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  • Writer's pictureMaria Whittaker

Life Update + Thoughts

Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post because...well, life happened. God graciously showed us two giant changes in our direction -- first of all, finding out we were going to be parents! And secondly, our decision to go to Romania as missionaries for the next two years.

I have a couple more updates about plans, because the baby came after deciding on our departure date and this sweet little curveball definitely made us take a step back and recalculate our plans. However, I want to reassure everyone that we are still going and very much so still fundraising (link in my bio to support us). Which leads me to another little change…

I am by no means camera-shy but I am video-shy and I’ve stayed away from getting on my stories or posting YouTube videos of me talking because of being a little insecure in this area. However, I’ve been giving it some thought and I think that it’s just a way more personal and real way of connecting with you all and kind of putting a face and personality (cuz boy do I have one [and by that I mean...I’m kind of crazy once you get to know me]) to the blog I’m trying to create.

All that to say is that I want to create a little video about the changes/modifications in our plans for leaving to Romania and how we are going to work in the little potato coming in September! So I’ll be starting a YouTube channel -- not a YouTuber -- I actually avoid YouTube and videos altogether because I am a writer and picture-maker (art, design, photography) by nature and something about videos makes me anxious. Like to the point where I used to not even watch TV shows or movies by myself because it made me anxious. So that’s not primarily going to be my mode of communication but I do want to get some practice in because part of how I’m planning on keeping people updated about how we are and what we are up to while we are in Romania is through YouTube videos (besides writing my blog).

God recently gave me a super gracious gift -- THE CAMERA OF MY DREAMS -- with 4K video capabilities AND (get this!) I’ve convinced Nate to do videos with me while in Romania! So excited for that and I hope you guys are pumped to get a little glimpse into what the everyday life of being missionaries in the “difficult part” of being in a little Eastern European country is like. My prayer is that besides encouraging people who are supporting us financially and the church in general, who can see the gospel being preached, that the videos also inspire others to pursue international missions. Not everyone is called to that but I do think more people are called than we think and maybe the little push/inspiration they need is to see other missionaries doing mission work first hand. My last (maybe I should have said first) and most important desire for the videos is that God gets glory from you all seeing what amazing things He is doing, even so far away.

Which brings me to my last point, and that is that I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching. God has been working in my life a lot, especially I think in view of maybe going on missions. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself as I’ve been faced with chronic sciatic pain from a herniated disc (pre-pregnancy) that is not healing and hasn’t been for the past 4 months as well as nausea, exhaustion and all that other fun stuff. Basically, physically I’ve been a mess, often spending hours at a day simply lying on my back because my pain and discomfort are too much to deal with. But no pain is without purpose and I truly believe, am encouraged, and am filled with joy to think that God is building Christ in me through this. Though I don’t know how or why, I am confident that these months of constant physical suffering are creating something in me that I may only see once I get out of that. And that simple fact gives me so much peace and the ability to wake up every morning and put a brave face on it. I also know it’s a small price to pay for such an amazing gift -- a little baby!

As I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around how I’m physically feeling as well as the uncertainty that comes with our future plans, the upcoming temporary loss of our home, family, and basically my sense of stability, I’ve been forced to lean into God more. Add all this COVID-19 craziness and -- let’s just say when God wants you to have no foundation but Him, He really knows how to rip things out from under you. I’m so thankful for His work in my life. I really feel how much I owe everything to Him. So God has been working in me a growing desire to do things for Him, and to do them whole-heartedly.

I’m super passionate, throw-my-everything-into-it-type of person and I’ve been struck by how timid and passionless I’ve been about everything I do, in my career, my relationships, my hobbies, all my God-given roles. I didn’t use to be like that. Somehow, somewhere, I’ve let the lie creep in that I need to do good things, but do them carefully, with measure, never investing wholly in anything so that I don’t lose everything if it fails. But enough of that. God gave me everything and He is worth everything I have. So my prayer for this upcoming season, this upcoming year, is that I throw myself with my whole heart and passion into the things I believe He has called me to do, allowing no fear to stand in my way. I want to be controlled by trust in Him and duty to Him rather than by anything else. So as I pray for this change in my life, I invite you all to think about whether or not you are giving Him everything. You don’t have to be super passionate or have the same personality. You, in your own version of you -- are you giving Him YOUR all? My prayer is that we all do, because He is worth it.

He is unimaginably, extraordinarily worth it.

Thanks for the read and the support! More coming soon. <3

Photo byThe Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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