I moved overseas thinking I would be off doing amazing things. God had a purpose for me in Indonesia, I was sure of it. I would use my talents and abilities to help children or work with women. I would make a difference.
Maybe you thought these things, too.
It didn’t turn out that way. I am, according to the visa in my passport, an accompanying spouse. My husband has the big job, his daily life is the reason we are here. I am not even allowed to volunteer. I am secondary. My visions of missionary work interrupted by the reality of what it really meant for our family to live overseas.
Besides my husband, I am surrounded by friends who do equally spectacular work. They translate scripture. They teach. They help and heal the sick. They mentor street children. They spend weeks in difficult living conditions to help victims of natural disasters. They fly airplanes. They fly helicopters. They quite literally save lives.
These days I am not off doing amazing things. Even if my visa allowed it, life here takes so much time I simply don’t have room to do all the extraordinary stuff too. I clean. I cook. I parent. I home school. If it wasn’t for the place I live in, my daily life would be considered quite unremarkable.
But you know what? I’ve come to like it this way.
I find that I love Jesus more, I need Jesus more, here in the unremarkable than I ever did in the extraordinary. I pray more, “God, how do I love my family and love my neighbors well?” Because while waking early to make breakfast for my family or buying extra vegetables because I know the mama selling them is in need isn’t very spectacular, it is precious in God’s sight.
This is a simple life. The daily chore of laying aside my preferences to mop dusty floor is as far from missionary work as I ever thought possible.
There is peace and rest here in the simple way. I can stand and cheer on my husband and those friends doing amazing work. There is no comparison, no guilt, because while I pray and cheer for them from my kitchen I hear Jesus whisper, “I am pleased with you. I see you. I placed you exactly where you are.”