Monday, March 7, 2016

Entering a Season of Mary

A friend of mine told me a statistic she received in DTS that “the number one reason people leave the mission field is because of other missionaries.”  How extremely unfortunate is this statistic!?  After being here for only 10 months it is understandably believable.  While I have come across a few extremely loving and caring missionaries here in Thailand, who have opened up their doors and hearts to me, giving me unbelievable opportunities to grow and serve, I have also met a lot of missionaries who have been extremely unkind, competitive, territorial, selfish and dead on the inside; forgetting that everything they have and are doing comes from God. 

These past 3 months have been difficult for me.  For reasons I’m not going to mention they have been months of unnecessary confusion, frustration, and hurting caused by pride, greed, unkindness, and selfishness.  God is teaching me to walk with humility, trusting Him to provide for me, trusting Him to vindicate me, trusting He will make the wrongs right.  And I believe He will.  Regardless of man’s behavior, His plan will not be thwarted. 

Unfortunately, I have allowed all of this to steal my passion and joy for missions and this truly breaks my heart more than anything I’ve gone through these past months! Missions has grown in my heart from curiosity as a child, to passion as a teenager, to reality as an adult.  Wherever I have lived, even in America, I have strived to make missions a daily lifestyle; not just a short-term mission trip I take one week a year.  I am praying desperately that I can bounce back from this and that it is only for a moment!


As you know the church in Korea told me they wanted me to go to DTS while I was visiting back in December.  I prayed and fasted during that time about their decision but never heard anything.  I said yes only because I felt forced to say yes and because I wanted to submit to my leaders, believing they wouldn't have made this decision if it hadn't come from God.  When I returned to Thailand I kept praying about this decision but instead I was feeling lead to do other things.  

I asked the church in Korea for their blessing to release me to pursue a direction I felt was different from theirs and they agreed to release me.  A few days later the people at DTS reached out to me because I hadn’t communicated with them for weeks.  They gave me a list of specific things God had given them to pray on my behalf about.  They have no idea what I have been dealing with but that list was so specific to my situation including things about my word for the year.

As I began to pray over their list, I began to realize the church in Korea was right about God wanting me to go to DTS.  The only thing was that their reason for sending me was not God’s intention for me going.  I had to be released from them to see God’s purpose for me going.  He wants me to go so I could “abide in His love,” and “for restoration and healing.” I was given scripture from John 15 about the vine and the branches as well as Deuteronomy 8:3.  Then on Sunday, as I was coloring and talking to God, He began to speak to my heart about the story of Mary and Martha.


If there is one thing I’m good at it is the role of Martha.  I suck at being Mary.  (If you are unfamiliar with this story read Luke 10:38-42)  My first 2 months in Thailand I had a broken shoulder and all I did was complain about how I wasn’t able to serve.  I could have been using that time to pray more or get in the word more.  Even study Thai more or try to make contact with neighbors.  But I just chose to complain and watch all 10 seasons of “Friends.”

 Ever since junior high school I have been serving in some capacity.  In high school I gave up my summers to work at an inner city camp.  In every city I’ve lived, I’ve given up many weekends, vacations, and free time to help others or the church.  For the 2 years in Korea I hardly had a day off because I was in Red Light Districts or restoration homes most Saturdays and at church all day Sunday.  And I love it!  I love serving the Lord by helping others!  It is such an honor, blessing, and so rewarding!  I am passionate about seeing others come to know Him, grow in their relationship with Him, and helping those in need!

I say all this not to gain praise from anyone but to show you how I have perfected the role of Martha.  One lesson I have learned in the past that I keep having to be reminded of is that it is possible to make service to God an idol.  Here is the thing, every time I’m hurt or struggling with something I serve as a way to numb the pain until it goes away.  Only this time it hasn’t!!!   I have pushed pain deeper and deeper into my heart with every hurtful situation I have experienced that hasn't been resolved, using service to God as a way to numb the pain instead of relationship with God to restore it.   This past month was no different.  I only had 1 day off the entire month (thankfully it was February and there aren't as many days:) !

For the first time in my life I’m choosing to be Mary.  I’m going to use these 6 months to heal from a lifetime of hurt Martha kept pushing deeper and deeper into the depths of my heart and soul.  The best part about this is that I’ve explained this and my situation to the DTS staff and they look forward to having the broken mess I am right now!!!  Who does that!!!?  JESUS!

As I begin to embark on this next 6 months I look forward to sitting at the feet of Jesus and having Him pour His love over me.  Having Him “dance over me with singing.” 

Don’t get me wrong, I still love to serve and this is going to be so hard for me.  I don’t know how to sit still.  But if I’m going to be fully effective when serving God, I need my relationship with Him to be more important than my service to Him because that is what He cares about more. 

What’s going to happen after DTS?  I have no clue and I was encouraged not to think about it because it will distract me from being Mary, putting me back in Martha mode.  I was told God would make it clear to me when it’s time to decide about what to do after DTS.  Right now I just need to bask in His presence for the next 6 months and “live on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

“But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘ Martha, Martha,
you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one
thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not
be taken away from her.”’ Luke 10:41-42

If you would like to know more about the specific DTS I will be attending click here

If you would like to support me going to DTS here are some options.....

*****Use PayPal or Stripe click here

*****If you live in Korea you can email me and I will give you my Korean bank account number 

*****If you want a tax deductible donation in America 
Make checks payable to Una Baptist Church
On the memo line write "Rachael Thailand"

Mail checks to:
Una Baptist Church
1931 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37217

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