In the months leading up to my departure for missions service in Canada, I was reminded constantly of the “great sacrifice” I am making. I tried to not let it go to my head, but sometimes I would catch myself thinking: “This is a huge sacrifice! I’m giving up seeing all of my friends and family for four whole months.”
But as I sat in the airport terminal for my first flight, I realized I’m not the only person making sacrifices. My parents are allowing their youngest daughter to go outside the United States by herself. They are used to not seeing me for months at a time, but this is just a different sort of feeling. Even my siblings will sacrifice their time for me at some point, and the rest of my family also gave time and money to help me with this. She may not quite understand it, but my 5-year-old niece is heartbroken because she will not be able to see me until Christmas.
And there are my friends. I had to peel myself off of my best friend as she dropped me off at security in the airport. We both fought back tears as we said goodbye. She had to stop herself from hiding my luggage the night before, to keep me from leaving. My roommates will have an emptier apartment, and it will not quite feel the same for my friends.
So yes, I may be making some sacrifice in choosing to follow God’s call, but I am not the only one. In reality, I actually may have a smaller sacrifice than others. All I am doing is what God is asking me to, but my friends and family are pulled into it as well, whether they like it or not.
I will admit I have been selfish with this choice. I was so proud of myself because of this so-called “great sacrifice.” I wanted other people to be impressed with what I was doing, not just grateful that I am answering God’s call. Through all of this, I didn’t realize what my family would be feeling, or even that my friends would miss me as much as I miss them.
My missions journey has only begun, and God already had to remind me once again it is not about me. It is about him and speaking his name to the nations.
Autumn Friesen, a student at the University of Texas in Austin, is serving this semester in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with Go Now Missions.