Once again I would like to be a voice for those of us who are Eastern European missionaries.
After 1 year Jesus has revealed and taught me so much of his heart that I can't help but share with you dearest friend.
The Art of Being Yourself:
The whole phrase, "Make sure you are culturally sensitive" I took a little too far this past year. Yes, it's important to blend in with the culture, but too a certain extent. I decided to deny my past and pretended that it never existed. You know the saying "l lived like it never happened" but God has called is to "live like it did happen"..I was ashamed of it. I realized I will probably never be "fully Lithuanian". And you know what, for the first time in my life, I have come to peace with it, and I am okay with that. I am who I am today because of my past. I was hiding who I truly was. God taught me not to be ashamed of my Christisn music childhood past in America and all those beautiful experiences associated with that. He taught me that I must be my true self, wearin that wine is everything bright red lipstick, red roses in my dreadlocked hair, bright colored floral scarf, bright red nail polish, and not to lose my smile. I'm embarrassed to admit the following, but this past year I actually started dressing less colorful to fit in with the people around me. I was never so miserable in my life. I was so stupid trying to be someone I was not.
God taught me that he wants to use the stories of my past, to inspire others in Lithuania to dream big and follow the passions in their hearts
When he revealed this to me, I fell on my knees and started to cry, who was I to be ashamed of who my dearest Jesus created me to be? That God wanted to use to bless others lives?So now I confidently speak my mind, dress boldly & colorfully and choose to share my past with others to inspire them.
I may never fully be accepted by my people, they may think I am too bold and too radical for Jesus, dress too much like a metal head, but you know what? Regardless, it was SO worth it to be my complete self and live out my unique interpretation of life that God created me to show this world...
A side note for the young women in the ministry:
Especially with international missions, we literally run into beautiful men everywhere in Europe. I learned my lesson: be yourself, don't be afraid to be stupid, if a guy REALLY likes you, he must be willing to love ALL of you, or he is not worth it. If he"s embarrassed or ashamed of any part of who God created you to be, he is not worth your time. In the wise words of one of my dearest Lithuanian sisters, "If he wants me...he will take me..."
So girl, go out into this beautiful world and show those young European men the highest possible standard of a godly woman that is passionately in love with Jesus.....AND leave them speechless.....=D d