“Whether it’s stormy skies, potholes, speed bumps, or what we perceive as wrong turns on this road of life, embrace it and enjoy it.
We are where we are meant to be at this moment… Right HERE, NOW, and learning and experiencing THIS.
Relinquish attachment to future/past thought patterns that can hold us hostage…and live fully for today and
whatever it is that you are experiencing – potholes and all.”
- Emily King, of wheremyofficenow.com
My dear friend wrote these words this evening, and I couldn’t agree more. She specifically mentioned “thought patterns that hold us hostage,” and those words really got my mind going. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that Christians should, “Not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern the will of God; His perfect and pleasing plan.”
One of many things that God has been refining through this whole getting out of the military process has been our tendency to conform to the world instead of allowing Him to renew and transform our minds and thoughts. This tendency rears up in many areas of life, but one place in particular we have really become aware of our “world conforming” is in the area of materialism.
There was, and still is, a temptation to compare our lifestyle to the mainstream and feel like we should applaud ourselves for not “buying in” to the 4,000 sq foot house, 3 cars, 5 bedroom, 4 credit cards mentality. It’s so easy to look around, see others who are struggling with materialism and think that we’ve got it figured out. Easy, that is, until God tells you to sell or giveaway every thing you own and leave a dependable job to set out for an unknown future. Not knowing what’s to come can make it so very easy to become attached to what already is.
I didn’t think I was attached to material things. I was wrong. It’s been a humbling and soul searching process, this purging thing. We had a couple in the house the other day; they were walking around through our home looking at our belongings and pointing out items they wanted to buy. It was a strange feeling, these strangers asking for prices of items that, to me, once seemed priceless. When they walked into Avenlea’s room and asked how much I would sell the yellow cabinet that stands in the corner, I couldn’t help but wrestle with conflicting thoughts. I knew it was going to have to go, but having someone actually make an offer on it seemed so…..permanent. It’s little moments like that where I want to say, “No! Wait! I can’t sell that! It holds all my crafting and sewing supplies. I’m using that!” that I am reminded that following God’s call costs something. It’s like I could feel Him asking me, “What do you want more? My plan for your life, or that Ikea cabinet?” It sounds melodramatic to put it like that, but that’s really what it comes down to. At least for me.
As hard as it has been to release my attachment to “things” up to God, my heart is often reminded that, in retrospect, these “things” will actually be the easy things to give up. I don’t lose sleep over the things. I haven’t tossed and turned in my bed at the thought of selling our dining room table. Not to say that there aren’t times that the thought of relinquishing all of our belongings doesn’t sadden me, but God has done such a work in our hearts regarding our attachment to possessions. I think that God is using this “selling things” season as a way for us to ease into the realm of giving up all our attachments to earthly things.
I know that this is the easy part. The real refining is to come. Giving up a job. Giving up healthcare. Giving up dear friends who we love fiercely. Giving up a church family who loves our family and cherishes our children. Giving up being a days drive from some family and next door to others. These are the real things that keep me up at night. These are the things that plague my mind with worry and leave me, again and again, reminded that to follow God (at least in my experience) often means there will be a sacrifice and an unknown future. These are the things that I voice to God when I am calling out to Him to keep our eyes on the path He has set before us. I want to follow him with abandon. Give Him all that I am. All that I have. Everything. Every thing.
I felt so deeply encouraged by the life-giving words that you responded with regarding the last post I made about our move to Kauai. Many of you said that you were praying for us, and I can’t express how much we value and cherish your prayers over us. Some of you asked if you could pray for specific things, so I share this post to ask you to please pray for us as we being the process of selling our home and belongings. We have had our house on the market for the last year or so, and are praying that God would bring a buyer this spring/summer. If you would agree with us on this and ask the Lord to continue to refine our hearts and minds as we release these things to Him, we would be so thankful.