More from Melissa Wilson

by Upper Room Editorial on Saturday, August 05, 2017

I've known since I was 20 that I wanted to be a missionary. In my mind I envisioned going off to another country and serving people in need. I graduated with a Bachelors’ in Social Work and thought after graduating I would figure out what I was doing. However, I was more confused afterwards because every conventional way of becoming a missionary just didn’t seem right. I felt frustrated and lost.

Sadly, I gave up on the dream and decided to settle down with what I thought was a “normal” life. I got a job in a department store and for six years worked my way up. I had my own money and car. I shared an apartment with my sister but still felt a sense of independence. I had freedom in what I wanted to do.

For awhile I felt happy there but then the restlessness began. Something was missing and every day it became harder to come into work. God was calling me back to my dream, and, believe it or not, I was scared. I wanted to serve God and yet it was so much easier to stay where I was, even though I was miserable. I wished I could say I listened to God, quit my job and embrace my calling. But I didn’t. I was forced into a decision when my sister wanted to move back home with our parents. I didn’t have the money to live on my own. But the truth was I liked my freedom. Going back home meant losing that freedom to me.

Begrudgingly, I decided to move back with my sister. A few months before the move I decided to visit a new church. It seemed the pastor was speaking right to me when he talked about being sold out for Jesus. I realized I was not giving my all to God. And in fact, I didn’t trust him to take care of me. I was giving God only parts of me. I knew after that day God was calling me to a different life, though I didn’t really know what that meant. I just knew I couldn’t live like this anymore.

Ever since then I have not lived a “normal” life. I have volunteered with a disaster relief organization for two years working at several different sites in the US. I traveled the US with a children's choir from Uganda for six months, promoting education for children in other countries. Now it has been almost two years since I have gotten out of the choir. God has called me to wait for my next assignment. But waiting doesn’t mean sitting and not doing anything. While I am in my waiting I participate in many things at the church I attend. It is still my dream to go to another country and serve. But I understand now that the mission field can be  your own backyard as well.

I have learned many things since I gave my life completely to God.  I may not have much money, and I have not had a car in years. However I can truly say I am happier than I ever was before. I have found that when you submit to God in everything you find true freedom.

- Melissa Wilson

10 Comments

Comment by Tom of Canal Winchester, OH

Melissa, in the scripture reference to John 21st chapter you told of Jesus' questioning Peter's love of Him. Just before that in verse 3 it is Peter who tells the others, "I'm going fishing." You are following the same pattern as Peter did; when waiting for our next assignment we do what we are accustomed to doing. The key is to be busy while we're waiting.

Posted August 05, 2017 at 03:31AM CDT
Comment by Kathy of Canal Winchester, OH

Wow...what a testimony. Thank you Melissa😊

Posted August 05, 2017 at 04:21AM CDT
Comment by Jay of Clearwater, FL

Melissa,
Thanks dear one.Your message makes sense. God brings events, circumstances and happenings while we sometimes wait in frustration. Oh well, my cousin told me she had an item on her daily check list, "do nothing".
It remind me of being quiet, sitting still and being patient.
Good time to meditate, pray, and listen for the, " still soft silent voice of the Lord. Sometimes nothing can be better than busy. May the Lord fill you this day, Melissa, with peace, Shalom.
O'Jay..... Clearwater,

Posted August 05, 2017 at 05:43AM CDT
Comment by Edd of Ocala, FL

Melissa, praise you for your action to do God's work, your dreams are being filled right now, God is working for you next job as we speak. God is Love for All!!!

Posted August 05, 2017 at 07:05AM CDT
Comment by cherie of Inverness, FL

Melissa, you have spoken to my heart today. Love to you, sister!

Posted August 05, 2017 at 07:07AM CDT
Comment by Bob of Elgin, IL

Melissa, as you have said/demonstrated, serving God is very personal but involves serving our Lord. Some may say 'loving God' is all that matters. But as Peter was told by Christ, 'Feed my sheep.' Very personal and very outgoing. Blessings to all!

Posted August 05, 2017 at 08:23AM CDT
Comment by Rich of Silver Spring, MD

Growing up and going to college in Kansas, I too struggled with a religious calling I was reluctant to obey. After dropping out of church and entering a secular career for a decade, I accepted Christ and began to reorient my life towards following him. That has led me to many new ways to serve Him alongside and within my career including leading a workplace Bible study group and serving as campus adviser for a Christian student group. He is still leading me to new paths of service. Blessings to all who follow Him.

Posted August 05, 2017 at 08:29AM CDT
Comment by Richard

Thank you Melissa, such wonderful insight into His Guidance....and waiting! Richard, Marietta, GA

Posted August 05, 2017 at 10:56AM CDT
Comment by Kathy

God knows the plans he has for us. We just have to figure them out by giving everything over to Him. Let go and let God. ~ Kathy in Canada, Hamilton, Ontario

Posted August 05, 2017 at 11:58AM CDT
Comment by Paul of Phonix, AZ

Thank you, Melissa, for your beautiful words. As someone said in an earlier devotion, "Our mission field is the one we're standing in."

Posted August 05, 2017 at 12:54PM CDT