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The Tower and The Trenches

The Lord was chiding me this morning, “What is that to you? You follow me”. 

I tend to live some seasons of my life in a tower, with a great view of everyone else’s. Those who are doing more important work than my little attempts at ministry. Those who began living at a younger age, while I am 22 and still feel stuck sometimes. I see more educated, more spiritual, more well-known people. I see women who went from a beautiful wedding to a beautiful home. Young moms, holding new babies. While I cannot even live full-time with my husband, let alone bring a child into the chaos of living in two countries. 

The Tower View 

In this tower, I look around. I feel forsaken. With questions of why me God? or why not me? It is easy to be overtaken with jealousy in this tower. As I look around at everyone else, I often wonder if someone is looking at me the same. 

It is a laughable thought! That someone would be looking at little Rachel jealousy. In my eyes, there is little romantic about my story. It is full of questioning. Of unfulfilled longing. Of dead and dormant dreams.

But who knows… someone could see my unique marriage or the love my husband has for me and imagine it is an effortless relationship. Ha! They could hear the word missionary and imagine the most epic and fulfilling job while overlooking the tireless, dangerous, often debilitatingly lonely days. 

Yet, if you look at my life from a tower, you would be misled. You would see all the lovely moments and not see all the heartache and trial that comes with it, the hard days that have come before and after anything sweet. If you say to me, I want what you have. I would respond If you only knew! 

The Age Of Discontent 

This is how tower living works. I have a social media view of your life and everyone else’s. I see the beauty surrounding your story from far off. I see the good in your life–it looks better. It looks easier. More fun. 

When I am walking through each season. I see all the hard and I feel like I’m the only one who knows pain. This is a false and dangerous view. I wasn’t made for anyone else’s story except my own, and neither were you. In this time, we are so discontent. We are in our towers looking out at the world. We are prone to jealousy, coveting, and even hate. 

Jesus Question And Where It Leads Us 

Jesus is asking the question, “What is that to you? You follow me”. 

Are you looking around at others believing they have less trial than you or are more blessed because they have that you don’t? 

Where does Christ lead us if we are following Him? 

He leads us to climb down from our towers. To cast off our false perceptions. We follow Christ into the trenches. The trenches open our eyes. We aren’t permitted to keep untrue views of the world that are learned in the tower. 

In The Trenches 

What we see in the trenches is a much more realistic view of the world. We see the work right in front of us that needs to be done. Our focus is taken off of ourselves, and self-pity becomes less. We realize that we aren’t the only ones with questions and longings. 

Slowly, God brings people beside us to share in the work. No longer are we looking out and seeing a jaded view of their lives. We are standing beside them. Sharing humbly in the trials, the joys, the hard, the good, and the ugly. 

From Jealousy To Unity 

We were never meant to live our lives in the tower. If we choose to remain there, we will never learn to be content and satisfied in every season. The barren and the fruitful ones. 

In the tower, we will be unfocused on the task at hand. So preoccupied with jealousy that we cannot sympathize with the trials of others but only resent our own. 

The trenches are where Christ is. The lowest place. The place where great pains are felt and greater joys are celebrated. Where stories are unique. Each with purpose. Where good works are accomplished in beautiful unity. 

Come down with me from that tower! Let’s follow Christ into the trenches! 

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Hi! I’m Rachel. Through a series of God orchestrated events I ended up in Haiti, in 2017.  Through years of serving with a ministry there I came to love the country and its people. I met Nelson and we got married in 2020. It was the best decision of my life! 

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