Besides having close to 40 people in our small apartment Saturday night (reminiscent of our wedding – so many people, so little space, and so toasty warm!), life in our neck of the woods has been pretty calm – pretty normal. There’s nothing wrong with normal, except that it bores me, especially when “normal” is in Orange City. Wait, I’m not supposed to say that. I’ve been warned that those that say they are leaving the moment they can end up staying or coming back. So, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that I don’t feel particularly challenged. Maybe that is my challenge. Contentment. When there is nothing to distract me, when I’m alone with my own thoughts (which is scary, ask my husband), and when life seems to be the same everyday.
For almost four years, Caleb and I have watched friend after friend travel the world, serve God in life-altering ways, and experience cultures and people that stretch them way outside of their comfort zones. We are so happy for their experiences and have prayed and supported and loved them through it. However, when you’re called to stay, it can be frusterating watching people serve God in “big” ways and you wind up feeling like you’re -well- not doing a whole lot.
Our lesson learned? Well, it’s still in progress. However, we do know that our situation is unique. We have been called to eachother, to serve eachother, at a time in our lives that is earlier than most. To love the other in big ways, to pour our energies out on one person in one place, and to serve God by investing in our relationship. We have had so many people pour into our relationship and our marriage. Our goal has been to spread that wisdom and encourage others who are in the same shoes we were in a few years ago. That’s been our ministry and will continue to be.
So, with that, the Whites are trying to figure out what to do next summer. Are we, once again, called to stay? If we have a desire to go, should we exhaust our options until something works out? It is hard, in a place where so many service options are open to those that are college age and single, to find opportunities where we can be married and be in ministry together. Our latest offer has come from an unexpected place. A friend of a friend had asked what we were up to next summer, as he is part of a wilderness ministry program. He wanted to know if we would be interested in training and leading “coldwater” trips. In the wild. God, what? Huh? Really?
It’s not that I’m high maintenance or utterly girly and I atually love being outside. I also love decorating, doing my hair, my make-up, putting together outfits. But the thing is, I don’t have to. I’m just as comfortable with no make-up and sweatpants. However, I didn’t grow up going camping and hiking and skiing and rafting a whole lot. I mean, I did all of those things a few times but I am by no means comfortable in that environment. It has always been fun and fascinating to me – but not comfortable. Something outside my comfort zone? That screams of God. This whole idea atually really appeals to me. Focus – on God – on people – without worry about what I have or don’ t have, what I look like or don’t look like, all the while being stretched and pulled and molded and learning to follow the Spirit. And my husband for that matter, loves the idea, but that could have gone without saying, as he loves it all no questions asked. We will pursue it, see what happens. But all of this really came out of left field.