Lexi’s Story

“I continue to learn that God always provides enough of everything. Enough money, enough food, enough sleep, enough time, enough friends. There is always enough; it’s our mindset that’s lacking. He is enough. Always.”  

– Lexi

When you were in college, what did you think your life would look like after graduation?

Oh, college. My dreams and plans morphed and changed more in the two years I spent in college than I ever could’ve imagined. I started college with a full ride scholarship.

I was paying nothing. I earned the scholarship by unhealthily identifying my worth in academics all through my high school years and dreaming up my elaborate career path that impressed every adult I met. The product of binging too much Criminal Minds was my plan to get a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology, head off to law school, practice as a prosecutor for a few years before heading to the FBI Academy, serve my time as an agent and eventually work my way up to becoming a profiler.

I didn’t even think about when I’d get married or have kids (pretty ironic looking back, haha).

Is that what happened after college, and if not, what did happen?

Restless and wanting freedom from the expectations I had of myself, I decided that I was passionate about kids so I wanted to pursue education instead. Less strings attached, fewer opportunities to fail.

I transferred schools three times. Once to be closer to the boyfriend I expected to marry, only to find myself in a campus ministry where I grew further from that relationship as I grew closer to the Lord.

But, God’s plans are funny sometimes and slowly surrendering my life to the Lord led me to my now husband. We met in our campus ministry, both leading Bible studies for freshmen. It’s cliché, but we knew like a month into dating that God was leading us to marriage. It felt insane. Everyone thought we were insane. But when you know, you know. Right?

I think that season for us was all about learning the pursuit of radical living. God was molding our hearts to a place of complete obedience regardless of the cultural view. We got engaged after dating for five months. The next month, we felt God leading us to leave school and move to my husband’s hometown.

It felt ridiculous. We had no idea what our next steps would be and that’s the only question anyone seemed to ask. We knew we were feeling called to ministry and that the Lord was asking us to take steps of total faith (considering we had no idea what we were going to do when we moved home). But after we played Gideon for a few weeks, asking God for affirmations and signs constantly, we listened and withdrew from school and moved home.

So, no. I didn’t become an FBI agent. I dropped out of college, got married, had two babies and we moved to Idaho as full-time missionaries at a tiny Bible camp in the mountains. When Scripture says God has plans for you, to prosper you –– it’s true. But that doesn’t mean it always feels true. But that’s the beauty of faith in Him –– you believe what He says regardless of what you can understand from your experiences.

What are you learning right now?

I love this question. I ask people this a lot. Right now, I am learning to consider the wildflowers. Jesus tells us in the Gospels that He cares for the wildflowers deeply, makes them beautiful, but they die so quick. They’re just flowers.

But if He can care for them so perfectly and intricately and they have no true purpose, how much more will He care for us? We live as missionaries here at camp. So we lean solely on God to provide for us through His church. It’s challenging because often, what is enough doesn’t always feel like enough to us because our culture has such a skewed perspective of what we NEED.

I continue to learn that God always provides enough of everything. Enough money, enough food, enough sleep, enough time, enough friends. There is always enough; it’s our mindset that’s lacking. He is enough. Always.  

What do you love about your life right now?

We live 2,000 miles from our family and friends. 2,000 miles from an Aldi. 2,000 miles from our favorite park and my favorite coffee shop. 2,000 miles from our old farmhouse that was the perfect fit from our family. I do not love any of those things.

But I do love that in God taking those things away for this season, I have been able to see Him so clearly so consistently. He’s blessed us in ways we never could’ve imagined. Not with things but with growth.

With all of the hard has come the opportunity for my husband, Eric, and I to confide in each other in ways we’ve never needed to before. He was my best friend back home but here he is pretty much my only friend. We’ve grown leaps and bounds in our marriage, been still enough to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, cultivated meaningful rhythms as family, and learned to love better. It’s been a season of trial but a season of growth. I love that.

And I love watching our girls grow and change. But that’s my answer to this question every day 😊.

Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?

Well, I kind of touched on this already. I truly think God has done most of the work in getting us to Shiloh Bible Camp; we’ve just tried to obey when He tells us the next steps to take.

When we got married, we knew we wanted to go into ministry. We talked to some overseas organizations and every organization we heard from said we needed to be married for a year first. So we took that as God saying be needed to stay put for a season.

