My younger sister and I sat at a coffee shop in Cambodia. Our caffeinated brains buzzed while we discussed what it means to transition through life as an MK.
“Abby, I don’t understand what the big deal about being a missionary kid is. We’re just normal kids with normal problems.”
She made a good point.
As a missionary kid, that label will always be something that defines a part of me. But I don’t have to feel trapped by the label of ‘MK’.
I’m a granddaughter, a sister, and a best friend. To those who know me well, I’m the girl who spends most of her time in the kitchen with crunchy peanut butter and a spoon.
Just like being a girl who grew up in Cambodia, these are all things that define me.
Throughout life, the things that define me change.
The identity of ‘mk’ wasn’t as emphasized when I moved to America as an adult. I no longer got the same special ‘missionary kid’ treatment at church. My parents even considered taking my picture off the prayer card.
Overtime, the cereal aisle at Wal-Mart didn’t give me goosebumps anymore. I realized I didn’t fumble around with American coins as much before. I even found it normal to drink water straight from the tap. I became American.
Being an MK will always define a big part of who I am. I do have special struggles from a childhood of growing up overseas. But ultimately, the thing about me that is most important is not the fact that I know curse words in a different language, or that I once had a python in my front yard.
The most important fact about my life is this: I am an undeserving child of God.
Throughout life, I will change physical locations. I will have different jobs. I will probably develop my tastes more. Heaven forbid, I may someday even switch to eating creamy peanut butter. Those outward changes will affect me, but they don’t have to be earth-shattering, because my identity is secure.
I am a sinner redeemed by Jesus first, and a peanut-butter-loving-crazy-about-goat-nursing-student-Cambodian-American second.
I always go back to the note that one wise missionary ‘uncle’ wrote me once,
“Don’t forget where you came from. Being a Cambodian MK is what you’ve been and what you always will be. But, don’t be afraid to become more. Being a Cambodian MK is only the beginning. God will build on this foundation and make you so much more. God gave you a wonderful opportunity to live and serve in Cambodia. God is going to use all of this to make a great future for you.”