Welcome home!!!! I feel like I have been gone for years. A lot has changed in the last four weeks. Not the least of which is my appearance! I am thirty-one weeks pregnant now 🙂 Baby Piper is growing and growing!
Drew and I were gone for three weeks attending a missions training conference. It was an extremely important conference for me because I have been very on the fence about moving away and doing missions. I have never been on a missions trip before or had any formal training, and I was scared to death! We spent seven hours every day in classes and training, and the evenings were spent in the streets outreaching or in the homes of new friends having lots of conversation.
God did a lot of work in my heart those three weeks, softening me to Him and to His lordship. I have been so afraid of anything outside my comfort zone, and this was probably one of the limits of that. For three weeks, we lived in less than ideal living conditions and learned about Islam and were continually challenged in our faith.
I realized while there that for the longest time I’ve accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I often refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord, meaning giving Him complete control of my life. Jesus tells His disciples they have to leave everything to follow Him. They have to be willing to lose anything they have.
I “give” Jesus my life, but I hold back all the parts I don’t want Him to have. I am ok with following Him so long as He doesn’t call me anywhere I don’t want to go. But that isn’t what discipleship means. Discipleship means reckless abandon into Jesus. He may never call you to missions in Africa or to sell your house and move to a smaller one, but reckless abandon means He becomes so valuable and beautiful to you that you would do anything He asked, and we strive to do this on a daily basis.
Sometimes this may look strange to us or to our families, but it’s what Jesus asks. When Paul tells the Colossian church that Christ is now their life (Col. 3:3-4), it means He is the lifeblood and sustenance. We don’t gain our lives and live them the old way, the way where I dictate everything. Instead we give them up to Jesus and gain our truest self.
While at this conference, I learned so much about the sovereignty of God. Over and over, I had to ask myself the question, is He really worth this? Until I decided that, discipleship really just meant bekkaship. My tongue would say Jesus has my whole life, but my heart and actions would contradict it. I recently read this article by Pastor John Piper, and it really showed me how incorrect my thinking has been.
Anyway, all that to say, I’m very excited to be thinking and praying more about missions with Drew, and we are taking steps to make this calling a reality! I will keep you all posted. The pictures in this post are recent ones I’ve taken on all our travels this summer that have made me wonder at what God has done. Wonder is one of the keys to seeing and savoring God, or so Piper says, and I believe him. The more we wonder, the more likely we are to dwell under His lordship. Jon Bloom calls wonder the antidepressant of life. When I look back on these photos, I think he is right.