In the American Christian world we hear the term "letting go" a lot, but this term has been meaningless to me until our family was well into this journey. In America, everything is taken care of for us; we never have to really rely on God. I would say everyone who is reading this, should they lose their home, could find a place to stay, easily. I would also say that everyone reading this, should they lose their income, would not be concerned about starving to death. It is great that we have these things to rely, but do they teach us to rely on God?
Before this adventure, I had thought of relying on God as having nothing and having to rely on God for every physical need, which is one way to view it. Now, I am realizing, that there are other things that I will have to rely on God for. Let's face it, I am a teen, and teen's want a lot. Teens want friendships, entertainment, fun, boyfriends, girlfriends, and plain, useless stuff. In Ghana, I will not be able to fulfill these wants... on my own. God can give me a friendship like no other... if I rely on Him to do this. God can give me entertainment and adventure... if I allow Him to.
It has recently hit me loud and clear that America is not just a nation, government, or a culture, but it is a way of life, varying from person to person, where we just take in more and more to "fulfill" our desires. I am having to "let go" of this way of life to be effective for the kingdom, and it is hard. I know that the American lifestyle is not good for me, but I have grown to know this lifestyle of ease where everything is taken care of for me, as my life, and I don't want to leave it behind. I still want to be able to go out of town and stay in a hotel where the bed is already made with clean sheets, a clean (normal smelling) bathroom, and breakfast waiting for me in the morning. Just because I am going to be a missionary doesn't eliminate these desires (just to clarify).
So how will I survive in a third world country? This is not a hard question to answer, but it is a very hard answer to actually carry out. I will have to let go of my American life, and cling to God. Even while I am writing this, it seems weird to say that I will let go of one culture and then cling to God, and not the Ghanaian culture, but I believe that God has told us to make this move, and if I cling to Him, He will work out the logistics.
When we went to Colorado for our missionary training, they told me flat out that when we come back from Ghana I will not be American, but I will not be Ghanaian either. When we come back from Ghana, again I am going to be "odd man out". I will have seen things that many adults have not seen, learned things many youths have not learned, but also I could be somewhat lost. I will want the best of both of my lives. This will be another period of life when I will have to rely totally on God.
To sum things up, I feel like I have jumped out of an airplane, with very little instruction on how to land still breathing, and have not figured out how to open my parachute yet. While this is scary, hard, and challenging, fun is not fun without fright and challenges. So in the midst of falling through the air, I am enjoying myself. I am getting very close to the cord that opens my parachute and lands me safely on the ground.
For you that are reading this, I understand that it would be hard for you to let go of the things that I will have to, but I have been put into a scenario where that is required of me, and wouldn't be doing these things if it weren't for this event of moving to Ghana. What I am challenging you to do, is find things that you are holding onto that are not glorifying to God, and let go of them. If you let yourself, you might enjoy the challenges that come after.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.