We are in Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesvos!
I am writing from the stone table you see, which is filled with the aroma of jasmine petals that fall from the tree above. The table is located outside of the YWAM home we are living in.
My thoughts this morning are scattered, ranging from thoughts of home in Minnesota, parts of my family visiting Haiti at the moment, my fellow team members on the other side of town, Ben and I’s future and abstract thoughts about life. I hope that as I write, some of those thoughts will become more clear!
The past few weeks have been a mixture of extremely difficult circumstances, immense joy, the challenge of stepping out in using our new skills and knowledge before we feel “comfortable”, and a pressure from within to make the most of this time that we have been given to serve on this island.
And now, as I sit here in another country that is being flooded by people fleeing from the war zones that they call home, I can’t help but wonder what life is really about for me. I don’t know that we can make a blanket statement for “the meaning of life”, as we are all created so differently and our lives come together to make up a beautiful array of talents and perspectives – all reflecting a part of God’s character. I’ve met some volunteers here that absolutely love tasks, and are masters at figuring out how to get tarps above all of the tents in Moria. I’ve sat with others who love the moments they get to sit with a refugee family who offers them tea in their little humble home of a tent while they figure out who exactly is living with them in that spot, and if they possibly have just a little bit of space for one more. My brother is studying to be an engineer – not that any of us are surprised. He has always been able to simply look at something and formulate what else it could be. Not only does he have the imagination to procure those ideas, but he has the brains and hands to put it together. Still, there are people in my team that have the gift of hospitality and can make anyone feel welcome and at home.
What am I getting at?
I had a conversation with a young friend of mine just this last week. She is currently in high school, and struggling with the task of deciding what to do after she graduates. We can all remember those confusing times. At the end of our time together, I challenged her with words I wish I’d understood just a few years ago myself. I said, “In the end, it’s not so much about what you do, but who you are. You will probably have many different seasons in your life, doing different things, filling different roles. But who will you be while you do them?” That’s the challenge that all of us face.
This Foundations for Counseling Ministries (FCM) outreach is pushing me further into a spot of solidifying WHO I AM, which gives me more peace to let the WHAT I DO come in its own timing. Or, better yet, it is helping me to see that I can stop waiting for the “one day when I get a word of the Lord, or have a position I’ve always wanted, and I can move forward realizing that who I am and what I do today is just as important, if not more important, than a mysterious moment in my future.
God is refining us. We are on a path of being perfected, although we will never reach the end goal on this earth. Ben and I are so thankful for this time we have had to gain new knowledge and skills, as well as an environment that is holding us accountable to learning how to put that knowledge and skill into practice. That looks different for everyone, which is a challenge for me. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is comparison, and I know that I am not alone.
My challenge to you today is to think of something you enjoy and do well, or a unique perspective you have to offer the world around you. Take a moment to be thankful for that and challenge yourself to intentionally share it with someone in the next two days.
With love from Lesvos
(Picture below taken at the Acropolis in Athens before we hopped over to the island)