Is it possible to see growth? I truly believe it is even if that growth is shadowed by difficult circumstances. I always know when I am growing in the ministry that God has called me to when I start hearing lies from the enemy. That’s always a signal to me that I need to spend some time with fellow believers and get some feedback from a fellow missionaries here on the field serving with me in Chile. Ministry as single missionary on the field has its life-changing rewards but it also has its struggles and hardships.
I’m glad that the focus is on growth this month. We are nearing the end of the school year, only 45 days left! I have actually begun to look at what I have done since arriving in Chile on June 30th, 2018. I was prepared to arrive in Chile and begin getting ready to teacher a younger grade, possibly 2nd or 3rd. However, I was told that a 6th grade teacher was needed and I immediately went to that place in my head (we all have that place) that says, “Uh oh, this is not a comfort zone. This will be hard work and you might even fail.” I had to take a step back to reflect.
After praying I came to the decision that I absolutely CAN do it and yes, it will be a stretching experience, but those future students of mine (now almost former students of mine) are still going to need me to reflect the love of Christ and pour into their lives as much as a younger student would. Needless to say, I KNEW there would be growth because I was being asked to do something a little above my comfort and experience level and, as we have all heard it said, there is always room for improvement.
As I am sitting here writing this to you I am reflecting on how far the Lord has brought me since arriving in Chile. It has not been easy, but God has been with me every step of the way. I had no idea how to pay bills here, how to drive here, how to do governmental paperwork, purchase a car (dealing with an independent Chilean citizen) and then choose and purchase an insurance policy for that car which is so much more different than how we do it in the U.S.
Oh, and let’s not forget about finding the necessary doctors ALL before the semester began in August. And just so I could make sure my plate was completely full, I needed to make time to prepare for teaching a tough grade level. Also, let’s add the fact that 90% of the field team members were all stateside for almost a month after I got here. Yes, it was overwhelming to say the least.
During that time, I let the enemy in way too much during telling me that I would never be able to make it here, I am not qualified to do what’s been asked of me and that I will experience nothing but failure. LIES! Looking back, I have seen that I have been able to do EVERYTHIING that the enemy tried to convince me that I couldn’t do and that, to me, is clear and evident growth.
I am so glad for those tough experiences because it was through them that I have seen myself grow to be more content as a single woman and as a teacher on the front lines of missions. We have roughly 2 months of school left and, with our Lord’s help, I have made sure that my students have heard the gospel on more than one occasion, been able to pour into their lives individually, help them be successful and seen myself grow spiritually.
How was I able to see and judge this growth? The best way that I can suggest to you to see how much you have grown in any way is to have good conversations with people or teammates that you love, respect and trust and who be completely honest with you. They can tell you things about yourself that you never would have noticed otherwise.
I would and should recommend to you to keep a journal, but that is not one of the things that I enjoy doing. However, I’ve heard it said that journaling can be a very effective tool in evaluating your growth. Perhaps it’s something I should begin doing in the near future. For now, I am just taking some time to think and reflect asking God to bring things to mind that He wants me to see.
Be encouraged if you are right in the middle of that growth. His grace is sufficient for you and we have available to us that same power that rose Christ from the dead! He is risen and sitting at the right hand of our Father! So press on! Don’t give up and always remember, “Be strong and take courage for the Lord your God is with you!”