She Meant it in the Kindest Way

Dec 7, 2006Archive

A new acquaintance said, “I need to tell you something.”

I nodded for her to go on.

“People are saying all sorts of things . . . about you leaving . . . quitting . . . but I wanted to tell you that you’re not a failure. It’s hard to be a missionary in France. Most people don’t even try.”

I truly believe she meant her words to be an encouragement, so I’m not upset. But it was hard to hear the first part of her words. People are saying we’re quitters.

I’ve walked with Jesus long enough to know that He holds my reputation in His hands. For me to defend myself, to try to help people understand the nuances and difficulties of this decision, to exasperate myself on explanations that would fall on deaf ears, would be an exercise in futility. Of all the words I’ve clung to these past two years, the most powerful are these:


He sees. He knows. He watches. He understands. He leads.

I am living for His smile, not the nodding approval of people “out there” who don’t understand, who pass judgment without knowing. Thank Jesus He watches. And more than any person He sees my heart. I can rest in that. I must rest in that.