Rainbow McDowell’s life has been anything but predictable. She moved to the Philippines with her missionary parents when she was only six months old, and life has not stopped changing since. Now, after graduating from college in the U.S., Rainbow is sensing God’s call to serve back in the Philippines. As life continues to be filled with transitions, Rainbow is learning to view stability and security in a different way. She shares her experience below.
For years I’ve felt like I’ve been in transit, and to tell you the truth I still feel like I’m in transit.
I’m always moving from one place to the next, adapting to each new environment, country, culture and people group, yet never fully planting myself anywhere. My life has held its share of experiences and adventures, but also losses and feelings of being out of place.
Of all the unpredictable moments God has used in my life, one of my favorites started with a car ride to my school in Manila in the 7th grade. My school van drove by this cart every morning, which housed a family sleeping with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a tarp as covering. I saw the need and felt compassion rising up in me. So I prayed.
I remembered the book of James and how faith without works is dead. “So, Rainbow,” I felt God say to me. “What are you going to do about this?”
It was then that I decided that for my birthday I didn’t want any presents. Instead I wanted to use my birthday money to put together bags of food for the families I drove by and prayed for each morning.
My family did just that. We drove and stopped at each cart, and gave. We not only gave food but came with the message of the gospel. In those moments, when I saw that the uncertainty of my life was being used by God to serve him, I found that my life of transition was okay—that it held a purpose and a security in God.
I discovered that no matter where God would take me, it would be okay—better than okay. It would be exceedingly more than I could ever imagine for the sake of him being glorified.
Because of God’s promises, I’m willing to go wherever he leads or guides me. For now, that is back to a place I called home for years, and maybe it’ll be a place that I’m able to set some roots down in. But either way, wherever I go, this life of transit will always be for the glory of God and the joy of my being delighting in him.
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