Saturday, July 8, 2017

Radical Living...

Living radically for Jesus is being willing to lay down your life for what He is calling you to do. This looks so different depending on your life, and what God has in store for you, I am sure of this, whatever that looks like for you or for me, He is worth, and the adventure is worth it.

At 12 years old in my youth group I was convinced that the only way to truly live radically someday was to live in a place where my life would be endangered for my faith, and then boldly share Christ anyway. I was convinced that at every turn I needed to lay down all my comforts and sacrifice everything for the sake of the gospel. I was sure that if I didn't always do these things I would become a lukewarm follower of Christ, one who didn't really know what it meant to follow Jesus and one that didn't really love Jesus enough. This drove my heart to want to pursue overseas missions as an adult, it drove me to do a lot of things that were wonderful for Jesus. It also drove me to feel like I HAD TO do certain things or my faith wasn't authentic enough. God used this for so many good things, but I am now learning so much as an adult and a more mature Christian about how he grows us in our faith, and how little it is about me, and how greatly it is about Him! 

When I graduated college I was sure that I had gotten to a point I didn't care as much about Jesus or sharing the gospel, and discipling others... God took me through a season of learning about His delight in us. The way He loves to see us enjoy our life, and enjoy things He created us to be able to do. I still longed to serve Him in a radical way, hopefully someday overseas, but to do something big for Him some day. While we lived in Durango after college God taught me so much about living in community, loving others, sharing life with others, serving others because I genuinely wanted to, and trusting Him with what He wanted to do in the lives of people around me. It was so comfortable, and often I wondered if anything I was doing was radical at all. The great thing was... that it was. Loving people the way God was asking me to, was the radical thing He was calling me to do then, and there. Serving where He lead was the radical thing I was doing to advance God's kingdom. 

Now I am living overseas, serving as a missionary, and mom. Beginning to live cross-culturally, and at first it felt like it was a giant radical step of faith that I didn't know if I had enough faith to take. However now, 6 months later, I look at my life and wonder what is so radical about living in Cambodia? So many things are similar to life in the US, and so many things are completely different. I am realizing how our radical living for Jesus is so much about our daily day to day lives, the ins and outs of how we live that I think anywhere you live it probably doesn't always feel radical. It feels normal. The way  I parent, the way I take care of my family, the way I talk with and enjoy my husband. Some of the most radical things I am doing right now to show Jesus to others is the way I love and care for my family, the way I discipline my kids, the way, time and energy I put into learning Khmer. (Lately some of the most radical thing I do right now is study my Khmer alphabet and have the faith my head won't actually explode.) These are my radical things I am doing as I live for Jesus in a new country and culture. So much of it is "normal" yet so much of it is counter cultural to my home culture, my host culture, and even church culture, because God's culture isn't perfectly represented here on Earth, and the culture of heaven is what we are called to represent. So it turns out we continue to be the weird ones, but I think and pray it is in a good way that points people to Jesus.

 It's okay to be the weird different family. Reflect Jesus in all you do, and share Him with those around you. In fact I am more and more convinced that is how we live the a radical life serving Jesus.