How much?

How much is enough? or really, how little is enough? Would I be a better Christian if I gave everything away and lived in a mud hut? Would not having the conveniences of American/western life really make me grasp the hand of God more tightly everyday? Would living with less alone make my heart mold to be more like the one who died on that cross 2000 years ago?

I’m not going to lie. I am not living in squalor here. My house has two bedrooms, one bathroom with a bathtub, a washer and dryer, a well functioning kitchen, and a living room/dining room, running water I can drink, and electricity and internet that work for most of the day usually. At moments, I actually feel a little cheated by God. I mean, I came to Africa. AFRICA. I’m supposed to rough it. I am supposed to live in a hut and pee in a hole. That’s what good Christians do when they are “real missionaries”, right? I’m supposed to have horror stories, and while there is great poverty here around me, I’m not out there in the slums. I’m in a pretty plush (by African standards) environment. On this blog, you will probably never see a picture of me praying next to a man in rags lying under a thatched roof. I might not meet people who have holes as big as my head in their ears and lips. I will probably not speak to one person through a translator, and in all honesty, I don’t know that anyone will come to Jesus because of my evangelism. So what does that mean? Am I really giving up enough? Am I really doing enough?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t enough. There’s living with what God provides daily and following His leading and trusting in times where it doesn’t seem like there will be enough. And I’m not just talking about “enough” monetarily or in possessions. It’s in the times that you’ve got a deadline on an impossible decision, and it just doesn’t seem possible that He could work within that time, and then looking back six months later when that impossible decision seems like little more than a bump in the road because He did. It’s in the moments where your heart is breaking and life is at the tipping point and you just don’t think there’s more you can handle and it starts to rain.

It’s at those moments that I’m learning to cling to Him. To know that there isn’t enough I can do or give up, but instead there is a God that will use me exactly how He wants me to be used if I just hold on in those times. To have comfort in the fact that I’m–and you too–in the exact place that He designed me to be even when I see someone else doing so much more, and wonder how much the impact is that I’m making. God doesn’t give us as much as our best friend or neighbor or saintly older woman can handle. He prepares us for our own life. The one that He has perfectly designed for each and every one of us individually, the great adventure He wants us to lead if we just say “yes” to His small whisperings everyday.

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4 thoughts on “How much?

  1. and I ponder….how can my sweet little baby girl understand more of God’s work in our life than I…one of so mony years and experiences? Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart as your wise words reverberate in my mind and soul today

  2. Thank You so much for opening your heart to the world (including me). What a wonderful woman You are. So proud of You, XOXO Uncle Ron

  3. Hey there Hallie! Thanks for your honesty. I did mission work in Guatemala for a year (I am Leah’s sister from your church), and I can say that I too had many similar feelings as to what you are expressing here. One of the best pieces of advice I got for that year was: “Ellen, you are their sister, not their Savior.” So Hallie — just be a sister, a companion, a listener, a follower. You are a human BEing, not a human DOing!! Would love to talk more via email!

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