Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Heart of the Matter, Part 3: What if?

I haven't written as much about this journey as I thought I would have by now. Not because it hasn't been on my mind, because it has. Constantly. Not because I have "gotten over it", because the knot in my stomach just seems to grow each day. I haven't written because I have been in the middle of an internal battle.

If I write these things down, I need to DO something about them.

That is the crux of the issue. How far do I want to dig? Because at some point, I can't turn away from what I find. And I feel like I am rapidly approaching that point. Like a girl in a scary movie, I have approached a closed door in the middle of the night. Do I open it?

And here is the question at the center of it all: What if?

A day or so after I started this series, a dear friend came over with her boys for a play date. And bless her heart, she came prepared. She told me that she had been feeling a lot of the same things. She even brought the book Anything with her. She was ready to dive in with me. There is something beautiful about having a friend on the journey.

And as we sat and watched the kids play, she asked a question that I had been pondering as well. "We say that we are so blessed as a nation, that America has so much and what a blessing that is. But what if it's not? What if it's just the opposite?"

But my people would not listen to me;
    Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
    to follow their own devices.
--Psalm 81:11 & 12
What if God has thrown up His hands and said, "Have it your way"? What if the many, many things that we call blessings--abundance of stuff, abundance of food, abundance of "opportunities"--are really just distractions? What if we are replacing God with His creations? What if He has so much more--if we are willing to go with LESS of what the world says we need?
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
--Matthew 10:28
How many of my daily fears center around issues of my soul? Don't most of them have to do with far more mundane things? I worry about dog hair on my furniture, about finding black shorts for Monkey to wear to soccer, about how much money to spend on a shower curtain. I worry about what my husband thinks, what my friends think, what people at church think, what the woman who sees me at Target thinks.
What if I'm worried about all the wrong things?
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
--Matthew 6:19-21
I want to provide for my children. I want them to be well taken care of. I want them to love our home, enjoy our home.
What if I'm going about it the wrong way? What if I'm teaching them that security comes through stuff, that our lifestyle is normal and expected?
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
--Psalm 37:4
My heart desires so many things, and it never seems to be enough.
What if I've been living out this verse all wrong? It doesn't mean that God will make all my dreams come true if I follow Him. Rather, that He will turn my desires into His desires. If I let Him.
In Anything, Jennie Allen talks about the night she realized that she needed to truly turn her life over to God, to seek Him above everything else. She wonders what might have happened if she had blown Him off, and she concludes, "I might be stuck with the mediocre life I was so afraid of losing at the time."
What if this life that I love, that I cling to so dearly, that I do fear losing... is just "mediocre"? What if there is something more, something BETTER, if I just.let.go?
My heart is pounding. I don't know what that looks like. I don't know what changes I need to make or where to start or if my family is ready to start with me.
So I will pray. And I will dig. And I will open that door.
Are you ready?

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