When I was newly married it was Spring. I was just getting started as a full-time missionary. I was full of energy and excitement to start new things. I was willing to do any activity that was needed. I had only been living in Mexico for two weeks and I found myself working with groups that came from the United States and Norway. Four weeks straight of long hours in very hot and humid weather and I loved what I was doing. I loved it because I knew I had made it to the place God wanted me to be. That is a wonderful place. I was with the husband God gave me and we were working together in our calling as missionaries. We were in full bloom just like flowers in Spring.
Summer was right around the corner. We found our routine in ministry. We were learning alot and becoming pretty good at what we were doing. It didn’t take long in Mexico to be able to share a quick testimony on the street without much thought. Setting up a speaker on a street corner for a drama was second nature and learning a fun kids song in my second language was my new norm. It seemed like I had it all figured out. I thought it would be like this forever.
Then I started to feel tired. The season of Fall had begun. I was really homesick and I was having a hard time adjusting to the culture. I was getting tired. Looking back I can see it wasn’t a bad season, it was actually quite beautiful. In my tiredness, I realized that I can’t do missions alone. In missions you will get tired and you must rely on God to give you strength. I learned to depend on Him. Just as the leaves fall off the trees to make way for new growth in the Spring, realizing my dependence on God made way for new growth and greater things in the future of ministry and my family. Not because of what I could do in my own strength but because of what I allow God to do through me with HIS strength.
Winter was and is a tough season. I found myself in Winter because of some changes in the ministry and my personal life. Some structural changes were happening in the ministry and it was feeling like the enemy just had a victory. My dad was sent to the hospital because he was cutting something and the knife slipped and hit a major artery in his arm and I couldn’t see him or visit him because he lives two or three airplane rides away. As a couple newly married and new to the mission field we were having a hard time fundraising and were wondering where God the Provider was when we were following His calling. This is the season of doubts. Every person in missions and ministry goes through Winter. Winter is the season when you pull out the promises that God has shown you in the past. It is the season when you need to find a way to survive and push through until things begin to thaw. Spring will come again and you will be stronger for it. You will be stronger in your faith because you saw how God brought you out of Winter into Spring.
My husaband and I were stronger in our faith because we saw how God took care of the ministry despite the many changes that were happening. We were stronger in our faith because we saw how God took care of my dad and he came out fine after many stitches. We were stronger in our faith because we saw how God provided again and again in unexpected ways.
Every time we cycle through these seasons we come out ready to take on larger challenges that need more faith. When we started in full-time missions we trusted God to take care of us as individuals and as a married couple. Now we are learning how to trust God to take care of us as a family of four! God is always faithful.