When Anthony and I joined FOCUS, I was thrilled about the opportunity to serve as a missionary. In fact, serving on a mission has been on my ‘bucket list’ since I was in high school. What I didn’t realize, however, was that serving the mission wouldn’t look at all how I’d envisioned.
I imagined meeting new people on campus (or wherever mission life would take me) and converting souls to the Catholic Church with my intellect and theological background. I imagined leading bible studies and convicting the hearts of women of God’s love for them in a life changing way. I imagined building houses, bringing bibles to third world countries, and a whole host of other things that I haven’t experienced (yet) while on mission. Sure, I lead a bible study and we’ve met students on campus, but in recent weeks I’ve realized that I serve the mission in a different way.
When we were at summer training I kept hearing about serving the mission by serving my family. Honestly, I shrugged it off. I didn’t want to serve the mission by just serving my family, by being a wife and a mother – I wanted more. But the longer we are serving in this mission, the more I realize that I am serving the mission by serving at home. In fact, serving the mission by serving my family makes what I do matter more, elevating it in my own mind and heart to the work of the saints. What is more is that seeing what I do at home – cooking, supporting my husband, raising our children – as mission oriented actually gives greater purpose to my days.Before becoming a missionary, life as a wife and mother was a fulfillment of the vocation I truly feel that God has called me to. Now that I am a missionary, life as a wife and mother is still that beautiful fulfillment of my vocation, but it is even more. Missionary life has shown me that my vocation is a way to build up the Kingdom of God, not only in our marriage and the lives of our children, but on campus as well. Our marriage can (and hopefully does) witness to the beauty of sacramental marriage and openness to life. There is a profound and deep connection between our vocations, whichever one we are called to, and Christ’s command to go out and make disciples of all the nations.
Anthony has a bible study every Monday night right at dinner time and I get to cook for a boatload of guys as they study scripture. Who would have thought that feeding a bunch of hungry college guys would actually serve Christ’s mission and further His Kingdom? Who would have thought that making a welcoming home – toddler, toys, chaos and all – would be the means to discuss vocation and true manhood?
Often times God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we think or expect He will. I certainly never imagined that cooking, cleaning and raising babies could be mission work, but you know what? It is. My mission is at home just as much as it is on campus. What I do at home makes what Anthony does on campus possible. That isn’t to say that he couldn’t be a missionary without me, but there is something about being missionaries together, something that comes out of the grace of our vocation to marriage, that makes it all so much sweeter. What I do at home adds purpose and meaning to what he does on campus and vice versa. So what if serving the mission doesn’t look like I thought it would? At the end of the day – whether on campus or in our home – serving His mission in the way He calls me to serve it is far better than whatever plans I had for missionary life.
p.s. I’m still accepting suggestions for names of my new book – go read about it and enter here! I’ll announce the book title (and winner(s)!) on November 15th right here on the blog 🙂