It’s all so ironic.
“Irony: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.”
And it’s definitely amusing.
Ruben felt the nudge, or maybe a push, last summer to do something more significant with his life. He knew God was asking for more of his life, and he thought Mercy Ships was the avenue through which he could do that.
I was ecstatic. I’ve known for a long time that the proverbial missions field would be a part of my life somehow. Throughout college I was committed to my campus, trying to reach students on campus with the good news that we have hope, purpose and were created to change the world. I knew God wanted me right where he placed me, and for 4 years I was passionate about the women on Russell Sage College’s campus. I was just waiting for God’s timing to line up so I could go to Latin America where I thought God had called me. Plans change.
Side note: I avoid the phrase “mission field” as often as possible, because that would mean I’m a missionary. I definitely don’t feel like one. I just feel like I’m living every day life, in a different place, but with the same struggles that everyone has:
- making friends
- spiritual disciplines, like praying, fasting and regular worship
- getting along with my husband when we don’t see eye to eye
- waking up on time for breakfast
- not eating too much gelato
With all the plans we made to join up with Mercy Ships, any plan that stayed consistent is escaping me at the moment.
Ruben’s position changed a month before we were to arrive.
The host country we expected to serve changed twice before we even set foot on the ship.
I slowly realized that, due to the change in host country and mechanical issues preventing us from leaving the dock, I would not actually be a nurse until the end of October, maybe the beginning of November.
The life-changing surgeries that serve as the ultimate purpose of this organization would not be the focus… instead the sweat of our dedicated engineers would be where we poured out our prayers.
Instead of nursing, I was reassigned to the ship’s dining room. Plans change.
Instead of West Africa, we are floating in the Canary Islands port, unmoving.
I have to laugh, because I went from planning on saving the world, one dressing change at a time…
… to serving the ship in a time of waiting, one meal and clean counter at a time.
God’s call remains.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.