hi Teri, thank you so much for your transparency in writing this. My husband and I have been on the field for 9 years in Europe. As I read this, it seemed I was reading about myself in great detail. I related to everything you said. Thank you for the encouragement! God is good! Sarah (Bucharest, Romania)
Thanks for sharing.