This morning, I received a phone call from my father, where he proceeds to tell me my sister was involved in a car accident. To sum up what happened, her and a friend were rear-ended while sitting on the side of the road. She has been released from the hospital with a mild concussion, neck pain, and some memory loss regarding the accident.
I say all this for two reasons. First, your prayers are greatly appreciated. Second, it has obviously got me thinking more about my sister. It is an odd series of thoughts. That is not because we do not get along or anything. It is just that we have never been incredibly close. This is partly because we are five years apart. We had our own group of friends, we were only in the same school for 2 years (during elementary), and we are different genders. I moved out when I started college, and did not really spend much time back in my home town. And just when we were getting a bit closer, God called me to ministry several hundred miles away.
This is extremely difficult for me. I do not vocalize it much, because I never want to seem like that type of a person. However, it does get overwhelming every once in a while and I feel like I need to tell someone. Today has been one of those days. Not that I could have done anything, but I wished I could. And part of me thought that, “If only I was there…” Similar thoughts have crossed my mind when my great-grandmother was not doing well about a year or so ago.
I guess what I really want to say is that I am constantly being reminded how ministry/missions can be lonely, especially when God removes you from your family and friends. Visits are never long enough, and it feels like time creeps by as you await another time to catch up. Technology helps but it is not the same. Nights are spent wondering what life would be like if we actually had friends and family around. Days go by when you wonder if it will feel like “home.” At times, you get discouraged at how difficult it is to make friends, trying to remember when was the last time people just wanted to hang out and share life together. Do not get me wrong; there are amazing days when things go so good! I thank God for these times!! But there are other times when you think about such things.
If you are considering ministry as a profession, I can only tell you to pray. Make sure it is what God wants for your life, because it will not always be easy. It will not always be filled with people giving their lives to Jesus, church growth, and no problems. And if He calls you to leave your friends and family, pray even more, because you will soon begin to understand what Jesus means in Matthew 8:18-22 and Matthew 10.
I know that God will help my sister get through this, and He will continue to watch over my family and friends I “left behind,” but I just want to be honest. It is tough sometimes.