I’ve been at intake for just over a month now. In about one more month, I’ll find out where I’m placed and who my teammates will be. This first month has gone by so fast and before all the Intakers know it, we’ll be placed and sent out as foreign missionaries. How exciting! Anyway, let me give you a brief update on what we’ve been doing this month and what’s been on my heart lately.
Every week, we have “classes” which include talks on being a missionary in the field (what to expect, how to prepare, etc.), Bible studies, and teaching workshops. Everyone has a chore they are assigned to, mine is sweeping and mopping the Big House, or the Community house, and everyone is assigned to a meal team to help prep and cook for all 60 plus of us. All that stuff is only what we do here at Big Woods. We also have various service projects each week. For instance, I and a couple others go every Thursday to do home visits. This past week, we went with a priest and visited a couple people in hospice care to give them company and Father could give them the sacrament of anointing of the sick if needed. It’s a busy schedule but it’s been so good.
As far as what’s been on my heart lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about comparison. I’ve been struggling a lot with this lately. I’ve allowed myself to get swept up in other people’s stories of God’s grand gestures in their life. I’ve heard stories about miracles and visions and prophesy. The truth is, I wanted these things, I still do. This isn’t how God has worked in my life, though. God has reached my heart in humble, little ways– in a song, in the mountains back home, in the smile on someone’s face. I remember when I was in school, I would come home feeling alone and tired after a long night of studying. I’d look up and see the sky filled with stars and it was as if God was saying, “I see you, I’m here, and I love you.”
These small ways haven’t stopped since I got to Louisiana. I just stopped looking for them. I wanted to see miracles! I wanted to cure the blind and speak in tongues! I’m not saying these things couldn’t still happen (God willing), but I can’t forget to look for God’s little ways. Just this week, we found a luna moth. This particular moth is special to me because the last time I saw one was when I was really little. My family and I had found a caterpillar and kept it in a box all winter long in our garage. Come spring, the caterpillar had turned into a luna moth. Finding the luna moth this week was a reminder of home. God’s given me such great joys in such small things like the frogs, the geckos, and the luna moth. (I often joke that I’d be the patron saint of critters, excluding spiders and other creepy crawlies of course, ew.)
So, ya, I might not be the one doing or experiencing the crazy miracles. Maybe one day that will be my call and I hope I can be humble enough to give the glory to God. Right now, however, I’m grateful for the gifts God has given me and I’m grateful for the geckos.