It seems that I’m struggling with a little bit of writer’s block. It’s not that I’m out of stories, it’s just that I seem to be out of interesting stories, at least for the moment.
I could tell you about the trip to Target this morning. We bought milk, bananas and, on an impulse, a red onion. Mind blowing, I know.
I don’t think I could make it as a freelance writer. Too much freedom, not enough structure. Maybe what I need is an assignment…5,000 words on the fall of the Roman Empire, and make it relate to missionary life in France. That I might be able to do.
It’s not that life is boring, it’s just that it isn’t particularly noteworthy, at least not to those more removed from our immediate family. Last night Avonlea called Donnette into the bathroom to show her how she’d used her bathtub crayons to write “MOM” on the tub wall. Impressive, and a good Facebook post for Donnette, but not really enough to get my word count anywhere near four figures.
Last week I mentioned that two of our biggest fears are that we might not ever make it to France, and that we actually will make it to France. Later on that evening, Donnette chided me for sharing that information, because in her estimation, it probably isn’t wise to tell people who are supporting you, or are thinking of supporting you, that you’re both worried about not ever making it there and you’re also worried about what happens if you do. Of the two of us, Donnette is certainly the more prudent, and normally I would defer to her judgment on matters like this. *1*
But the thing is, I think these fears are perfectly normal, and though I haven’t confirmed them with other missionaries, I would imagine that we aren’t alone in having them. On the one hand, we worry that we aren’t ever going to actually make it to France. Of the two fears, this is probably the one that exposes our lack of faith the most, but so be it. It is a legitimate concern, we still have a good amount of support to raise, we’re still over a year off from our target date of departure, and though we are no less committed to going to France then we were when we first signed up, this is an uncertain world, which is to say, it is easy to worry. I remind myself that we felt the same way when we started seminary, 106 hours standing between me and graduation and no certain plan for how we were going to make it through over the course of four years.
Certainty, it would seem, is for the unambitious.
On the other hand, we also fear that we actually will make it to France. Of the two concerns, this one, I believe, is more grounded in practical reality and therefore more legitimate than the first. If nothing else, there are a lot of practical concerns to manage. The language is different, what sort of housing will we have, even what sort of food will we eat! *2* Any one of these things can keep you staring at the ceiling for hours on end if you let them. Then there’s the ever looming prospect of telling our families goodbye, and moving to a place where we know no one, to begin a work that will be impossible save for the movement of no one less than the Holy Spirit himself, and well, I think our fear is, if not justified, at least normal enough.
So that’s where we are this week. If you want to hear more details about Target, shoot me a quick email.
Thank you for your prayers.
*1* I actually write this blog with her in mind, knowing that if I share something too personal about our lives I’m going to have to answer to her about it, and this knowledge normally keeps me on the straight and narrow. But Donnette isn’t really a “sharer”, and so sometimes I am forced to ignore her opinion. I think this is one of those times.
*2* I know we’re moving to France, and this last one shouldn’t really be a concern in the same way that moving to live with the bushmen of Africa would be, but consider this. For nearly 2 years, Avonlea ate a bowl of microwave grits for breakfast, every single morning. She’s since moved on to instant oatmeal, and has been on this kick for about 2 months, but the point is, she’s very particular, and what is going to happen if France doesn’t have microwave grits, or oatmeal, or microwaves for that matter?