Missionary Memoir No. 1

Updated: Mar 19

After reading and studying a book based on the research of burnout and women serving cross culturally, Lindsey became inspired to share a series of writings from her personal journal. These missionary memoirs are to share the reality of being an overseas missionary. The research revealed the dangerous correlation in false expectations and burnout among missionaries. Some stats point to it being because we are only sharing what portrays a glamorous, wildly romantic, and glorious life on the missionary overseas.

Below is is number 1 of the missionary memoir:


I want to share some past moments that I have journaled- . Not to have a pity party, but to share some reality. I’ll post some here, some happy. Some funny. Some heavy.

I remember the seasons where I felt as dried up and alone as this fish that I came upon while

walking on the local beach in Brazil... I still have dreams about memories.... I’ll share one:

It was a hot and muggy December afternoon, I actually put on makeup and a shirt with sleeves to make that tense drive into the city. I sat in front of the smiling clerk, trying to seem all together. ”What’s your profession?”, she asked me in portuguese with a tender smile. I perked up to hopefully exude confidence, but with a shaky voice and a deep breath, ”I am a missionary”. Her face lit up and was beaming with excitement. “Oh! How beautiful!” She went on some more but my emotions seemed to have muted her. The lump came up in my throat and there I sat, sobbing to the admissions clerk for our kids’ new private school. We had been in Brazil about 8 months. I was exhausted. I shamed myself for not being able to figure out the best schooling option for our children. Our unreliable car had no a/c and we had lost our much more reliable car due to accumulated tickets we had gained from our ignorance.

Here I sat in a very elite private school, doing my best to confidently speak and understand Portuguese while on the inside- I felt spiritually devoured and overlooked. I was also battling a raging case of scabies that engulfed my torso and chest, that seemed determined to destroy me physically and remove any peace I had. This clerk squealed as though she sat in the presence of a super hero. I wept from exhaustion, shame, a hurt heart, and self- disappointment. Why didn’t I see myself as a super hero? Am I supposed to? #missionarymemoirs

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