Thursday, September 1, 2011

Having Adventures

For as long as I can remember there have only been two things that I wanted in life: to be a missionary and to get married.  Rooted somewhere in the depths of my heart there is an intense desire to follow God wherever he leads, but equally as powerful was my desire to love a man and have him love me back.

And for so long I was absolutely convinced that I couldn't have both.

I learned very quickly that out of these two passions I had, showing that passion to the world was only really acceptable for missions.  I wanted to share about how deeply I longed to be married, but the voices of others taught me that it was not ok to desire marriage that much.

"You are too young to get married."

"Live your life before you settle down."

"You don't even have a boyfriend why are you thinking about marriage?"

My heart learned that even though I wanted to be a wife and support a man through thick and thin, it wasn't ok to desire it.

So, I ran with my other passion: missions, asking God for crazy adventures, a life of seeing Him redeem people unto himself.  My adventures took me all around the world and I was absolutely convinced that marriage and missions just didn't go together...for me.

In all of this I started to believe the lie that missions was a much higher calling than marriage.  I don't know how it started, but my heart believed it as truth.

"I knew this girl once who started dating a guy back in the states and she never went back overseas."

Look at Hudson Taylor, he left the girl he was dating because she didn't want to go to China.  Missions must be a higher calling than marriage.

In my own life every single one of my dating relationships ended because of how strongly I felt called to serve in Poland.  It was always Poland vs Men.  I tried to "convince" the men I dated that missions was awesome and they should join me.  In my head thinking, you just aren't doing what God called you to do if you don't join me in this."

I was really proud of myself.  I had taken on the missionary call, therefore I was the most awesome.  I silently judged those who pursued missions but then stopped to get married.  I told myself they were settling.  Not stepping up to what God REALLY wanted for them.

In the last eight months something has changed.  Slowly, God started to challenge me in this thinking.  Is a life of missions really a higher calling than marriage?

I started to allow myself to ask my heart hard questions

"Does God see me as a missionary failure if I desire marriage?"

"Do I have to abandon everything I am (even my crazy adventure seeking ways) in order to get married?"

"Do I even believe that God can work in marriage, just as he does in missions?"

And just as God does when he really wants you to learn a lesson I started reading all about marriage in blogs and hearing conversations around me.

It’s not about just you anymore. It’s waking up and realizing your dreams didn’t die, but now you have someone who can help you achieve them, and you’re responsible for helping them accomplish theirs too. It’s knowing that your last name might change, but your soul and its makeup don’t.

I am still me in marriage.  I can still be called to ministry, I can still love Poland in the depths of my heart AND spend forever with my best friend.

As God slowly opened up my eyes to the fact that He uses marriage to do amazing things, I was seeing the heart of my boyfriend change.  He was falling in love with Jesus all over again and talking about doing ministry with me in the future.  Not only did he change, but I changed too.

My heart still deeply desired to have crazy God adventures, but they didn't require a passport.  I started to see God where he had me.  I started to see the need in my own city, the gaps and brokenness I had never noticed in my 25 years here.

I learned that everyday with this man, my best friend, was an adventure.  And it has God's finger prints all over it.

Just like that I let my heart feel the greatness of love.  Love from a God who cares about every little desire in my heart.  Love from a man who has seen me at my best and at my worst and loves every little part of it.

I made the decision to resign from my missionary title (for now) and let God spoil me a bit with my relationship with Devin.  So yes, maybe right now missions and marriage don't go together.  But marriage and being right where God wants you does.

Two weeks ago, Devin took me to the heart of Denver, this city that we feel lead to serve and be a part of and asked me to marry him.  To start a crazy adventure with him.

Missionary Mallory is still a part of me and who I am.  But maybe just maybe, God has something bigger in mind for me that I couldn't do alone.  Teaching me once again that it is not all about me, missions never was, and marriage definitely is not.  But it is all about becoming more like Christ and He will call us to adventures that make us more like Him.

Marriage hasn’t changed our makeup, but each day, it is making us a little more selfless, a little bit more like Christ.  And that, I think, is how it’s supposed to be.

Thanks to Good Women Project for helping God open my eyes to seeing that marriage is a great thing too.  Especially for this post

1 comment:

  1. Mal, this is so encouraging. It's incredible to see all of the passion God put in your heart translate into real life with you. Thank you so much for your transparency and for your stubborn faith.