Big messes

I love the internet, and social media. It is such a resourceful tool.

At the same time, I hate it. I hate how time consuming it can be. I hate how much crap is on here. It can be a sweet tool to maintain relationships, yet at the same time, it can also rob us of the relationships that are right in front of us. I also hate how easy it is to paint a perfect picture of our lives, masking the absolute mess that truly exists.

I don’t really know how people view “missionaries” (which I don’t think I’m qualified for that title. I think you have to have led a certain amount of people to the Lord, or know a certain amount of Bible verses by heart, and eat lots of bugs without flinching. I’m definitely not there, on all accounts).  I think sometimes missionaries can be viewed on a different level of holiness or commitment to God (which is why God gives them special perks).

I have seen other people post things that were pretty vulnerable and I found it encouraging (it’s always good to know you aren’t the only screw up). So hopefully my being somewhat vulnerable on here encourages you, and gives you a more real look at our lives:

My wife and I have only been in Thailand for 3 months, yet…

– We have already argued more in the last 3 months than we had in our previous almost 3 YEARS of marriage

– I thought I had gotten over my “road rage” issues in college (I literally have driven like a grandma the last few years). Driving in Thailand is now teaching me that apparently I didn’t deal with the root of the issue.

– I STILL am very susceptible to depression and struggle with it, probably even more so now that we are away from home and yearning for family, friends, and community.

– People may think we have vision and guidance (which to some extent we do. But to be honest, probably about 40% of the time I go to bed thinking, “what the heck are we doing?”)

– I haven’t led anyone in Thailand to Christ, or even come close. I’m just now at the point where I can order my food in a way where the locals won’t laugh at me for butchering my Thai.

– I have run out of gas twice in the last three months. That’s two times more than I had in the previous twenty six years. Which again, has brought great laughter to the locals.

– Despite having an array of gray hairs on my head, I still can’t grow a full beard without any bare spots (which I thought when you move overseas, God automatically gives you a sweet beard, and possibly a staff. Apparently not).

I desperately am trying to seek and follow God and want to be used by Him. But as I do, the more of a big mess I realize I am. But that’s ok, and honestly, I think that’s how it should be. As Paul wrote;

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So as you see our facebook updates, photos, blog updates, etc, I hope you see me for what I am. A big mess.

But the more I realize I’m a mess, the more it reminds me how much I need Jesus. Hallelujah for big messes.


(This blog is mainly just a way for me to ramble and try to process through things. If you want our actual ministry updates, you can sign up to receive those here.)

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6 Responses to Big messes

  1. Don Greenfield says:

    I really appreciate what you shared. Sometimes we all often sit and wonder where God is in all our efforts; why doesn’t He do something more.

    I have to head off to church right now – but I felt compelled to send an e-mail and remind you that Noah spent many many years preaching while building the Ark – yet NO ONE was saved other than his family.

    The important thing is that you are obeying the Lord! You do what the Lord tells you and let the Lord determine what the results will be.

    The more you are being obedient to the Lord – the more the evil one will try to disrupt your family, yourself, and your ministry.

    So put on the full armor of God and resist the evil one.

    It sounds like you are doing what the Lord wants you to do otherwise the evil one would be leaving you alone to enjoy your long vacation!

    In Christ, -Don

  2. Rachel de la Torre says:

    Your obedience inspires me! You are a city on a hill and at your weakest moments you shine Christ to a hurting nation. I am praying for you guys. Thank you for being real!

  3. Eula McLeod says:

    Loved this post! Honesty is disarming – thank you for taking the risk to be real. And the longer I live, the more I see that Jesus loves me just as I am with all the messiness, and never condemns. Thanks for the reminder that “it is God who works in you both the willing and the working according to His good pleasure.” Now I see better how to pray for you both. Peace and rest!

  4. Three cheers for vulnerability! Your generation needs to open things up as past missionaries suffered in their silence. The church needs to understand better what the missions experience is. Thank you!

  5. Phil says:

    This post has prompted the thought that you and those with you are experiencing more than ever the living in an area that is not under God … it’s under darkness. And what is happening is the result of evil seeking to kill, steal, and destroy His purposes in Thailand.

    So seek more Spirit and rely on that. The Spirit gives the increase, the comfort AND the victories. Those will be won in the spiritual realms first, I think. Although you may not have any idea what impact is being made by His presence through you, it is being made for all that are coming in contact with the power in you 🙂

    It is a lie that you are not being effective … God will move.

  6. Chris Maddox says:

    Just wanted to say I really appreciated this post. One of the best ways (in my mind) that we can attract people to Christ, is by being honest with them in our ‘messiness’. It makes grace real and it gives people a kind of permission to enter into that grace without feeling alone. Thanks for the honest post 🙂

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