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The threnody

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I booked my ticket today for Ireland! This has been a lifelong ambition and over the past decade, a heart-trek that has until recently existed solely in the romantic nooks of my heart. It’s an odd feeling thinking that on May 27 of this month I will heading toward Eire for a 3 month plus adventure. I will scour her land as much as it available to me, visiting ministers, church-planters, orphanages, and hopefully a good handful of men and women waging war for the Lord on this island. But this joyous moment is not without its bittersweet accompaniment. As I surveyed this song of joy in my heart I knew it was an odd sensation for sure, for along with this joy came sadness, lining my soundtrack with groans of threnody. I never thought I would associate anything with sadness on such a time as finally booking voyage to Ireland, but here I stand, humbled and corrected.

I had not been as sad as I was today in a long time! I spoke with my baby brother earlier today, whom I Love. The usual banter went back and forth, and I was entreated even a bit to his heart as he shared about his recent experiences of learning what not do in a relationship. So great to have a brother confide in you when so many other young men choose to do so without question. Hearing his recent gleans of wisdom brought strength to my heart and I could have stayed in that moment for quite some time!

As life would have it thought, he explained to me how he was so looking forward to watching the Word Cup (July 1st) with me this summer before I went to Ireland. I told him I was leaving on May 27th. The air literally felt like it was sucked out of the phone line. He breathed deeply and I knew that in the patch-worked sentence that followed that I had let him down. As if that wasn’t enough  my good friend here who is someone I have grown very close to over the past year tells me he wishes to invite me to be part of his wedding party…just his brothers and me in fact! What an honor! Of course his wedding is July 2nd…right in the middle of my mission trip to Ireland.

Forgive me Ireland, I underestimated that you would come at a price right out the gates to my heart. I also underestimated how much my heart would break at the thought of having to leave people. Even tonight in a conversation with my Mom I knew she was not enjoying the ideal of having all her boys home for a whole or even partial summer as there will now only be two days in which we are all within the same state.

I suppose in a very mild way this is the beginning of things needed to be experienced and then learned, in that order. ZFunny how much your heart can go when you know you have no reason to apologize. This would officially be my first prayer request for Ireland…even before ever getting there, pray that my heart can Love by letting go and stay strong.

Dear Jesus,

I will miss things either way as I follow you…Either the things I leave behind, or those things that are  awaiting me. My choice to go or stay carries the weight of fulfillment in it. Help my heart stay focused on You, the prize, and know that in honoring You and Your call on my life, I am honoring my family, even if I am letting them down in the momentary.

x Missionary

Thank you for your prayers everyone. I need them!


About justingunter

I'm recently 29 years old, recently married and ready to change the world for God. He has called me to be a missionary! This means more than just changing zip codes and living in countries where I struggle (for a while) speaking the language the locals dream in. It means a lifestyle of sacrifice, audacious Hope and above all, a desire for Jesus simply because He is who He is. I moved to Franklin, TN in October 15th of 2012 and expect this to be the first of many changes for the great calling on the Gunter's life. Side note...I dig being married. It helps when you're married the best woman ever! Teale and I feel called to plant churches, combat sex trafficking and be a place of refuge and Holy sojourn to all who would seek to join alongside us for good or for a season. For now, Ol' Rocky Top is our home, Zoey is our Great Dane and we, the Gunters, love Jesus with all we have.

2 responses »

  1. I think it’s so cool that you’re going to Ireland for 3 months! Make sure to write about all of your adventures, haha! 😀 Will be praying for safe travels for you!

  2. Katie Harrington

    I wanna do…
    whatever God wants,
    whenever He wants it,
    whatever it costs.

    It is an odd feeling to finally have the tickets booked and finally looking forward to going to a country in which you have had your heart be on fire for for many years now. I remember when you first mentioned to me that you wanted to go to IReland so badly but things just kept getting in the way. I know there is no perfect time to do things but in all honesty when I have missed out on things that have been important to me because of Jesus, I feel deep down in my heart that I’m doing the right thing.

    I put the famous quote by our friend Mr. Burns up on top just as a little reminder to say that being a Christian and following God’s calling for your life will be paid at a cost. There will always be events to miss out upon and there will always be things that you want to do but because you’re following Christ, those things may be missed out upon.

    It warms my heart that you are thinking about those things and how you are struggling in the sense of not being there to share in your friend’s marriage or the time you would be spending with your little brother watching one of the greatest sports. I would be worried if you were not thinking about those sacrifices :).

    That is all my friend, I’m glad that I have been able to share in this journey of your heart for a while now and I look forward to hearing the wonderful adventures that you are going to have over in the Land of Leprachauns (sp?) and the beautiful fields of Eire.


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