As I type, I can see the snow swirling gently to the ground outside the window, covering everything in a soft blanket of white. My aunt and uncle generously offered us the use of their condo in the mountains, and we’ve been enjoying much-needed rest these past few days.
Like the snow, my mind has been swirling with a myriad of thoughts these last several weeks. In November, I snagged a copy of Jen Hatmaker’s book, Interrupted. What I had hoped would offer some encouraging late-night reading led to something much more. In her book, Jen shares about how she and her husband realized that their comfortable version of Christianity didn’t align with God’s call to love the least of these. Instead, they were spending their time and efforts serving those who already knew Jesus as their Savior.
Each night, as I switched on the lamp next to my bed to read, I realized I was tense—anxious about what this book was revealing in my own life. I even considered putting it down altogether on several occasions, thinking that, if I didn’t read these challenging words, I wouldn’t have to step up and answer God’s call to love my neighbor.
So I compromised, deciding that I could take a break from reading for a few days to allow my thoughts to settle. What I was secretly testing—and what God totally knew—was whether I could slide back into willful ignorance, back into making my Christian faith more about me than about Christ and His call to love the world around me.
My test failed miserably. Instead of focusing on the trivialities of the day, all I could think about were the people in need. Instead of being consumed with my own wellbeing, I began to see people for who they really were—precious individuals in need of a Savior.
So, I started sharing all of this my guy, still hoping he would smile and nod and move on, so I could move on, too, and leave the unsettled feelings behind me. Ha. Yeah, that didn’t work either. Instead of listening and letting me get it out of my system, he asked question after question: What do you feel God is stirring in you? How could we have lived in disobedience to God’s call to love others for so long? How can others want our Jesus if our lives don’t look radically different as a result of His presence?
Each week since, we’ve found ourselves digging deeper into these questions, asking God to move in us and in the people around us. And He has. Oh how He has. It’s been humbling to see Him respond so faithfully.
As two individuals who grew up in the Church, we feel like we’re just now beginning to grasp these ideas so core to the Gospel—love God and love others. It’s as if we’ve had our heads in the sand for years, and God has graciously helped us lift them out—leaving us shocked by the brightness of the Son and the freedom that comes from breathing in His Spirit.
This journey is just beginning. We’ve taken our first feeble steps toward living out what God has called all of His followers to, and we are absolutely terrified and excited to see where He will lead us next.
These things I know: God is Almighty, Sovereign, and good. We are not. His call to surrender everything means just that—everything. He is MORE than worth anything we lay down. And, maybe most importantly, none of this is about me at all—it’s about Him, His glory, and His love for those who are lost.