Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Becoming Poor to Serve the Rich

Yep, that's pretty much what we are doing but I'm okay with that! You see, for the last couple years, it has seemed as if the grace was lifting for us to stay in Central Florida and my husband to stay at his job. Life has been difficult and like we were trying to row upstream. That was my first clue that maybe God was moving us on. We have been pressing in and seeking God's will for our lives. We knew there had to be more than the hamster wheel that we were on. Finally after much heartache and disappointment, a job came along that seems to be the perfect fit for Tom. He will be the new Director of Adult Faith Formation at a parish in Carmel, Indiana. They also like that we have a vision of doing ministry together.

In the natural, nothing seems logical about this move! It is a big leap of faith. Even though it pays better than most ministry jobs we have come across, it will still be a pretty big pay cut for us. The cost of living in that area is pretty high too. So far we haven't seen any houses within 10 miles of the church in our new price range. 

We are choosing to trust and believe that God is preparing a place for us. I also think the right attitude to have is that we will be like missionaries. Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta said that there is a greater poverty among the rich. Spiritual poverty is in some ways worse than material poverty.

I must confess that I had the right attitude until our realtor recommended some major remodeling and upgrades on our current home. She said we would sell it faster and receive a bigger return if we upgraded. This is something I have been wanting to do since we moved into the house seven years ago, especially the kitchen. 

At first I was pretty emotional as we started remodeling. I was jealous that someone else was going to be able to enjoy our beautiful upgraded home while we weren't even sure if we would be able to find something decent up there. 

I began to realize that I had a selfish attitude. I began to change the way I was praying. Instead of just praying that our house would sell fast, I began thanking the Lord that he was preparing our house for someone. I began praying that they would be blessed and for their benefit, find it quickly. I also began putting myself in Jesus' shoes as I have been painting and fixing up the house. I have been imagining Jesus as a carpenter, aware of who is going to be receiving the works of his hands and paying close attention to detail and what he knows the people will like. Also, not cutting corners or sparing expense. 

You see, Jesus holds nothing back from us! He gives all of himself! He gave his very life and continues to give himself to us in the Eucharist! We are called to be like Jesus and not hold back as well! 

He has an extravagant love for us and desires to lavish us with his grace and mercy! He has good gifts for his children! I believe he is preparing our house for someone and he is in the process of preparing a house for us!

I am convinced more and more that the troubles we experience in this life are stemmed from us not being able to fully surrender and entrust ourselves to God. With the fall of Adam and Eve, we lost our ability to lean back and rest in the arms of the Father. In Genesis 3 it says the woman's pains in childbirth will be greatly increased. People often see this as God punishing the woman. If we look at God's heart in the matter however, I think he wept and just merely stated the consequences of what was going to happen. 

If you are a woman and have had a natural birth, you know that the pain is worse when you tense up and try to resist. When you can let go and surrender to the process, it is less painful and happens more quickly. 

That is the same in life. No matter what our circumstances, if we can lean back, rest and surrender to God's plans, we will have a lot more peace and things will go much smoother.

For too many years, I think Tom and I have been walking against the wind in a desert. The sand has been blowing in our faces, making it impossible to see. It can feel scary to not be in control but I look forward to the wind of his Spirit carrying us where he wants us to go and what he wants us to do instead of us resisting. There is a freedom and lightness in that! I look forward to this new adventure and season in life!