FACES - YWAM Singapore Issue.2017 - Page 19

I’m a missionary afraid of flights. We live in a world shrouded in fear, provoked by undetermined plane crashes, terrorism, disasters, gun violence, and more. These events hit me with fear from time to time, but it isn’t crippling. I realise it’s the fears that are subtle and hidden that really affect my daily life. long-term in that nation. Sitting at the back of a truck, staring into the mountains, I started talking to God. “God, I can’t step out now. What if things at home get worse? What if I always remain single as a missionary?” In that moment, God convicted me with a crystal-clear thought. I saw myself, attempting to walk towards Him, but a thin, single thread tied around my leg stopped me from moving closer. I instantly understood that the thread represented my fears – the fear of my family relationships breaking down, and the fear that I would be a lonely missionary without a companion. In my mind, these were two very legitimate concerns, but they were actually deterring my full, wholehearted obedience to God’s command! I had been held back all this time, by what was seemingly reasonable to me. I’m afraid of what my future will look like without an income. Will I be able to provide for myself? If God calls me to another nation to serve for an indefinite period of time, will the relationships within my family be further strained? Will I always be single and alone? I’m afraid to walk up to strangers to tell them how much God loves them. I’m afraid to pray for a homeless man I’m moved with compassion for. I’m afraid to be open about my Christian values and ministry with non-believing friends, especially when faced with opposition and ridicule. I’m afraid of correcting a friend in love, even when it’s crucial. Rejection – that’s what I’m truly afraid of. “Tessa, you don’t actually believe that I am in control of your family, that I can move hardened hearts. Do you not trust that I am enough for you, even if you are alone?” With these words, God convicted me with love and truth, leaving me in tears. I realised: Why am I always so fearful? I always thought I was courageous for choosing the life of a missionary. But the true tests of obeying God’s call glaringly revealed the fears that were rooted deep within. UNDERLYING EACH FEAR WAS UNBELIEF. I DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT My family was undergoing challenging transitions and my parents were at the crossroads of their lives, searching for love and purpose. Sometimes the stresses of life caused strain and conflicts in our relationships. I wanted, so much, to make things ‘better’ – to speak up more, to be home as much as possible in case they were lonely – all to maintain the peace, afraid that a conflict would erupt. It didn’t help that stressful situations in the household would often ensue just days before my outreach, leaving me needlessly burdened and making it hard to be away. GOD’S LOVE WAS ENOUGH. Enough to change my family, to protect me from rejection, to satisfy my soul, whethe r I was lonely or in lack. I used to pray for more courage, but what I really needed was a deeper revelation of His love in my life. If I truly ‘lived in God’s love’, I ‘surely ought’ to step out in love for others (1John 4:11), without any hesitation or fear, even if it involves taking a flight, leaving my own family to serve another people and nation, or talking to a stranger and friend about His love for them. But in 2015, during a 2-month outreach in Myanmar, God filled me with an overwhelming desire to serve I’m still a work in progress and afraid of many things. I guess we all are. But one thing I know for sure, fighting our fears involves taking a closer look into our hearts; allowing God’s love to shine a light on the lies we believe about Him, and allowing His love to bring truth. This truth of God’s love isn’t just a good idea, it’s the catalyst that truly leads us into real action, obedience, and loving others. Tessa received God’s missions call when she was 18, but completed her Architecture Degree with 1 st Class Honors before focusing on community development in the developing nations. She will be staffing our School of Community Development 2017. 17