My Euro Life | Why I’m Not Here

As I’m talking with people here in Slovenia, the question “what are you doing here?” comes up pretty frequently. Well, today’s post attempts to answer that by explaining why I’m not here.

I’ll continue with some wise words from Paul again, from I Corinthians 1:17, via The Message.

God didn’t send me to collect a following for myself, but to preach the message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center — Christ on the cross — be trivialized into mere words.

Can I get an amen? Often I get caught up in what people think of me, wanting a Niki fan club nice group of friends to humbly cheer me on. But if I gain what I think I want, then I miss out on what I’m actually here.

I’m not here because I’m a “super Christian”.
I’m not here to make me known.
I’m not here for a European vacation.
I’m not here to do God a favor.

I am here because I once prayed [something like] this to God:

Lord, I’m so done with trying to satisfy this longing inside of me with what this world has to offer. It’s a dead-end, life-sucking road that leads to disaster. Change me into the person you want me to be. Give me your heart for the people in this world, let me see others through your eyes. Use me to reach people. Here am I, send me. 

I’m here, not just in Slovenia but on this earth in general, because I want my life to be about making Jesus famous. Because I want to tell the world, tell ’em everywhere I go [holla, Lecrae]. And not tell them, as Paul says, with fancy words or Christianese. But just by sticking to the basics.

“I deliberately kept it plan + simple: first Jesus and who he is, then Jesus + what he did – Jesus crucified.”

I’ll leave you with the music video for one of my fav songs from my favorite Christian rapper. And no, that’s not an oxymoron.

Worth It.

One month. That’s (approximately) the time until I board a flight to Slovenia with 10 other recent graduates (my hubs included) to move to Slovenia for the upcoming year. Here we will be working with Cru to build a campus ministry on the university in Ljubljana (the capital).

People often ask how I feel about leaving, so here it is in summation.

Yes. I will miss…
my family and friends.
the convenience of hopping in a car to run to the store instead of waiting for public transportation.
English being the native language.
US electrical outlets.
PF Changs.
my kitchen supplies and other “comfort” items.
being home for the holidays.
chocolate chips.

But I’d give up those things forever if it meant…
a whole country of people being exposed to Jesus for the very first time.
meeting students who are hopeless, at the end of their rope, bringing them the hope of a Savior.
sharing my story with someone going through similar things.
being obedient to God rather than disobedient.
putting the Lord’s will above my own.
changing, growing, not staying the same.

And it does. So I will go. Happily. Joyfully. And yes, even though it’s hard. Because God doesn’t call us to an easy, mediocre, “American dream” life. He calls us to a radical, unfathomable, world-changing journey.

Because He not only wants to use to reach the world, but He wants to wreck our idea of happy in the best way possible, showing off His far superior plan, reminding us that our citizenship is in Heaven, and we don’t belong here forever.

You won’t find a verse in the Bible that tells you to cling to what you love and hold tightly to it. In fact, you’ll find the exact opposite.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it again.”
[Matthew 16:24-25]

Two years ago, I decided to stop attempting to “put all my ducks in a row”. I was done planning. Done trying to have control. Done with my 10-year plan. And I have never looked back a day since. Because while the life I had planned for myself wasn’t bad, God gave me way greater.

I’d far prefer to be where I am now, then where I thought I wanted to be right now.

I say this now with confidence, but don’t get me wrong, it’s still a struggle and sacrifice for me. There’s moments of anxiety with the uncertainty ahead. But…

it’s worth it. He’s worth it. He always will be. And you will never, ever regret choosing His way over yours.