Sunday, September 25, 2011

{ Redemption }

What if God's picture of redemption for my life doesn't look like my picture of redemption?

I am wrestling with the idea that this isn't actually a question, it's a statement: God's picture of redemption for my life does not look like my picture.

In my picture of the redeemed life God has prepared for me, there is enough money with manageable working hours. I won't have to work when we have kids. Serving at church and in the community doesn't actually require us to sacrifice time or energy I'd rather spend elsewhere. We're healthy and pain-free, not stressed, sort of skipping through sun-filled days, weeks, and years.

I can tell you right now, folks, that is not what reality looks like!!

This quarter, Mike and I are blessed and privileged to be attending Redemption Group through our church {more info here}. As the website describes, "a Redemption Group™ is an intense small group that digs deep into difficult and seldom-discussed areas of life, such as abuse, addiction, and trials of all sorts....Far beyond Bible study, Redemption Groups are about life study—your life connecting with Jesus’ life." This weekend was the "intensive," ten hours of intro sessions. Already I see Jesus moving so powerfully and lovingly in my heart and the hearts of other participants. At the end of the day, Mike asked me if I cried. My response: "I cried every time someone talked, including myself!" While I'm excited for the transformation I expect the Lord to work in my heart, I'm also scared of the process--replacing lies with the truth isn't a painless process, and we have an enemy who would dearly love to see me remain enslaved to habitual sin.

Right now, part of God's picture of redemption for Mike and I involves showing up here at 6:30am on Sunday morning

{our entire church setup is in that white trailer!!}

and helping transform this gymnasium into a place where about 400 people at a time can gather to worship Jesus.
My part in all this is not strictly necessary, but I think it's very much appreciated: I'm one of the "caffeine angels" who makes coffee for everyone. It's amazing how exhausting it can be to make coffee for hours. You'd think it's a piece of cake. I have blisters on my feet to prove it isn't...and the hubs and I have actually started taking naps when we get home on Sunday afternoons!

It is truly amazing to see God's hand in this church plant. We were hoping for 500 people the first Sunday {there are two services}, and a whopping 787 people showed up! Praise the Lord!

Note: All photos in this post taken from here.


  1. Amazing, Nikki! This whole post is so full of truth. One of your first statements: "God's picture of redemption for my life does not look like my picture" started that "lump in the throat" emotional feeling for me. This is the BIG lesson God has been placing on my heart for about a year. What victory and joy can be ours when we realize the truth in that statement you made, and embrace what HIS redemption looks like!!

    And... bless you for being a caffeine angel!

  2. Man, coffee booth is the place to be when you have to be up that early on a Sunday morning - lol! Love your thoughts on God's redemption, I can totally relate to the realization that maybe His ways really are above ours, and don't look like ours, especially when it comes to what I want my life to be like. I've been mulling over those same kind of thoughts!