What Covid-19 taught me about partnerships
I revel in the fact that I go against the flow. Yes, it got me in trouble (a lot), but it also helped me not give in to peer pressure, cultural norms or false expectations put on me by others. One of the biggest challenges, with this independence, has been in marriage. My life was so independent and ‘fine’ that when God handed me this amazing man, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle the teamwork and support system that came along with it. Thankfully this amazing man is much better at ‘go with the flow’ than me, and allows me to work through these moments of struggle by giving me lots of grace. For me there is a constant battle between the independent person and the idea of two becoming one.
Fast forward to the last couple of weeks when my amazing man tested positive for COVID-19. This wonderful man, his generous help (physically and emotionally) have been sick and out of commission. The first couple of days were no big deal, my old nature was ready to take on the world and handle this like a champ. One week in and I am missing my partner. Not just the fact that he is the best dishwasher in the world, but the parts where we take on the world together. The times where he listens to my crazy ideas and last minute planning and says, ‘yes, let’s do it’ and encourages me in my dreams and vision.
Don’t you want someone to take on the world with you? Don’t you want someone to love your cause, and throw all their time and effort into it as much as you do?
That’s how I see the relationship between the church and missionaries. They are no longer two separate forces pulling in the opposite direction asking the other to drop what they are doing and join them. No, they have joined forces, combined visions and resources and expanded their ability to reach more people, with a greater force and a better strategy. Yes, the tension to adapt will be high at times during the learning and growing phase, but it is through those times that the partnerships get solidified and become stronger and more intentional.
I cannot recall the thought, “I can do this all on my own” ever crossing my mind. It wasn’t something I had to think about, it was just second nature to me and naturally embedded in my heart. So, to identify the starting place was nearly impossible. But I knew it was there and I needed to deal with it. So, a few years ago I began each morning by praying Psalms 139:23-24. “Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any offensive way in me and lean me in the way everlasting.” It was then that God began to show me the specific areas of my selfish-independent nature and I was able to confess my sin specifically and ask for forgiveness and healing.
Whether you are church or missionary, the fact is, you need each other.
Yes, you are probably doing ‘fine’ just like you are, but wouldn’t you be better if you had someone to join you in the journey?
Take time to evaluate your current partnerships and see if you are silo’s working independently or a powerhouse working together.