Thursday, October 06, 2011


Am I doing something extraordinary?
Right now, as you're reading this, I am on a plane thousands of miles above your head.
I'm going to New York. In a big metal bird that some how manages to defy gravity... Yeah I don't want to think about that too much either.

But back to my question. Am I unusual?
Because here's the conversation I've been getting of late:

Me: I'm going to Russia on Thursday
Them: Oh? What for?
Me: I'm going to be doing mission work there.
Them: Alone?

Am I strange?
Because apparently people don't normally do this sort of thing...
I used to get this in Russia all the time too.

Host mom: Where have you been?
Me: Out walking
Host mom: Alone?

In Russia I just assumed it was because I'm female. And most young women did go walking in groups. So I just assumed that's why I was considered strange. It's not that I don't like people. I just like alone time once in a while too.

But I'm digressing from my main point. Namely, that people find it odd that I'm going to Russia alone.
It's not like I'm going to wander around the city by myself attempting to preach the gospel on street corners. I explained that to someone the other day. "Well I have church people who are meeting me."
They still gave me a funny look.
What am trying to find out is, even in our "liberated" day and age am I defying a gender norm? Essentially that it's not typical for women to travel alone?
As far as I know no one ever asked my brother this question and he spent two years in China.

I think people sometimes wonder why I'm doing this. What possesses an (almost) 23 year old to run off to Russia for a year at a time? I have no idea. I get the impression that people admire the fact that I'm going, that they're super impressed. I don't know how many people have said "I couldn't do that" or something similar. Like I'm doing something so great.

I just want to set the record straight. Maybe it's not something everyone has in them, but honestly for me it's not a big deal. It's a natural thing that stems from the talents and desires God has given me. It's right and it's good to go back to Russia. There is nothing special about it or me. I'm not trying to debase myself, but I'm saying that just because traveling abroad is what I do, doesn't make me any better or worse than anyone else. Why? Because there are plenty of things I can't do.

For example, I greatly admire people who work with people who have special needs and people who work in hospitals. Why? Because I can't do that. I just can't handle it. If I had to, I suppose I would, but honestly I pray that I am never in that situation because it just makes me uncomfortable. Nursing homes are the same way. It's not where my talents lie. There are people I know who are great at that. They connect with people that way and are able to show love, kindness and compassion. That is where their talents are and they can use those talents for great things.

So my reminder for the day, as I'm flying above your heads, is to remember what Paul said. We are all parts of a single body. We all have different ways of dealing with things, different goals, different talents and we can all use what we have to glorify God.

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