It was a beautiful brisk Sunday morning in Mexico. My eyes were caught by the sky as I peered out from under the unfinished roof. What caught my attention was not the clear blue sky but what fluttered high above. At first, I thought I was watching birds, but after observing them approach, I realized they were Monarch Butterflies. There wasn’t just one or two like I was used to seeing. There were more than ten at a time. We were at one of the highest points of the city, and yet there they were. As we continued to worship, I pondered these butterflies, their metamorphosis as well as their journey; how far they had come migrating from the United States to central Mexico for the winter months.
I have made the same journey with my family many times. I remembered how, on this very hillside where I sat, God spoke to my heart that we would serve the people here. I thought about my own personal journey and the faithfulness of the Lord. My husband and I both knew missions would be a part of our lives before we were married. Our first missions trip together was in 2004 to Queretaro, Mexico to the very community I was sitting in. On our trip, we saw the hand of God move in a powerful way as he raised up a girl who was bed ridden to being completely healthy. We knew when we left that we would return one day. We were associate pastors at our church, and we continued to serve, but in our hearts, we waited expectantly for God to give us the ok to become missionaries.
Days turned into months and years. God taught us so many lessons in our caterpillar stage. We couldn’t get enough of his word and prayer. Then, came the cocoon stage. We knew his call and where He had placed our hearts, but we felt trapped in our life and a bit impatient waiting for the transformation to complete itself. We continued to serve, seek God, and go on short term Missions trips.
One day I was praying, and I was a little frustrated with my job, and I asked God, “When will we be able to step into Missions full time?” I was shocked when he said, “NOW!” 2 Weeks later, we were having conversations with our Pastor and applying to become missionaries. I didn’t realize how hard the next few years would be, emerging from our chrysalis. We were approved and raised support, sold our things, left our family and friends to learn a new language. This process took 4 years. We arrived in Mexico on April 19, 2014. We were still learning the language and culture and how to fly. I’m thankful for my life. Serving cross-culturally comes with its own set of challenges, but one thing I have learned is that God is faithful. In the Old Testament, we find Moses encouraging Joshua with these words. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
I believe these words are for you as well, whatever stage you are in life, continue to seek God, and He will guide your steps. You may not be called to be a missionary like me, but God wants to use your life to do wonderful things.