Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cookie-Cutter Missionary, a Tale

by Ilona Hadinger, guest blogger
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then he formed man in his image; male and female he created them.
In the middle God birthed His New Testament church. Then he commissioned them to go into all the world; anointed with his Spirit he sent them.
Near the end, God hastened his task. Then he formed a cookie-cutter shaped missionary; identical he produced them, for the harvest was great and the workers were few.
And they rarely lived happily ever after.
The end.
Written by Lax N. Site for the “Myths, Lies, and Twisted Truths” anthology.
You’ve never read that? Oh, but many of us have believed it – or live surrounded by those who do.
Like me.
It began with the “I do” to a minister on my wedding day. I felt I had to be that cookie-cutter pastor’s wife. I did love people, but I couldn’t sing, wasn’t a social butterfly, and the only songs I knew on the piano were 70‘s hits like “Yes, We Have No Bananas”.
Was I the wrong cookie for that post?
In time came the call to missions. With itineration came invitations to be the engaging speaker for the women’s event in There-ville. “Come, share your vision with passion!” Except that I hated public speaking and was still recovering from the shock of the call.
Was I the wrong cookie for that plate?
On the field, most national’s have received us warmly with invitations to preach. In my case, again to women in conferences or other large gatherings. Often I sense their disappointment that I am not the Patsy Clairmont or Beth Moore they expected...or hoped for.
Am I the wrong cookie for this place?
I used to think so, but not anymore. Sweeping the crumbs aside, a dormant truth in my heart awoke to active belief: I am uniquely created by my Maker! My talents and abilities are to be used for His glory, for the calling of His choosing.
As a missionary, I can serve Him with what He’s given me, though others try rolling me, cutting me out and baking me into what they think I should be. If I like to write, paint, bake, or to raise my kids well and be the best help-meet for my husband, I can do any of those as faithful ministry, creatively using my desires, abilities and talents for God’s glory.
Have you ever read about Bezalel in Exodus 31:3,4? God uniquely used him to help build the Tabernacle: “I have filled him with the Spirit, with make artistic designs.” Or you may recall the Levites in I Chronicles 23-26 who each had a specific work to do, “...they were to serve the the way prescribed for them...and so they carried out their responsibilites.” And let’s not forget Tabitha in Acts 9 who served the Lord by sewing for widows.
This is cookie-cutter freedom!
You know both your calling and your talents. May God continually roll you, shape you, and make you into what He wills. His house will fill with a wonderful aroma and your life will be a trail of delicious crumbs for others to taste and see how good He is.
IRL*Thank God for making you the right cookie for the right place!


  1. Great post, Ilona!
    Wow! Yeah, they wonder why I'm not that dynamic woman they invited to speak... BTDT :) Love to support DH, host, feed, counsel over coffee in the kitchen, but large groups? It's not that they scare me so much, I'm just not a "speaker". I'm not from the regular cookie cutter, either. :D


  2. This true. May we all use our abilities and talents to do just what God asks of us!
    I added a link to this post on my Missional Mama Facebook page.

  3. Great post! Really enjoyed it! It is more important for us to be shaped by God than to be what others want us to be!

  4. Lorinda - even in the things we may not be comfortable in, the Lord does stretch us. I can't say I seek public speaking opportunities, but I can say that when I sense the Lord directing me that way for a particular event, He gives me the strength and ability. That's part of our unique mold...that He reserves the right to add and to shape it throughout our lives.

    Missional Mama - Amen! Your FB page sounds interesting. I'll check it out!

    Linda and Rachel- thanks. You're encouragers, aren't you? Those are some of the most delicious kinds of "cookies" God makes. ;-)

    - Ilona

  5. wow...that last comment made it on! I've been trying to post, but as usual Blogger seems to have glitches w Wordpress users. I was ready to post "anonymously"!
    Ilona (inkyspot)

  6. Thanks for a wonderful, freeing reminder that God has created each of us uniquely! I've always loved those verses you mention about Bezalel's unique skills.

    I'm sure you're a sweet smelling, delicious cookie yourself! :)

  7. Thanks again, Ilona, for filling in for me. I love what you say. Great reminder. I may reread this often.

  8. This was good. I needed this. Thank you.

  9. I read this last week and shared it on my FB page. Definitely, I can relate to what you're saying! I know that there've been many times when I've tried to make myself be something that I'm not. On the other hand, I've been letting Him, more and more, make me into what He wants...which is far and above what I ever thought I could be! Sounds contradictory almost, but it's true.


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