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Missionary Loneliness in Your Own Town

Do you feel alone at times in the midst of so much good going on around you?  I am totally an optimist, maybe to a fault sometimes.  Merced and Twain Harte, CA are my “home towns” so-to-speak, and from a locality point-of-view, my heart goes out to the people in each respective town and their respective counties (Merced and Tuolumne Counties).  It has been an exciting ride (my wife could easilly say “exciting” isn’t the best word for it; maybe more like “yikes”).  Our life of my investigating church-planting in Tuolumne County and now living back in Merced, CA and plugging into life here, while still having hopes to simi-frequently tie into Tuolumne County life… It’s a bit fractionalized and splintered as a plan at this point, I’ll admit up-front.  God will make it all clear for Carrie and for me and our family in His time.

So much of American Dreaming, we could call it, has to do with self-actualization, and at times I “feel” that’s all this has all been, my dragging my family around Central California in an effort to figure out what I’m supposed to do, while my wife has been developing her business and supporting me and loving on our son, Jackson.  For this, if it’s more true than I’d hope, I repent.  I would never want to pursue things just to feel better about my calling and purpose.  Feelings are important, but how I feel about myself isn’t nearly as important as what God wants for the good of others and for His glory.  God makes His path clear to us as His kids in His time.

Every believer is a missionary in their own town, the town God has given them to call “home” so long as we’re breathing oxygen and battling against sin and weakness until we’re joined with Christ in-person in glory.  We’re on mission so-to-speak, as God’s kids, living in a foreign land, honoring God with our hearts, learning to be all-in for Jesus Christ, each in the ways God has called us to daily, weekly, annually, and for a life-time.

Our calling?  Making disciples, living out life as a disciple of Christ and showing others the joys and depths and hopes of being a disciple of the Redeemer Himself.

The more clearly we make this our focus, the more lonely we can feel at times.  This isn’t so much because of a lack of encouragement, but it’s because each of our callings are so unique to us!  Each of us are called to very specific lifestyles and contexts to display God’s love and character.  Many of those contexts are very lonely.  Personally, I have a ton of interaction with the general public as well as a lot of very personal interaction with clients and community contacts, and yet I too can definitely experience loneliness.  I honestly yearn for consistent caring friendships and family ties even though I have more of this than many I encounter.  There is something about cultivating this fellowship, this closeness with believers and new/becoming believers that gives you an appetite for more and more.  Our truest fellowship that does satisfy like no other interaction is that still small voice from God, ministering a calm and a closenes to our circumstances, fears, anxieties, concerns, and so-on.  God knows our joys and sorrows better than any of the friends, family members, and ultimately closest and most eternal family members of our siblings in Christ.  God knows us even better than my wife knows me, which is really well.  Carrie knows what I’m feeling and whether I’m on cloud nine or really discouraged or just hum drum… She knows any of this by being in the same room as me.  God knows us more intimately than this.  He discerns our thoughts and intentions.  He knows where we are tempted or when we are doubting Him.

Let’s be in awe of how intimately we are known by the Living God in Jesus Christ, and may we consistently care for those we encounter with full hearts, knowing God’s closeness to us and love for us, and being able to pour His love into the lives of others, all being His grace ultimately.

Much love, dear souls,

– Torrey

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