Thursday, August 20, 2009

My side of the story...

Ok, wow, so I (Nikki) have never blogged before, so let me take a moment to welcome myself to the blog world :) Ok, done. I have been wanting to put a post up for the past week, but felt so overwhelmed with what to say, that I didn't. I have been asked multiple times to share my side of the "story" of our calling to the Dominican. In alot of ways, I think I had the most interesting seat as the journey unfolded. I will start from the beginning, which for me goes back to my senior year of college. A forewarning, this trip down memory lane may get long and I apologize in advance :)

My senior year at UT was a major turning point in my life. To make a very long and interesting story short, I turned down in internship in New York (one I had to have to graduate) because I felt God was doing something else in my life. About two weeks later, I was asked to join a mission team that was starting a ministry in Uppsala, Sweden, through Campus Crusade for Christ. The moment I was asked, I felt God say to me very clearly, this is what I have for you. I left for Sweden in the fall of 2004 and two weeks before I left, a guy named Brandon, asked me out on a date. We were crazy enough to try dating long-distance and that year God clearly showed me that I was suppose to return home to marry Brandon.

Before we got married, we had the talk about career missions. I had found great fulfillment and joy on the mission field, but Brandon felt a clear call to the American church. Yes he supported missions, loved missions, and even spent a summer in SE Asia, but he made it very clear to me that he was not interested in living overseas. So we got married, settled in and started life. Deep down I mourned the fact that we would never serve on the mission field, but I never told my husband this as I knew how passionate he was for the American church and youth.

Fast forward two years into our marriage. Having completely surrendered my desire to serve overseas, I told Brandon I would like for us to start praying about an opportunity to go on a short term international trip. I figured, just because we won't move overseas, doesn't mean we can't still support and be apart of international missions. He wholeheartedly agreed, and in early 2008 we began to pray. Not more than two weeks later, we received a call from our missions pastor saying he had two spots left that he had to fill on a trip to, of all places, the Dominican Republic. We jumped at the opportunity and in April 2008 left with a team to serve in the D.R.

The trip that year was amazing. Now for those of you who have heard Brandon's side of the story, this was the year he felt the actual call from God to move there. I however was clueless that week to any of this. I was in missions bliss and oblivious to really anything else that was going on. It wasn't until two months later that Brandon told me that while we were there he struggled with God calling us to move there. I remember the exact spot in our neighborhood where we were walking when he told me this. I remember being shocked (this was my husband who was not called to missions) and honestly I don't remember much else. You would think that this would have sent me into a tailspin of questions, etc. but for some reason when he told me I was so stunned, there was nothing to say, nothing to ask.

After that night, we didn't really talk about what he had told me. Again, I know this sounds strange since that is a big thing to tell someone, but there were so many things going on at that point in our lives, I think we felt helpless as to what we could do in response. Brandon was entering his last semester of seminary, I was in the midst of a job change, we had just closed on a house the previous fall.

The following spring we signed up for the trip again. The minute we arrived in the D.R. I had a flashback of that night in our neighborhood and what Brandon had told me. All week I knew deep down that God was up to something. Brandon and I didn't say a word to each other about it that whole week. For me, I knew the power of persuasion a wife holds. I knew my word was gold to him, I knew whatever opinion I gave it would hold weight. And so, I said...nothing. This is actually kind of rare for me. Normally I don't mind giving my opinion, especially when it involves major life changes that effect my life, my family, my comfort. But I didn't, really couldn't, say anything. I have learned enough in my semi-short life to realize that when God speaks, you better get on board, or get out of the way. When we boarded the plane to come home I remember having that nervous feeling in my stomach of, I think my life plans just changed forever.

Since arriving home God has proven himself faithful in so many ways to get us to this point. And while I am overwhelmed with everything that has to happen in order to get us to the D.R. in January, I have learned that when God calls, he also provides. I am excited for this journey and I am ready for this journey.

While we were on the trip this past April I brought along a book that could not have been more appropriate. The book was "The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun. I could spend the next 30 days filling the pages of this blog with all the quotes from the book that stood out to me, but today I will leave you with just one, one that was so convicting and so true to me the moment I read it:

"We're not called to live by human reason. All that matters is obedience to God's Word and his leading in our lives. If God says go, we'll go. If he says stay, we'll stay. When we are in his will, we are in the safest place in the world."


  1. Gosh, you're such a good writer (it's all those journalism classes we took together :)). Great way to introduce your side of the story! I love you guys and am excited to partner with you in this new chapter of your lives.

  2. We are so excited for you guys and know that you all are taking a big leap of faith. Praise God for his will! We are praying for you and your preparations for January. I am excited to be able to keep up with the happenings on the blog. Love you guys!!!

  3. This is a beautiful post, Nikki! I am so excited to see what God is going to do in and through you and Brandon in the DR! Pls let us know when you get the info about support.

  4. Nikki I so know what you felt!! I know most people would say that is not the cae unless you have been there in which we have as you know. The amazing thing is if I could tell our story in an amazing way as you did it would be right about the same thing. I remember after talking with the Pastor of the church we are now at and on our drive home that our life was going to change dramatically and very quickly as well. Thanks for sharing your side of the story. I am so excited for you two and know that GOd will use you! Isn't it amazing how God works! I can't wait to follow your journey with God!! Maybe one day our family will take mission trip to the DR...we have talked about it :)

  5. Wow. Seriously, wow. I am SO EXCITED for you guys I can hardly contain myself.



  6. I am so excited for you both and want to help with this next chapter in your life. Mark and I are praying for you.