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“Because He Can”

Hey everyone! So, in my last blog post, I mostly talked about how excited I was to be a missionary kid. But let me tell you the truth, there is so much more that everyone doesn’t see. When most people ask how I feel about moving to another continent, I put on the church smile and say how much I anticipated the new journey of living in Portugal.  But there is another side that is painful and full of sorrow.  For the past year, after saying our first goodbye to our home, and finding peace with letting the comforts of this world go, I had convinced myself everything was fantastic and that everything would work out fine. I ignored all the heartache and pain, slowly trying to suffocate it within myself, but pain is a very real and raw emotion that cannot run from.  I had focused on the fact that God had changed my heart towards missions, and because of that I was now ready for all this change. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to look on the bright side and all the wonderful things that would come out of this journey, but when you only look at the positive things you hurt yourself in the end.

It all started a couple Sundays ago… Like normal I went to church and told everyone how excited I was to be a MK, which I truly am, but that night I experienced a spiritual attack that left me with swollen eyes from tears that didn’t seem to stop.  The five-minute drive back to my Nana’s house, felt like five hours. As soon as my Nana saw me, she wrapped her arms around me, and in that single moment…in that single hug, I felt peace.  As she let go, suddenly I felt a tsunami size wave of reality come crashing upon me.  I realized that I was going to have to say goodbye to those I love, and I would be leaving the place I felt at peace.  That night as we were going back to the lake house, I just broke down. My heart shattered… I began to cry, but it was a strange cry that I hadn’t known before. As these emotions of grief overcame me, a spirit of anger and frustration also came over me. “How could anyone understand what I was going through! Nothing that anyone could say would ever take this feeling from me!” As I was thinking these things all I wanted to do was blame everyone, cry, and scream. I have never in my life felt these emotions before. As I laid in the bed that night, I felt as if I physically was not capable of getting on the plane and leaving for good. I mean you must be in a pretty bad place if you feel as if you are physically incapable of doing something because the emotion is so overwhelming. But that’s how I felt that night. The next day I woke up still numb from the night before. I had been punched over and over, beaten, and left lying on the ground.  My accuser had stripped me of all my joy, laughed at my bruises, and left me lying there helpless. I was unable to get up or move. That’s how I felt and anything that anyone said made me want to cry. My heart was wounded, and every encouraging word spoken to me that day only felt like salt burning deep within the cuts. It was one of those days where all I wanted to do was curl up in a blanket, eat ice cream, cry, and watch a movie. That same day our family found out that we had just reached 100% for our one-time fund, but it was like I had no emotion left to feel. I wasn’t mad, I wasn’t excited, all I felt was numbness, and in that numbness, was this overwhelming sense of confusion. I had no idea what I felt, and I didn’t know what to do next. I still feel this sense of confusion, and honestly, I’m not sure how long I’ll feel like this. I don’t know if this is how I am going to feel from now on because my eyes have been opened to both the good and bad. I don’t know what to do… but I know that the right thing to do is go back to God’s Word and prayer. It might feel like eating a stale cracker but at least it’s food. But I can say this with great joy, He has provided everything I need to get through this. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” He has provided His Word, prayer, goldy parents, and friends that I can lean on. I am trusting that He will get me through this… because He is the only one who can.

Ava J

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I Would Gladly Say No

Being a missionary kid is quite different than any other experience, and most people can not claim to be associated with this group of people. As a missionary kid, I had to move from the town I grew up in, to my grandparents’ lake house, which was a lot more painful than it seems. While my family is raising support, we are traveling to many different churches. This is the start to a long road of feeling uncomfortable because it’s not my normal. Different and uncomfortable are typically two common words used as a missionary kid. Being a MK means eventually accepting a new culture, language, and lifestyle. I attended some conferences…and all the advice given to me is great, but I won’t really know how I will respond until I reach the field. Confusingly, I ask myself “Does all of my family and friends look at me differently now? Do they look at me the same? Is this the group I once felt like I belonged in?” Different is probably the best word to describe this new identity that I would have never imagined myself being. “Giving up” many of my comforts are my main struggle. Meeting new people, and visiting new places are my biggest, most uncomfortable obstacles. Learning to accept the unknown is the one thing all MK’s share. Another thing that changed for me was my spiritual life. When I first found out, I blamed God and was mad at Him. I figured that He called my parents, and I was forced to be dragged along. But through time, God opened my eyes that He was calling me too. The main outcome of this was the way I looked at everything. It was not a horrible thing at all, in fact it was probably one of the best blessings that came out of this! It was like God placed a pair of eclipse glasses on my eyes. If you’ve never looked through a pair, all you see is black and darkness. You’re moving your head all around to try to detect anything. Then you finally find the sun. That’s all you want to look at because everything else is dark and lifeless in comparison to it. God opened my eyes that He is the only thing that matters and without the Son everything is dark and pointless. Most of the time we think of different and change being awful but truthfully, it’s a great thing. Missionary kids go through many different changes, but God has worked, is working, and will work it out all for His wonderful plan.
Being a missionary kid is an excellent experience and honestly if I had a choice to travel back in time to change things, I wouldn’t. As a MK I get to explore a new culture and examine how diverse people are. Also, one thing that I’m excitingly waiting for is trying all kinds of different and unique foods! Visiting new places and meeting new people who I can build relationships with are some of the things I’m looking forward to. One of the best blessings that came out of this new journey in my life was meeting my MK family. It’s quite a funny story how God showed me that if I would trust Him, He in the end would bless me with all these wonderful people. Hopefully I’ll be able to share that story with all of you soon. Gratefully I know that these people will be my life-long friends. Because of all these changes, my spiritual life has grown and made me rely more on Christ. Like my Mom always tells me, “You can either let it drive you to the cross or away from it.” Jesus has helped me realize that He is so much more comforting than my comforts, He is so much more reliable then my normal, and that He is so much wiser than my plans. Sometimes I pray that God would use me in ways that scare me. You are probably wondering why I would ask for that. Well, here’s the answer, because I’ve seen Him do it. Through it all, I’ve been blessed, and I have grown so much deeper into Him. Being a missionary kid is awesome because I get to see firsthand Jesus’ name being proclaimed to the world. Missionary kids (kids of missionaries), as I am identified as this, I think a better term would be kid missionaries. We have the privilege of being used by God just at an early age. Jesus has molded me more into a person who now has such a deeper relationship with Him; so yes, if you asked me would I change things I would gladly say no.

Ava J