It’s been just about one year since my family and I moved from one side of our lovely city, Atlanta, to the other.
It doesn’t particularly seem like a big move, or a big change, or a big sacrifice.
But I look at my life before and I look at my life now and it seems that almost everything has changed. Almost everything has been sacrificed. Almost everything has been moved.
From the outside I know we look crazy. I know our life looks beyond busy and stressed. But the truth of the matter is, I traded things when I said yes to Jesus. I gave things up and he gave me different things.
It is true I gave up my beautiful large home that I loved and poured time, effort, and lots of money into. I still miss it. I miss it all the time. But in exchange for my old home, Jesus has given me a promise of a new one. I’m not talking about in heaven – I’m talking about Jesus has promised me he will fulfill my dreams of a home. There’s not a time frame on it, but I do have a list. It goes something like this: cul-de-sac, kitchen I love, nice yard, place for a garden, brick, basement, enough room for my family-centered life to be on mission though adoption or fostering or whatever. In the depths of my heart I believe Jesus will show up when Chris and I are ready to buy our home. I just know it.
As a family, we gave up me being a stay at home mom. Yup. That’s hard to admit. I never wanted to go back to work when I still had babies. We gave up a stable household income and a community we adored. How did Jesus respond? A brand new school opened and hired Chris as the music teacher in a whirlwind short period of time – a school where our kids can attend and receive an education I had only dreamed of for them. My brother asked me to come back to work part-time. We are paying off bills and saving for our future in a way that wasn’t possible a year ago and I still have precious time with my children.
The church we loved. The people we loved. I hardly ever see them anymore. It takes time and effort and work to let them all know I still think of them and love them and pray for them and MISS them. It’s enough time, effort and work that those people probably don’t actually know the extend to which they are loved by me. That’s something I gave up. In response to the sacrifice of that community, though, Jesus has given me a place in a tiny little church that we started in a living room. I don’t feel worthy enough to step into the place of honor Jesus has offered me. I’m still working on believing he thinks I’m good enough. But this place – this place is one where girls I love, adore and admire share their hearts with me! Share their passions with me, their dreams, their heartaches, their struggles. If you are one of those beloved girls, know your place in my life brings me so much joy I can hardly express it.
Above all, I gave up my best plans for my future. And they were good plans! I liked those plans! I was going to raise my kids, get them into a good school, start my own business when they were a little older, save enough money for them to get married and go to college, save enough money to live happily ever after with my sweetheart. The truth was, I didn’t know how that was going to all happen, but I was sure I could make it work. And satan took that control I desired and turned it into anxiety, fear, doubt, stress, sleepless night and aches. When I let go of my plans, Jesus handed me peace.
I can’t explain it. I have more going on now than ever before. But I’m at peace. I find rest. My identity is based in Jesus – not what I can accomplish and definitely not what other people think of me. The Holy Spirit has shown up big time in my battle against fear. He gives me reminders and visions of my safety, protection, and providence.
And with all that in mind, I’m happy. So happy. Not every single minute of every single day. But mostly life is so good.
So when you ask me – and I say it’s good – I mean it. Atlanta is looking good from this angle. :)