“You are amazing!”
I always cringe a little when people tell me this. My impulse is just to deny it or laugh it off, because I don’t think I am exceptional, and I don’t want it to feed my pride.
Yet C.S. Lewis aptly defines humility as “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Instead of brushing off compliments whenever I get the chance, thinking less of myself, I need to think of myself less and give all the compliments to God.
I am not the perfect person to be a missionary in Romania. I do not feel like I am a special person who has been called and is cut out to be a preacher’s wife or a missionary in a foreign country.
Growing up I was very much a homebody. I was the girl who left camp early, or at least cried because I wanted to be home with my family. I said I was never going to college. I said I was never getting married. I planned to live right at home in Mississippi forever.
During the first month of college at Florida College, twelve hours away from my home and family, I called Mama, sobbing and begging her to let me come home.
“You can do anything for one semester,” she told me, “just keep trying, and if you still want to come home you don’t have to go back next semester.”
If someone had told me then that in a year I would be engaged, and a year after that I would be living in Romania, I would have thought they were crazy. Getting married and moving to another country was not in my life plans.
But God’s plans are so much better.
I left home at age 18, got married at age 19, and a few days after turning 20 I moved across the world with my new husband to a drastically different life from what I had ever known. I had no idea what I was doing. I felt like I was still a child, trying to navigate my new life as a competent adult. I cried nearly every day and profusely apologized to Sam for not being a perfect missionary’s wife who had her life together.
But it was okay. Nobody is perfect, and I will never be perfect. I am learning more and more every day, and it is getting a lot easier, but I hope I never reach a point where I think I have it all figured out. These past eight months in Romania have taught me so much about fully relying on God and not putting any trust in my own accomplishments or abilities. Only He is perfect, and only He can help me navigate this life.
I do not think I am cut out for this life, but I do think I have been incredibly blessed with the opportunities God has placed in my life and the countless lessons He is constantly teaching me.
I am not amazing. God is amazing.