When Ethan Allen Freaks You Out

KJ and I were working on The Intermissionary Gathering yesterday, spitballing some ideas, when she wondered out loud about the day she would finally buy nice furniture.

Not the Goodwill kind, or even the IKEA disposable kind, but the heavy, expensive stuff you see in proper furniture stores.

KJ spent five years serving overseas, so she didn’t have to explain why the idea makes her panicky.


Furniture? Really?

What global servants know, but can struggle to articulate is how hard it is to suddenly be like everybody else: To no longer be introduced as “this amazing person who does this incredible work in __________________.”

Now, I’m 100% sure nobody seeks those accolades, that’s not why you served. In fact, most missionaries I know, tire of the pedestal, but over time, the nice things people say about your courage and selflessness make their way in and become part of the narrative.

Until the day you find yourself furniture shopping for a house you bought in the suburbs of Phoenix and wondering what the heck that means for your identity.


Who am I now?

Am I still a global citizen? Or just an everyday American/Dutch/Aussie?

Do I do important work? Or just pay my bills?

What is my purpose now that I’m no longer that wild little black sheep, with the bulging passport, who moves to a new foreign country every 18 months.

Will I still be interesting? Special? Useful in the Kingdom of God?

Am I still valuable?

Your head knows the right answer, but we want to talk to your heart about it.

Join us October 11-14, 2019 in the hills outside Nashville for the Intermissionary Gathering where KJ will be speaking about her struggle to reframe her identity and what helped her do it.

Having been there ourselves, we can help normalize the reentry experience and give you smart, actionable strategies for navigating one of the trickiest parts of the transition: Identity and purpose.

Tickets for The Gathering are limited and on sale now. Don’t wait prices will go up September 1st.