Love Your Spouse: Following Jesus

I was challenged by Monika Vejmělková to share a picture with my husband every day for 7 days as part of a “Love your Spouse” challenge.
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This is the first picture ever taken of me and Ben on the first night he brought me to Centerpoint (our church in Missouri). I said that the microphone cover looked like a clown nose and he said they were more like bug eyes. I thought he was old (a senior in college lol) and just being nice to me cause I didn’t have many friends at Ozark yet. (Turns out they didn’t “really need more people” in their worship band, he just thought I was cute!) He told me that the first time I walked into Centerpoint, it would feel like home. I only kind of believed him, but as soon as I walked in the doors I knew he was absolutely right. After a few weeks of attending Centerpoint and spending time with Ben, I saw that he was drastically different than any man I’d ever met. He was honest with me and didn’t keep me guessing how he felt about me- he just told me. I liked that. And I liked him, too!
Centerpoint was a great place to attend church, worship Jesus, serve in the band, and fall in love with my husband. The people I met there welcomed me as part of their family, and showed me a lot about how to be a community of Jesus-followers. (And the food- oh my goodness- the food. It is abundant and delicious and I hope Centerpoint caters the heavenly banquet feast. That is not a joke.) I grew up at a wonderful, healthy church of about 20,000 people, so Centerpoint was my first experience with a small church (around 100 people). My time there reinforced and grew my love and passion for the body of Christ, no matter what size it happens to be.
As the weather is getting colder and fall is approaching, I’m reminded of the season that I began training for ministry, became part of the Centerpoint family, and realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Ben. It was only two years ago, but following Jesus over these two years has been full of blessing, growth, joy, and change. If you told me then that two years later I would be married to a pastor and living in small town Iowa, I would have been a little surprised, but not shocked.
Thats the thing about following Jesus. I can have my “plans” and my timeline and my agenda, but His is always better. Always surprising. Always changing. When you’re consistently listening, God is consistently leading. I fully believe that God led me to attend Ozark, and I fully believe that He led us here to Iowa. Through small steps of obedience and trust, He will lead you to the place He has prepared for you. Trust can be scary (like when you move 9 hours away from home and don’t know anyone). Or when you’re engaged and don’t have a clue about where you will be living or working in 6 months. Or when you find out you’ll be living in rural Iowa and there is no Target (haha). But through every decision and trial and day of waiting, I knew that God would be so faithful to provide for us because He was the one calling us. I will not follow a career or a timeline- I will follow Jesus. So for now, that means I am in rural Iowa and LOVING it. It means I am learning how to be a wife and a small-business owner.
I would not trade this season for anything. Not another place, another job, a fancier degree. God isn’t waiting on you to be a little older or a little wiser. He isn’t waiting on you to have an education or a job title. He isn’t held back by what you might think you’re lacking, because He is the source of abundant life. Don’t wait to follow Him. Don’t put off obedience until you have it all together. I definitely do not “have it all together”, and I’m learning every day what it means to follow Him. I get it wrong all the time! But God can use me, a sinner, to advance His kingdom and love His children. He can use me, a 20 year old pastor’s wife, to speak His truth and proclaim His goodness. 
I fully believe that He can use you, too. When the world tells you to worship a relationship or a GPA or the American dream, make the decision to worship Jesus. When the world tells you to follow your heart, follow your dreams, or follow a sports team, follow Jesus. He is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is so worth loving. He isn’t waiting for you to be older or better, He is waiting for you to trust and obey.
…………………………………………………………….

Do The Next Thing

From an old English parsonage,
Down by the sea,
There came in the twilight,
A message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend,
Deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me,
Teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours
The quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration-
DO THE NEXT THING

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment,
Let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity,
Guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,
DO THE NEXT THING

Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,
DO THE NEXT THING

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering)
Be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence,
The rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance
Be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness,
Praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee,
DO THE NEXT THING

-Author Unknown

(Found in a newsletter by Elisabeth Elliot)

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3 thoughts on “Love Your Spouse: Following Jesus

  1. Hi, I found your blog because I came across your kitchen reno on Apt. Therapy (and loved it, btw).
    This post is such a refreshing reminder to me that following Jesus is worth it. I just recently got married and graduated from law school and started a real job, etc. and it is such a struggle to remember that it is ultimately the most satisfying, and the most true choice, to follow Jesus and not whatever other life situation I may believe will cause me to be fulfilled. It’s been a struggle for me to have and believe in this perspective, and I think it will continue to be a struggle for me over the next few years, but this was just a simple reminder to me, from a fellow sister on the path of following Jesus, that he is true and good; that he is the best. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Also, I was born in Oskaloosa! I don’t remember much of it because I was too young, but my parents and older sister talk about how much they loved living there; the community and food there is like nothing else, so they say.

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    2. Robin! Hi! I didn’t see this comment until just now! You’re right, following Jesus is so worth it. I’ve found that allowing Jesus to be the Lord and Savior of my life is always more fulfilling and satisfying than submitting to whatever my sin tells me is a “better idea”. It can definitely be a struggle sometimes, but you are so right! I am so glad we have the Holy Spirit to help us when we are weak and guide us when we are blind. He is true. He is good. And he is the best! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Like

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