Let's be honest. Driving to Pinetop, Arizona last week, I kinda freaked out. One minute I was in Pasadena, with the world at my fingertips, and ten not-so-short hours later I was in rural Arizona passing Wal-Mart and the Boot Barn. Granted, it had been a long day, after a long week, and a long quarter, but it was just all a little too much to take in at one time. What had once been abstract was now real and unavoidable. As I moved my things into my cabin in the woods I realized that the future was here, and it included lots of trees and not a lot of city.
I got worried. And not just because I am afraid of being in the woods in the dark.
My anxiety began to rise and I began to question these important decisions I had already made. Was this really what I wanted to do? Did I really want to live in the woods in small town Arizona? The answer was honestly, at that point, a "no, not really." When I was alone in my new place waiting for my roommates to get home I had the urge to run outside and yell, "wait! God! Can I change my mind?" To which I assumed I would receive a stern don't be silly kind of look, so instead I just texted a few friends and waited for the anxiety of the transition to pass.
The next day I was able to drive down to the reservation and show my family where I will be working, as they met a few of my students and my other team members. On the rez I felt better, I felt home, I felt right. In my place of ministry I was reminded of why I was there and why it was exciting and important. The anxiety of the transition began to pass as I remembered that in this place I was loved and I was needed.
Why am I telling you this? If I want you all to support me financially and in prayer, I probably shouldn't tell you that the first thing I did in my new home was second guess myself. I probably should just stick with how excited I am, that way I seem like the kind of missionary you want to support. But I don't want to be perfect on this blog, I want to be real. I want you to know that this move is going to be hard for me. I want you to know that I love these Apache teens so much that even though I don't want to move to Pinetop, Arizona, I am going to do it. I want you to know that sometimes I am going to get upset, sometimes I am going to want to run away, but that I am not going to give in. Because I know that this is my calling, and I know that where God has brought me He will not leave me alone.
But I also want you to know that I need you.
When I texted one of my friends that I was feeling overwhelmed I was hit back with the reply that I have "the skills, gifts, and prayers" supporting me. Though I replied that I would need a constant reminder of this, I think that this was the perfect reply to my worries. God has been cultivating all the things I would need in my life for a while. It is the skills that have been cultivated in me by my Fuller professors that will hold me up when I don't know what to do. It is the gifts that have been given to me by a God who loves me that will enable me to be effective and loving. And it is the prayers of everyone who reads my blog or hears my story that will keep me encouraged, reminding me why I am there in the first place. Because the fact is, I can't do it alone, but I can do it with you.
In the end, I can reassure you that I don't want to change my mind. Yes, I am sad to leave my friends and life in Pasadena, but I can't imagine anything I would rather be doing than serving the Lord in whatever He calls me to do. He has plans for me that I can't even fathom, and I will go willingly. . .
. . . even if it means living by the Boot Barn.