Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What it's like: part 5 (discouragement)

John 10:10a "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; (NASB)

Utter discouragement. Profound despair. Spiritual attacks. Seemingly endless gloom. "Deep dark depression; excessive misery". (in the words of the Hee-Haw crew)

Not exactly a pretty picture. Certainly not the picture of a "spiritual" "holy" "chosen" "missionary". That makes it even that much more discouraging.

Missionaries are people, too. We don't get a special dispensation of holiness or strength; well, I least I didn't. Some seem to have, at times. Living overseas only exacerbates and amplifies any attacks of depression and discouragement.

Doubt creeps in. Satan attacks your children and they say just the right things to make you question your own call. Satan attacks your spouse and she ends up feeling useless or discouraged or both. Satan attacks you and you feel like giving up.

I remember my first year on the field in a very difficult situation. I was shaving one morning and my oldest child came in and saw my face covered in shaving cream. Innocently, the statement was made, "Daddy, you look like a clown." I have never had such an innocent statement cut me so deeply. What was going on? I certainly didn't know at the time.

Satan can attack the most sacred of partnerships; your marriage. Not in the so obvious ways of immorality (although, for some, that has certainly been a problem), but in subtle ways, like building walls, or discontentment, or silly little arguments. Sure, this happens in the US, too, but overseas, EVERYTHING is amplified. Everything.

Satan will attack your sense of self; your qualifications, your talents, your abilities, your desires, your habits, your hobbies, your thoughts. Everything. Sure, this happens in the US, too, but overseas, EVERYTHING is amplified.

John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (NASB)

Praise be to God who gives His Son and His Spirit to give life, comfort, and direction.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you" - The special promise that I have from God that no matter what, it will be 'OK'.

Pray for us.


Guy Muse said...

I know exactly what you are talking about and can fully relate to it. What you left out is the part about not having anybody to share with as you face these feelings alone. When we look around us it seems others have their act together (family, ministry, balanced lifestyle, etc.) but we are far from the ideal.

Nomad said...


SO RIGHT YOU ARE! In my despair, I left that part out.

Since I chose the pen name "Nomad" it means that we have moved around a lot. Since coming to my new place of service, I really haven't connected with many beyond the surface relationship.

I wish you could pop over for a quick cuppa joe; we could comiserate. ;-)

It will get better; STAS isn't THAT far away! (HA!)

Shannon said...

Amen and amen again. It is hard to explain to others what it is like. Things are just so different.

Strider said...

It is true, we are not wise. When it comes to spiritual warfare we know very little about the schemes of the evil one. That is why so many teams of 'mature?' M's get torn apart and when it is all over they don't even know why they hate each other. We must recognize the voice of discouragement and despair and name him for who he is, disagree with him, and listen for the one who always invites us into a deeper love relationship regardless of how silly or sinful we have been.
Hey Nomad, I love the name for it is what we are- homeless. At least for now. I think we are blessed to know this. Too many people think that their hometown is somewhere nearby and that their identity and future are bound there. We know better. Our home is not here, it is somewhere else and when we get there we will truly belong there.

Kevin Bussey said...

Thanks for the wake-up call. I will pray for you.