Worth It.

One month. That's (approximately) the time until I board a flight to Slovenia with 10 other recent graduates (my hubs included) to move to Slovenia for the upcoming year. Here we will be working with Cru to build a campus ministry on the university in Ljubljana (the capital). People often ask how I feel about leaving, so here it is in summation.

Yes. I will miss… my family and friends. the convenience of hopping in a car to run to the store instead of waiting for public transportation. English being the native language. US electrical outlets. PF Changs. my kitchen supplies and other "comfort" items. being home for the holidays. chocolate chips.

But I'd give up those things forever if it meant... a whole country of people being exposed to Jesus for the very first time. meeting students who are hopeless, at the end of their rope, bringing them the hope of a Savior. sharing my story with someone going through similar things. being obedient to God rather than disobedient. putting the Lord's will above my own. changing, growing, not staying the same.

And it does. So I will go. Happily. Joyfully. And yes, even though it's hard. Because God doesn't call us to an easy, mediocre, "American dream" life. He calls us to a radical, unfathomable, world-changing journey.

Because He not only wants to use to reach the world, but He wants to wreck our idea of happy in the best way possible, showing off His far superior plan, reminding us that our citizenship is in Heaven, and we don't belong here forever.

You won't find a verse in the Bible that tells you to cling to what you love and hold tightly to it. In fact, you'll find the exact opposite.

"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it again." [Matthew 16:24-25]

Two years ago, I decided to stop attempting to "put all my ducks in a row". I was done planning. Done trying to have control. Done with my 10-year plan. And I have never looked back a day since. Because while the life I had planned for myself wasn't bad, God gave me way greater.

I'd far prefer to be where I am now, then where I thought I wanted to be right now.

I say this now with confidence, but don't get me wrong, it's still a struggle and sacrifice for me. There's moments of anxiety with the uncertainty ahead. But…

it's worth it. He's worth it. He always will be. And you will never, ever regret choosing His way over yours.

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Niki

Twenty-something follower of Jesus, wife to my best friend, aspiring kitchenista, and lover of handwritten type, all things coffee, traveling and baked goods. Currently in the United States until my husband and I move back to Ljubljana, Slovenia, where we are missionaries with Cru.

It Doesn't Matter

June 17th marks one year since I married the love of my life! It’s crazy to me how the time seems to accelerate with each passing day. Our wedding day overflowed with beauty as has our (almost) 10 months of marriage. Recently, my sweet friend Rachel (soon to be Schultz) Crouch posted about herwedding planning experiencethus far. Her perspective and honesty were a tall glass of ice water in this wedding-saturated culture.

Everyone hypes up your “big day” like it should be the most perfect, lavish, over-the-top day of your entire life. You should feel more beautiful than you ever have, spend whatever necessary to fulfill your dream wedding, and then live happily ever after.

During our wedding planning, I highly under-estimated the amount of time I would spend over-analyzing every little detail after the day had passed. It amazes and frustrates me how this consumes my thoughts on occasion. As a perfectionist and someone that struggles with feeling inadequate, I guess I should’ve anticipated this.

But no matter what decorations I wish I could change, which details didn’t come to fruition as hoped, what I’d like to do differently... it absolutely doesn’t matter. These thoughts reveal the definition of the devil yearning to distract me with utterly insignificant matters.

Because the only thing of fundamental importance is Jesus. His plan, given by the Father, went off without a hitch. From before his birth until the day that he ascended into heaven, every minute of his life was ordained by God, the Perfect Planner.

We were doomed, separated for eternity from God because of ours sins. We were enslaved to the law, incapable of fulfilling it on our own. We were like sheep without a shepherd, wandering and lost.

Then He sent His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Alienated from perfect fellowship with His Father to be nailed to a cross, forever satisfying the wrath of God. He came to loose the chains of sin and death, perfectly fulfilling the law. He came as our shepherd, laying down his life for the sheep (us); giving eternal life, promising that no one will snatch us out of his hand.

And boom. Paradigm shift complete. It’s not about what menial things I wish I could change (mostly to make others think more highly of me). Eternity is what’s at stake, and I waste my time caught up in trivial affairs.

Think about the cross. About the shed blood and empty tomb, and allow it to give you eternal perspective. As we celebrate this day, remember it’s not about the bunnies, big family dinners, egg hunts or even just the tradition of going to church. It’s about an innocent Man, taking on our sin and setting us free from bondage to live the real happily ever after in heaven.