Preparing for Takeoff!

Written by duncan on August 16th, 2014

Written by: Abby Nitcholas

Suitcases, saying goodbyes, endless miles in our car, countless cups of coffee and so many sweet memories have filled our last month in the States. Josh and I have said farewell to Fort Collins and to our first home for the next 12 months as we make preparations for our big trek across the pond. The days are quickly flying by before our departure and my heart continues to swell with emotions of every kind! The road ahead is paved with uncertainty and knowledge that Josh and I will both be stretched in every capacity, but I consistently find solace in the fact that God’s plan is much greater than my limited, current perspective and by His mercy, I am able to be the vessel that He desires me to be.

I am consistently humbled when I look at my life. Feelings of gratitude well up within me as I realize how merciful our God is in His asking me to “Go into the world” to proclaim the Good News of His salvation. Oh how His grace and mercy weighs so heavy in my heart and mind! That God would ask me, little ‘ol me to serve Him. I am not particularly talented at evangelism, or discipleship, or even the most disciplined of people I know but still He looks at me and says, “I can use you…” What an honor to be a vessel for the King. There truly is no greater task I would want to tackle, no greater purpose as to live my life then to simply be the vessel that is willing to bring Christ’s love to this forgetful, longing, and desperate world.

When I think of Russia that is how I want to fill my thoughts; with gratitude. Although, recently I have found it easy to ponder the things that I am leaving behind during this move. When I moved from Texas to Colorado there was such an excitement that filled me because I was moving to be with the love of my life and I had a good idea of what life would look like in Fort Collins but this move is different. I have no idea what to expect, I do not know anyone over there and I have no idea of what language study plus leading a ministry is going to entail… It’s a lot to think about and at times I cave into the temptations of anxious and sadden thoughts. When I was cleaning my house right before we left, I couldn’t help but find myself longing for many more quiet morning sitting on my couch, cup of coffee in hand pouring over God’s word as I looked out our numerous windows to see God’s beautiful creation just beyond my reach. I couldn’t help but think of all the precious friends that I had gained in the last year and a half in that beautiful city or even the fact that I FINALLY knew where every store was in town!

The same day that I felt as if my heart would break because of my spiraling thoughts, I grabbed a book, “One with Christ”, by Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China. He wrote in his book a beautiful, practical model of how we should look at our lives. He encourages us to not measure our lives by what we gain but rather to measure our lives by what we have lost because we have lost it for love’s sake.

“Measure thy life by loss instead of gain; not by the wine drunk, but the wine poured forth; for love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice; and whoso suffers most, hath most to give.”

So yes, I have given up my cozy little home on the edge of the foothills in Fort Collins and yes, I might not have my kitchen or even my perfectly snuggle-ly blanket that I love so much, or even the countless friends that have grown so dear to my heart BUT isn’t that the point? Isn’t love an action waiting to be poured out for the sake of the one you love? Isn’t that what Christ did for me? Shouldn’t I be grateful for the fact that He has given me those things so I can muster them together to give back to Him as a love sacrifice? Wow how perspectives can change in just an instant. All that I have gained, I gladly place them on the altar for them to be a sweet sacrifice pleasing to the Lord. I feel as though I have a deeper understand of what Paul was talking about in Philippians 3:7-8.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”

In the 12 days we have left of waiting my gaze must remain fixed on the ultimate prize of being with Christ and seeing Him glorified through my life…
Elizabeth Elliot sums up the longings of my heart perfectly. Through every season, life change, and longing, this poem has brought more direction, peace and comfort than anything else my thoughts try to cling to…

Perhaps some future day, Lord,
Thy strong hand will lead me to the place
Where I must stand utterly alone;
Alone, Oh gracious Lover, but for Thee.

I shall be satisfied if I can see Jesus only.
I do not know Thy plan for years to come.
My spirit finds in Thee its perfect home; sufficiency.
Lord, all my desire is before Thee now.
Lead on no matter where, no matter how,
I trust in Thee.

Oh the sweet love of our Savior and how He sustains us through whatever circumstance! In Him we can find our sufficiency, our strength, our perfect home! His presence dwells with us through every season whether in the comfort of Fort Collins or halfway across the world in Russia! His love goes before our every longing. His faithfulness undergirds us when we grow weary. His Peace is everlasting…

What an honor it is to be a vessel for the most talented, loving, gentle, patient and powerful creator. Friends, we serve an incredible God and we can TRUST Him with our entire lives.



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