“I wasn’t made to be a missionary,” I told her. “I’m not good enough to do that type of stuff.”
Four years ago, talking on the phone with my friend that was trying to get me to come do a DTS, I told her that I was going to go to college and work a “normal job” because I was just a “normal person.” And by “normal” I meant “flawed.” I was a flawed person, therefore I couldn’t do missions work. At least, that is the lie I believed.
I grew up going to a Christian school that had a chapel service every Friday morning. Sometimes we would have special guests that would come in and tell us these grand adventures they went on and stories about people coming to know Jesus. These special guests were missionaries.
I really didn’t understand missions work or why there were people who traveled to share the story of Jesus.
All I knew was that these people really loved Jesus and that they seemed to be perfect. They were always well dressed, good at public speaking, and told stories about these amazing things they were doing for the Lord, but I never remember hearing them talk about the struggles of the mission field.
I was in high school before I had a real relationship with Jesus and by that time I had believed the lies that said I wasn’t good enough to do anything great for the Lord. I was “too flawed” for missionary work. That was stuff only the super good Christians could do. Besides, I would probably mess it all up, right?
It wasn’t until I was 18 that I ever considered doing more than just a week long, service project mission trip. My friend was telling me about YWAM and a training program she was going to do called, “DTS.” She said that she really wanted me to come with her and that it would be fun. I got really defensive and would get pretty upset every time she would bring it up. “I wasn’t made to be a missionary,” I told her. “I’m not good enough to do that type of stuff.”
Then, three months later, I was here in Louisville, KY doing a DTS. A year after I graduated from my DTS I was back here as a full time staff member. It wasn’t until I joined staff with YWAM that I realized no one on the mission field is perfect. Think about Paul. This man persecuted Christians! He was not perfect by any means, yet Jesus met him where he was at and called him to carry the Word to the nations. Then, there’s people like David who was called a man after God’s own heart and still succumbed to lust and murder. The Lord uses people and none of them are perfect.
Here’s the reality, everyone who calls themselves a follower of Jesus is called to missions.
We’re called to missions with this other truth that we have all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are justified only through Jesus Christ (Rom 3:23). We all struggle with temptation, but struggling does not disqualify us from serving the Lord.
That’s one thing that’s so beautiful about Jesus. He is a God who doesn’t call us to be perfect before He accepts us. He isn’t a harsh father that hurls insults at us when we sin. Instead, He calls us to repentance and He’s the one who cleans us up. He’s the one who heals the brokenness. He’s the one who calls the imperfect and makes them righteous.
So, here’s the truth I’ve learned since becoming a full time missionary: I am called to be a missionary, despite my imperfections. Because of who Jesus is, He enables us to be able to do whatever He calls us to.
Here at YWAM Louisville, we’re not an army of perfect missionaries. We are a family that loves one another and recognizes that while we are imperfect people, we’re serving a perfect God who loves us and cherishes us, even though we’re flawed.
Our friend Anna is rarely seen without a smile on her face and a compliment on her lips. She has one of those sweet personalities and infectious laughs that make her a joy to be around. She’s also a deeply passionate person – passionate about Jesus and passionate about seeing injustices like sex trafficking abolished. It’s a passion that extends to a few more trivial things, like kittens, red lipstick, and all things Disney, but don’t let her bubbly side catch you off guard – Anna combines her inquisitive nature with a sharp mind and a zeal for truth, and she’ll fight, hard, for those she loves.