Saturday, September 13, 2014

when being extraordinary looks ordinary...

I want to be radical.
Even at a young age, I would read and watch stories of people like Mother Teresa, Shane Claiborne, Todd White, C.S. Lewis, David Platt, Steffany Gretzinger, Francis Chan, Katie Davis, Heidi Baker, etc., and I would be so incredibly inspired.

I wanted to be radical. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to start ministries, see people resurrected from the dead, minister and watch God heal physical wounds, speak & change hearts, see revival. I wanted to sell it all & move to Africa to be an on-fire, sold-out, radical, twenty-something, Jesus-loving minister of the gospel who had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
And I still do. I still want to be a radical, sold-out, Jesus-loving minister of the gospel, but boy does it look so different than I thought it ever would.

Three years ago, I would have never imagined that I would still be in Midwest America at a small, conservative Christian college. Yet here I am, pursuing my third year of nursing school, taking care of a beautiful woman with Multiple Sclerosis, leading a floor of women towards Christ, teaching little kids not to hit & scream at me, and leading a group called Global Vision.

Not quite the radical life I thought I'd be leading, but it's funny how much God can change your heart & open your eyes to the life that is right in front of you.

It's funny how, all of a sudden, you're listening to a person's heartbeat through your stethoscope during clinical and you realize you are learning to be a healer like your Father; not just a healer of the physical body, but of the heart & soul- of the deeper, untouched hurts and pains, the insecurities, misgivings, and spiritual afflictions.

It's funny how, all of sudden, you're deciding how to approach a disciplinary situation on your floor & you find yourself pouring words of love and encouragement over the offender, rather than shame & rebuke because you've learned to be an encourager & constant friend.

It's funny how, all of a sudden, you're seeing brokenness and heartbreak & you find yourself on your knees in empathy and seeking to restore, because God has increased your capacity to love with greater depth and fullness.

It's funny how, all of a sudden, your nephew is about to turn one & you haven't seen him in two months & your heart still hurts and desperately longs for closeness, but your soul is at peace because you have found your strength & you have learned so much about being present in the season that God has you in.

It's funny how God feels closer because you've established your relationship with him in the secret place.

It's funny how your long-lost dreams are starting to flood your mind in a new and more powerful way because you have learned to lay them at the cross & allow them to be changed, taken away, or sacrificed for something greater.

It's funny how, when you stop looking for the extraordinary life that you want to live, and start drawing close to the Lord's heart, you find yourself living the ordinarily radical life you always dreamed about.

God is faithful, friends.
He knows us so well & he desires to see our dreams fulfilled, but sometimes he knows us better than we know ourselves & we have to step in to plans that seem crazy and so not in line with our dreams.

So if you're dreaming of something more, of something deeper, of something more radical, may I encourage you with these simple words: don't lose hope. Keep going.

He knows what he is doing & he hasn't lost sight of you.
He is working on you & paving a way for beautiful things to come about in and through you. It may look ordinary now, but you'll soon get a little ways down the road & all of a sudden you'll have some perspective and realize that there is no such thing as ordinary with God; he only does extraordinary & you are no exception. 

He is doing what he promised in and for you, this I can guarantee.  

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