Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Am I a Missionary?

I'm on my fourth year at this college.

I bet not many of those who accidentally read this know that I'm studying in a BIBLE college where I am training to become a missionary. Yes, yes, it's like training to become a nun, but we have different beliefs when it comes to our theology and unlike those brave, self-controlled people, I am still allowed to fall in love and get married.

Though love and getting married is a great topic to rant about, this rant is not about the joys and pains of love. Nope, this is about my chosen path to take, the questions of why I chose it, if I ever regretted my choices, and what the heck am I still doing here?

Let's resume this rant, shall we?

When I was a wee bit little girl, having just graduated from high-school, there was this weird burning in my heart, not at all like heartburn, but something you can't explain without using those very words; burning of the heart or heartburn. I wanted to become a missionary. I wanted to learn about God, and I wanted to tell those who didn't get the chance to know about Jesus and to be given the choice. I don't care much for those who have rejected him already, because hey it's your choice if you don't want to believe in my beliefs. What I do care about is bringing the choice to those who never had the chance to choose. For me, that's what it means to be a missionary.

And that's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I could have been a journalist, what with my penchant for liking to write about whatever and giving insights to people who don't really want it, and I could have been great at it. I could have been a lawyer, since I could argue till my face is red, then blue and then I would argue some more until you are forced to agree with me cause that's the only way you'll get me to shut up.

But no.

I decided I wanted to become a missionary.

Was it the right choice?

Though my immediate family were nothing but supportive with my chosen future vocation, my extended family was not as kind. There were always snide remarks of me wasting my time, my future, my gifts at being essentially witty and sarcastic which people can mistake for some form of intelligence, and most of all, they all claim that not only am I wasting money on this endeavor, I was probably never going to get rich enough to help myself let alone my ever supportive immediate family when they need me, and I was probably going to rely on them for monetary support for the rest of my life. Encouraging, huh?

Did I ever regret my choice?

Sometimes, when people ask me what course I'm taking, something clogs up my throat, and instead of proudly telling them that I'm training to become a missionary, I mumble something about taking up theology, hoping that that is too big a word for them to actually know what it means, and that they're too proud enough to not bother asking what that means. Why? I could say it's because it gets tiring explaining all the how, why, and what the heck were you thinking questions that inevitably pops up. I refuse to say I am ashamed, so I won't. Not because the feeling doesn't come up every now and then, but because I refuse to even give it a foothold in my heart, so I just brush it aside and scrub it out of my brain.

So what am I still doing here?

Because that burning sensation in my heart? Yeah that heartburn that isn't heartburn at all? It's still there. And I want nothing more than to become a missionary, to serve God in any land far away where the choice to choose is not available to them. To this very day, even in the face of discouraging people, situations, questions, judgments, if I have known everything that I know now before I made my choice to become a missionary, I know deep in my gut that I would still choose to become one. Sure, I may have wondered what it would be like to be a famous writer, famous lawyer, famous person earning big bucks to support those whom I love, but I have never regretted my choice to become what I am training to be today.

I'd give up the whole world, my friends, my family, my fame, my pride, my fears, my hopes, my dreams, my money, my name, God help me, even my boyfriend, if that's what it requires to become what God wants me to be.

Why am I a missionary?

Because that's the only kind of person I was meant to be.

Lotsa love, Jana

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