More from Melissa Wilson
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