Have you ever been skydiving or bungee jumping before? I’ve been skydiving. In fact, that’s where I met my husband—but that’s a story for a different day! On a beautiful summer day, here in New Zealand, a group of four of us all prepared for the jump by squeezing ourselves into some particularly tight neon orange jumpsuits, the tightness of which I’m sure had some safety reasons, but neon orange? How’s that supposed to help when falling from a plane strapped to an adrenaline junkie instructor? Could it be that if he loses me during the fall he’d be able to spot me against the green and blue of the earth? I’m sure on arrival the red blood would almost certainly help also.
Anyhow, we’ve now squeezed our way into these jumpsuits, girded ourselves with some rather uncomfortable strapping, boarded the small plane and are heading up into the clouds. This whole process did nothing much for me. I don’t know why, but there was no adrenaline, no nerves, just a little excitement. However when sitting with my feet dangling out of the plane, all of a sudden, my very healthy self-instinct kicked in and I found that I just couldn’t jump. However, I fumbled my way out of the plane, very loudly I might add, and safely made it to the ground, digestive contents contained.
I have since had time to look back fondly on the whole event, and noticed a few things, one of which I’ll talk about here. When jumping from the plane or the platform, there’s this eerie part of the process in between the naturally instinctive fear and the actual jumping. It’s the part where you push all the questions and doubts to the back of your mind and, maybe even just for a split second, you mentally force yourself to make that one tiny move that goes against all your self preservation and launches you out into the air.
As a missionary in the fundraising stage of my journey, I feel like I’m waking up every morning and choosing whether or not to push the fear back, and to step off the ledge. In my opinion, choosing to pick up the phone and make those uncomfortable fundraising calls has the same mental process. I live in the fear of failure for a moment or two, I go off and do different things to distract me for a minute or two, and then I come back and sometimes push that green call button. And in that moment, I feel like I am launching myself off the ledge and careening through the air, hoping the uncomfortable strapping does its job.
However, my job position within the OMS Hungary team provides a unique perk that not many others have been privy to. As a web designer, I have had the opportunity to be able to work with the team from afar, while still fundraising my family’s way to Hungary. One of the effects of this particular perk is that I’m able to keep professionally connected to a team that could seem very far away, and I’m able to keep my eye on the prize, as it were.
In a world where connectivity and social media have such powerful and sometimes negative impacts on people, we’ve managed to find a positive way to harness this giant tool. Social media and the connectivity it brings has made it that little bit easier to pick up the phone and make those uncomfortable phone calls.
Part of my job description is to capture what God is doing through OMS in Hungary and the surrounding countries, and relay it around the world through technology and social media to encourage and uplift others. But I never expected it to be such a huge part of my personal journey to Hungary. It’s funny how God works, hey.
So if you find yourself wearing the mental equivalent of a neon orange jumpsuit and some uncomfortable strapping, just jump.
– By Näomi Johnston, Future OMS Hungary Team Member