Many people have been asking us for specifics regarding how things are going with our preparations to leave, so here’s a little more detail about where we are in the process of going overseas.
PTL we were finally approved by our local fellowship, Treasuring Christ Church, for missionary work, which was monumentally important to us; more important than anything else. I’ll soon post a blog explaining why. We also recently finished our agency’s application paperwork, which is a huge relief (the missions agency we are going through has a wonderfully extensive application process). The next step for us, which comes before the agency will even look at our application paperwork, is medical clearance.
Now, you may be thinking, “Why didn’t you do that first since they won’t look at your application until it’s done?”
A logical question, and the answer is this: I tried. In truth, Mrs. linville and baby linville are already medically cleared. As of this morning, my medical clearance is pending because of nine things, namely, nine pounds.
I had hoped to weigh within my Body Mass Index (BMI) before we finished the application paperwork, but losing weight has been far more difficult than I expected.
So yeah, at this point I need to lose nine pounds before we can move forward to take the Gospel to the nations. In a nutshell, that’s where we are in the process of going overseas. After I’m medically cleared we will have an in-depth interview with our agency recruiter (who’s been working with us the whole time) over our extensive application paperwork and then, if we are approved, we will be presented to the agency’s board member committee for further questioning (if necessary) and, if again approved, we will be officially employed by the agency. All of which cannot happen yet because of nine pounds.
Now, I realize that some of you understand this to be a legitimate deterrent and some of you see it as a rather trivial stipulation. Please share your opinions in the comments!
When I was first informed of this, I didn’t have nine pounds to lose but 35lbs (I’ve lost 26lbs since Feb), so the reason for it was far more…obvious.
Recently, as I draw closer to my target weight (199lbs, which is the top end BMI for a 5’8 male), and as it gets harder and harder to shed the pounds, I’ve caught myself being quite frustrated and tempted to consider this a trivial stipulation, but from whence does this frustration come?
It comes from selfishness; the me-monster. Being healthy often means not getting what I want.
It comes from laziness. Being healthy definitely requires consistent healthy choices which means: daily exercise and eating right. Eating right often means pre-planning meals and preparing them, forsaking drive-throughs, fried food, most desserts and regular sugary drinks. Instead, I now must eat the colorful foods that have not the flavors and textures that I’m comfortable with.
Seeing this I realize: I’m not frustrated with losing weight, I’m frustrated with the selfishness and laziness that my efforts to lose weight have revealed to be in my heart. What might losing weight be like for me if I didn’t have that selfishness or laziness there? Exciting? Enjoyable? Yes!
As a Christian, I am in Christ and thus a recipient of all that is in Him! Indeed, I can receive grace and faith with which to repent (turn away) from selfishness and laziness and walk in God’s forgiveness and love!
Walk? Why not run! Why not bike! Why not swim! To God’s glory I am repenting of these sins and finding incredible encouragement (and dare I say enjoyment) in eating my spinach and running those miles because I have found these efforts to no longer be mere exercises of the physical, but also a conditioning of the spiritual.
There should be nothing that we do on a daily basis that cannot be done with a Christ glorifying, worshipful attitude, for God is never far from anyone of us, “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
This process of losing weight revealed sin in my life, and after repenting I realized that these sins were not just affecting my efforts to be healthy, but had grown stealthily into many other areas of my life. What a blessing to have learned and repented of my sin sooner than later (“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14&15)!
We thank everyone who prays for us and I ask for continued prayer that I keep losing this weight as a means to testify to God’s love in drawing us closer to Himself through all things, whether they appear trivial or not.