J: The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee)

I know, I know. I’ve been horrible at keeping you all updated with my life. Actually – horrible is an understatement. I haven’t kept you updated at all. And no, I’m not going to write a blog right now about what my weeks look like, and what I do when I work in the office, or fun photos of my room that none of you have seen yet. You’ve all been waiting for them, but this isn’t that post – sorry Charlie. (not really. you’ll read this and then probably be over it.)

I will post about one cool thing I’ve done since moving to New Haven – Read and discussed this book with a group of friends. (if you haven’t read it, you should)



To “bring some closer” to it, we’re supposed to:  “write 1 full page describing one thing. point. nugget. idea. scripture. in The Normal Christian Life that has impacted you/made you think differently – also explain how this will/has applied to your life.” And I thought, “Hmmm. I should Just blog it.”

So – I will.


I’ve realized something recently –

I try so hard to squeeze myself into the will of God. It sounds funny, but it’s true.

Here’s what happens:  I look at my life, and all the things I do, and say, “what will this next season look like?” Then I make my best attempt to plot/plan/map it out the way I think it will/should happen. You may have gotten know me pretty well (or have seen us in the past post photos of the my messy side of the cavern. #jisalwayspacking) and never once thought I would be the type of girl to have a ten-year plan.

Well, I fooled you. Not only do I have a ten year plan, but – I also have multiple fall back plans just in case something goes wrong. (just ask L&C…)

I’m not sure what part of my little human brain thinks that I have any right to plan my life out, because in fact – I don’t. When I claimed Jesus as my Savior, I laid that right down, and willingingly too. It’s not my life to plan. It’s not my job to know what I have to do when, or where I need to go next, or how on earth I’ll pull any of it off. My only job is to wait on Him. Watchman Nee says it this way,


I don’t have to strive to find God’s love and I don’t have to worry about/try to figure out everything I need to do with my life.

James 4:14 says, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

God has not promised us tomorrow. All I have is today, and what good is that if I spend all today planning all the tomorrows?

Just like Mary broke the alabaster box and poured it all over Jesus’ head, I need to break my plots, plans, and maps, and pour them out on Jesus. I need to give them to Him to mess up. Jeremiah 1:5, “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

His will is far better than mine, He knew me before I was even formed, and His plan to get me there [to His will] is far better than mine. He’ll lead me. And direct me. And teach me. And even sometimes (or most of the time) leave me plan-less.

In exchange? I get to stop trying, and stop struggling – and start trusting, and start resting. He promises to work all things for our good because we love Him (Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”). And all I have to do is trust and rest in Him.

Though it’s sometimes harder than it sounds – It certainly sounds like a good deal to me!

3 Comments on “J: The Normal Christian Life (Watchman Nee)”

  1. Catherine says:

    Jess – this is amazing. seriously, seriously good. <3

  2. Loreeeeeeeee says:


  3. Debbie Williamson says:

    Wonderful! Watchman Nee was right on target! Have you ever read Hudson Taylor, about the exchanged life, or two books by Michael Wells – Problems, God’s Prescence, and Prayer & Sidetracked in the Wilderness. Same truths about abiding in Jesus. There is nothing the nearness of Jesus cannot heal.

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