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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two Lives

I'm pretty sure I have lived two lives.
No, this is NOT a post about reincarnation, don't worry!
I am barely over the big 4-0 and yet I am quite sure I have lived two totally separate lives.

In my "first life", I had a husband, two beautiful children (one boy and one girl), a big house, a new car, plenty of debt and quite the impressive exterior. I knew Jesus. I really did. There is no doubt about that. But I shopped a lot. On credit.
I homeschooled and never missed a field trip. I was a leader in our large homeschool support group and church circle. I thought I knew more than I really did. I liked to argue doctrine with those who were charismatic, non-reformed, liberal or just off base altogether. I wanted to serve God and at times I did. But that service was limited to what I felt I could control. My husband and I were orchestrating the American dream, a safe comfortable life with a predictable rhythm in which the biggest irritations were things like the dog vomiting on the carpet or running out of coffee. They felt so big. Then.

In life number two, things are so different I hardly recognize the first "me". Yes, I still have the same husband but now we have six children. We live in a small house, our cars are older and there is no debt anymore. I don't know nearly as much as I used to about matters of doctrine and I don't care to argue them anymore anyway. I am no longer in favor of the death penalty and I understand that Jesus did not appoint me to single-handedly change the doctrinal stances of fellow Believers. I know about the poor now. I know they are real and they aren't poor because they are lazy. Not all of them. I know that I was created for so much more than living life #1. I have learned that there is nothing that matters, that has eternal value, apart from investing in other people. I found out that people in need don't want to hear the gospel on an empty stomach, fatherless, in physical pain and that God has equipped my family to help remedy some of these circumstances for just a few people. A few is good. I am learning to be content and to count my blessings. I have almost completely stopped looking at what other people have and wishing it belonged to me. I just want God to use my short little life, that has taken such a long time to resemble Him even a little, and make it count for His kingdom.

Please know I do not believe I have "arrived" or culminated in some swath of Christ Likeness that makes me better than another Believer. I haven't and I'm not. But I am so desperately in love with life #2 that I can not fathom how I tolerated life #1 for as long as I did. I love that Jesus opened my eyes to the poor. I love that He put a longing in my heart to break out of the old life and step onto the balance beam that #2 is proving to be. I adore the husband He has given me who is leading the charge to be "RADICAL" for the sake of the lost and the poor.

I love that our family is open to selling everything we can't fit into a suitcase and returning to the country of our hearts.

I stand amazed that the opportunity to do just that is before us.

The Lord will have to move mountains but He has moved them right before my eyes, just as an act of love and faith building.

We stand on the precipice of life #3. A life on the mission field. A new start right smack in the middle of our lives. With kids. All of them. We stick together. I need each one of them. They need us, too.

I don't want to be cryptic any longer but I have said all that is allowed until a few more details mesh together.

I covet your prayers. They sustain us now just like they did through four adoptions, our journey with reactive attachment disorder and all the other refining tools the Lord has used to whittle us down. And He is still whittling. We have come so far and yet have so far to go.

If you are willing to hang with us, I believe this blog is going to take a very distinct turn.... To the East....Asia-ish...

We are humbled. Again.

10 comments:

  1. Hooray!!! And praying like crazy. :)

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  2. Wow and wow! You know I am praying. Can't wait to see what God has for you. You are the 2nd friend today who has shared amazing new things for your lives. God is working and it is so exciting. :-)

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  3. Everything you write resonates so deeply in me. How I would love to sit down and share a coffee with you.

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  4. WOW!!!! Will be praying for all the details as God unfolds it all in HIS time! Hugs, Jo Anna

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  5. Praise the Lord Nikki! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes you all! Praying!

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  6. heeheehee. welcome to the rest of your life. welcome home. :)))))

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  7. Am I ever glad I decided to pop on a few blogs tonight! I would have hated to miss this exciting post! Wow, Nikki. I sure hate that you missed our last moms night out so PLEASE make sure you get to the next one before we can't see you anymore. sniff. sniff. Can't wait to hear how God orchestrated all of this in your family's life!!!

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  8. May God continue to reveal life's greatest delicacy--(to be savored and craved and sought after)-- HIMSELF!!! As you wait for Life #3, remember that there is abundant life in every moment, and that there is great significance in those "just a Mom" times.

    I watched a video produced by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron called 180. I highly recommend it. Within the dialogue with various people about abortion, however, there was something that jumped out at me in a fresh way.

    They were asking about Adolph Hitler, and whether people would (if they could) go back and kill Hitler as an unborn child by killing his pregnant mother. This action would conceivably avert the Holocaust, the rise of a megalomaniacal dictator, World War II, etc. How many lives could have been saved through the loss of two?

    But God brought to me a different thought. What if we could go back, and be a loving neighbor to little Adolph, or loving mother, or loving father? That would have taken a lot more effort than pulling a trigger, but perhaps the world would still have been changed?

    And so I am reminded that the truly great deeds are not the ones we do for God, but the ones we invite Him to do through us. And this is how even the giving of a cup of water can be a glorious thing!

    So do not be tempted to wait to "really" live, when there is an awesome and weighty decision to make, but live now this common little moment with simple surrender, and let God use you to change the world.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear friends, for you shared excitement with us, for your encouragement and your support.

      Jeff, I watched 180 and came away with a very similar sentiment to what you expressed above! Odd since it was not really about that but yet a confirmation as well. Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts. They certainly resonate with me. Thank you, friend.

      My heart longs to be landing at the Aquino airport right this minute but my Heavenly Father says to wait and continue to watch, listen and obey. I am ready, Lord . . . not my will but YOURS be done . . .

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  9. Praying that the Lord will clear the way for you and soon you'll be serving Him where He has placed you. You are an amazing woman and I see God using you mightily.

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