That season was hard and restless and felt pointless at times. But we did welcome our first daughter a month before our one year anniversary, so I suppose there was definitely some meaning to it 😊. After that one-year mark, we again talked about some overseas opportunities but nothing seemed to fall into place.

A month or two into our search, God started showing us that we were looking outside our gifting. We fully believe that He is capable of equipping anyone for any task that He calls them to. But He was showing us specifically that He had gifted Eric with a passion for camp and ministry to the campers and the staff.

So one thing led to another and we posted a resume on a website that tons of camps used to recruit. It was a 30-day free posting and then you could pay a fee or the resume would be removed. So we gave it a shot, talked to a couple camps that didn’t work out, and about a week before that posting was going to come down we got a call from a camp out in Idaho. (We’re from Indiana, did I mention that? Haha.)

They were looking for a facilities director and Eric grew up the son of Mr. Fix It so he’d inherited some abilities that equipped him for that job. We filled out a lengthy application and interviewed via Skype that same week. It was the end of August and the staff had informed us they hoped to bring us out for a board meeting in November. Yippee, how nice, we were pumped.

But then they called back and said “Uh, just kidding, we’re going to fly you out in like a week.” It all happened so fast. We met our sweet friend, Selah, on the plane ride out. We interviewed and visited and accepted the job. We spent the next five months praying and raising support and parting with our possessions in preparation to move across the country. We left on a four-day road trip in February 2019 and have been settling in Donnelly, ID since.

We are coming out of our first camp season with an unexpected sense of homesickness, a new daughter, a deep sense of joy, and an even deeper sense of “we’re supposed to be here.”

What brings you joy/fills your soul?

Can I be honest and brief with this one? I’ll make a list.

  • My husband’s depth and sincerity.
  • Cooking from scratch.
  • Our oldest daughter’s belly laugh.
  • Our youngest daughter’s eyes.
  • Iced mochas.
  • Marco polo chats with my dearest friends back home.
  • Long walks.
  • Indiana sunsets.
  • Writing.
  • Making detailed shopping lists and getting to check everything off.
  • Pastures of cows.
  • Dreaming about the future.
  • Weddings.
  • Any talk but small talk.
  • And seasons of change and growth.

If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

First and foremost, God is alive and real and the sugarcoated version of Christianity that so many teach is not enough to get you to Him. Jesus is how you get to Him. Only Jesus makes you holy enough to be with the Holy of Holies. Life with Him is NOT easy; He will lead you places you may not like or want to go or feel like are fair. But He’s doing it to draw you nearer to Himself, and no place you WANT to be is better than near to Him.

After that, I’d say that one of the most dangerous things you can do is put the opinion of others over the truth of Scripture. We need to care more about where the Holy Spirit is leading you than where other people think you should go.

And your days are already numbered. Live by faith and live righteously but take all the opportunities that God gives you because His hand is around you until He’s ready to bring you to glory. Don’t save all your money; give it to people who need it, buy your friends things they need, go see His Creation.

Also, learn to make iced coffee at home if you spend $5 on it every time you leave the house because it will make your husband much happier. And you don’t HAVE to buy things in the clearance section at Target every.single.time. Preaching to myself, here.

What do you wish everyone knew about being a mom, being a wife, and being a missionary?

I wish that people talked about the importance of the day-to-day tasks. Life isn’t made up of profound moments; it’s made up of the mundane ones. The dish washing, meal making, laundry doing moments. Your day-to-day life is where you teach your children the heart of Jesus. That’s where you show them grace and teach them obedience. It’s where you make the conscious choice to speak respectfully to your husband (any enneagram 8s feel me?) and weep together and laugh together all while drawing nearer to the Lord.

As far as being a missionary, I am so far from having that one figured out. I feel like I can speak into any kind of ministry by saying that it’s hard because people are hard. We’re all broken and sinful people with conflicting opinions on how to best glorify God. My only piece of ministry advice is to cling to the One that will not lead you astray and trust where He’s taking you, seeking to please Him above all others.

How can readers connect with you?

I’m most active on Instagram at @lexikreider_ or you can email us at thekreiderfamily@gmail.com to get added to our monthly newsletter!

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