Today we are honored to have India Werner sharing her heart on our blog! India grew up in India as a missionary kid and now serves as a missionary with her husband and three children. If you would like to follow her journey check out her blog.
1) Learn to embrace your life.
Being a missionary kid is sometimes hard, but it can be the biggest blessing of your life, too! As a missionary kid, you will have amazing opportunities. You will likely get to do more traveling than most kids your age. I remember often having a bad attitude about the traveling. It felt like we would get established in one place and I would finally start to “fit in”, then we would leave and I’d have to start all over again. Every time we left friends behind, there would be promises of writing emails or keeping in touch, but it seemed as if everyone forgot about me after a few weeks. These are all normal feelings to have as a missionary kid. However, do you notice how this was all about me? I was so focused on what made me comfortable and what I wanted. I often forgot about all the Lord could do through me to be a blessing to others!
2) Learn to be content.
By the time I was fifteen years old, I claimed Philippians 4:11 as my life verse. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” The Apostle Paul had suffered trials unimaginable to my young mind and there I was having a pity party about my current state. The Lord used His Word and Paul’s life to rebuke my self-centered mindset. The Holy Spirit continues to speak Philippians 4:11 to my heart because being content is something I am still learning. Life happens and things don’t always go our way, but know that God has a reason for making you a missionary kid. As the youth pastor at our church said recently, “God does things on purpose and for a purpose.”
3) Learn to be surrendered.
Keep your heart open toward what God may have for your life when you are grown. If you are willing to surrender your life to the Lord, you will see Him do great and mighty things. While I know it is not God’s will for all missionary kids to go back to their parents’ field when they are adults, I firmly believe that there are many missionary kids who God does intend to use this way. As a teenager, God prepared my heart and spoke to me about returning to the field as an adult. I really didn’t know if I wanted to. I grew up there and I knew very well about all the issues and obstacles. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine working with some of the same stubborn people that I had known growing up. However, the Lord constantly reminded me that I could be a great tool because I already loved the food, knew the language, and understood the culture. Again, I realized that this was not about me, but rather about serving my God.
4) Learn to wait on the Lord.
God will provide you with a husband or wife in His time. As a missionary kid, I did wonder about this. If we were all honest, we would admit that we do think of it at one time or another. My now-husband was just about the last person I thought I would marry, even though we knew each other growing up. I say this to remind you that you need to give your heart to your parents and to the Lord. I wish I could say that I never really liked anyone until my husband, but that’s not true. I wish I had spent more time focused on God and less time worrying about who I would marry. The Lord had me covered completely! He not only provided me with a Godly husband, but one who wanted to be a missionary as well.
With the crazy life you lead as a missionary kid, you might feel like you’ll never be in one place long enough to find that special someone! Keep walking with God. I promise that you will not be disappointed.
“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:4, 5
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
5) Learn to let go of past hurts.
Few things grieve my heart more than when the missionary kids I knew growing up turn their backs on God. I’ve heard all sorts of reasons for this. Maybe something traumatic happened to them on the mission field. Maybe they view their parents as hypocrites. Maybe they feel that God isn’t really there.
Most people’s response to these missionary kids is “Who can blame them?” I see the thought process behind that, but do you believe that God is sovereign and that the Bible is true? If you do, you must learn to trust Him and lean on Him through the hard times as well as the good times. Maintain a personal, daily walk with God. Make Jesus Christ the King of your heart if He is not already. Cling to Him. If you struggle with forgiveness and bitterness, it might be time to talk to your parents or some other Godly person in your life. Stop reliving the past and ask God to give you a forgiving heart. Use your experiences to encourage someone else who is going through a hard time. Commit to living a victorious Christian life. I can tell you that there is nothing more rewarding.