Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An Extraordinary Life

I was listening to John Bevere on Life Today tonight. He has a new book out called "Extraordinary", talking about how we as Christians should be living extraordinary lives. I think it's going to be a great read! Paul and the apostles lived such extraordinary lives that people tried to worship them! And sure, we have our Christian "celebrities" today, leaders that have made huge strides in reaching the nations for Christ, but what about us regular folks? Can't we be extraordinary, too?

 I think Jessica was extraordinary. Of course as my daughter, but beyond that. The more I look back and see the choices she made early in her life (not without her mistakes)  and the lifestyle she insisted on living, the more I say, "wow"! She always wanted to take the higher ground, the road less traveled, and didn't seem to think that was unusual. But, as I look around me and watch this generation, I see how unusual it was. We are blessed to be part of a church that is challenging this generation to take the higher ground, but it isn't easy and can take years to desire that standard.

Early on Jessica desired a walk that included purity. She went to conferences, read books and listened to music that encouraged it, like Rebecca St. James. And even when she went through her season of trying to fit in, to be cool with her community college friends, she never got comfortable there. She'd talk to me on the phone and tell me how empty all that was. Her dream was simple; marriage and a family, and then some kind of ministry that would do amazing things. And even though she and Cory had some rough times in the beginning, (as do many young marrieds:)), they held tight with plans and dreams that they both shared....dreams of changing the world. I know the enemy hated those talks and plans and often tried to come between them. Cory would be the first to tell you that Jessica was the one who kept wanting more and more, more Jesus, more pure living, more adventures in Him. And that made him love her all the more, because she saw him through those same eyes. She believed in his potential and helped him believe in himself. They didn't hook up their TV the first year of marriage. I thought that was cool. They didn't watch R rated movies, didn't buy secular books, in fact, most of the books in their house were Christian. Jess wanted nice things, but was never really materialistic. Even her clothes passion was met with sales and thrift stores! And it's not because any of those things are terrible in themselves, it's just the way she wanted to live to guard her heart and mind. And yet, she kept life fun and interesting. No boring Christianity for her!

That girl had so many plans of what she would do when she was healed. The ideal life to Jessica would've been the two of them becoming missionaries overseas. Followed up by volunteering at the Children's Hospital, designing notecards to raise money for human trafficking, helping women who needed fashion input to get jobs, adopting orphans.... I could go on and on. Her heart was always bigger than her finances or free time! Even cancer couldn't quench that. As I've written before, she just wanted to do good in the midst of it all.

I have wondered, as I look back, why people are so touched by her story and her life. To me, she was just Jessica, full of life and love, anxious and scared sometimes,  an ordinary girl. But obviously, there was something that made people stop and take notice. An ordinary girl living her life in an extraordinary way perhaps?
Perhaps. And perhaps people are watching us, too. Perhaps they are saying, I love how that person is living their life, so full of life and love. I wonder why they are like that?
And then again, maybe the hard times of life have sucked the extraordinary out of us. I hope not. I hope that doesn't happen to me. In fact, I'm claiming right now, an extraordinary life. From this day forth, I'm going to look at ways to make my life a little more extraordinary. To be ex·traor·di·nar·y  adj.:

1. Beyond what is ordinary or usual:
2. Highly exceptional; remarkable: 
3. Employed or used for a special service, function, or occasion:
And I would add:
4. To be like Jesus, the perfect example.

This is our time to be more like Him, live like He did. Live in such a way that people take notice. Step out from our ordinary lives a bit.....just like a precious 23 year-old girl, who thought her life was very ordinary and has proved she was much more than that!


  1. Your post motivates me this day, as I wake up and look around me at the "same old, same old". And yet, the "same old" can be good. And full of so much opportunity. Thank you! And yes, Jessica was definitely extraordinary. I wish I had been in touch with her all these years.

  2. Wow - thank you SO much for sharing this. She clearly left a legacy and changed her world in an extravagant way! We honor her, you and your family, and we are blessed to be serving alongside you. You are an extraordinary one!

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