Before I had Lukas, I told myself (and Osiris and my best friend): “I’m only going to post about Lukas ONCE a week on social media.” Yeah right.
Also, before I had Lukas, I told myself: “I’m going to lose the baby weight within his first year of life.” But instead I ate cake and ice cream so that didn’t happen.
Before we moved to America, I told Lara we would go visit them in Seattle “all the time”. Instead they moved to Texas and we went to see them in San Angelo just last week. 2 years after living in America.
We’ve told ourselves a lot of things. We’re going to have this much in savings. We’re going to buy a house by a certain time. We’re going to bla bla bla bla. And we have failed at a lot of those things.
Since living in America, in Dallas, specifically- it has been a constant struggle in my heart to accomplish big things- the things our peers and fellow parents are accomplishing, having this big a house, having this many children, rolling in the 7-passenger vehicle, wearing certain clothes, going to all the games, etc etc etc. It’s like living in DFW in 2017 as 30 year olds, you have to live in this perfectly pristine little box and my heart is trying to squeeze us into it and the struggle can make us miserable.
Last week in home group, we talked about the cost of discipleship. This took me back to when I was 17 years old, standing in front of a group of Dominican children, sharing the Gospel with them, while the thought went through my mind over and over: “This is EXACTLY what I want to do for the rest of my life.” So every summer after that, I sought to travel overseas and share the gospel to unchurched populations. At 19, I was essentially “ruined” to the American Dream while living in Germany. I remember thinking I didn’t need anything but Jesus and to make him known. I came home and had no idea what to study so I graduated with sociology, a real money-making degree. 😉 I worked with at-risk kids at TJ and married a man who loves Jesus more than anything and had the same heart to serve. We lived in teeny-tiny apartments in the Dominican serving as local unpaid missionaries while laboring secularly. As difficult as life was, we never compared ourselves to people our age. We were free from the American chase for material things and status. I remember being so grateful for that.
Two years after being on this side of the gulf, we have more than we had ever asked for while living in the DR. Like… way way more. Like constant electricity. Running water. Air Conditioning!!!! And so much more. The extra stuff you don’t think about, like cozy blankets to snuggle up with on the comfy couch. And space to work out and and walk and not hit a wall while doing jumping jacks or lunges. Not that I ever really do those.
And throughout this time, my eyes have gone from focusing on Jesus as the only thing I need, to the stuff I have and don’t have and wanting stuff I don’t have. The stuff isn’t bad (whether I have it or not), and it isn’t sinful to want it. It is sinful to want it more than Jesus. And sometimes, a lot of times, I do want it more than Jesus. How do I know this? Because I think it’ll satisfy me once I get it. Chandler said yesterday, “We think it’ll make us better people.” It’s so true. And dumb that it’s true.
So I just want to walk in freedom from that. I want to confess that my eyes haven’t been fixed on Jesus but on dumb stuff. And I want to want Jesus like I know I’ve wanted him before. So I’m praying to that end, for me, for Osiris, for little Lukas to know him and be saved at an early age. I pray we all find our hope and identity in Christ every moment of every day. Not in the things, not in our accomplishments or our failures. Just Jesus.