Saturday, February 19, 2011

The void] It's that place in our lives where what we've been hanging onto . . . clinging to for dear life . . . is stripped away. It's that place in us where we let go of what we know, what we think we know, and what we want and surrender to the unknown. It is the place of saying and meaning, 'I don't know.' It means standing there with our hands empty for a while, sometimes watching everything we wanted disappear; our self image, our definition of who we thought we should be, the clones we've created of ourselves, the people we thought we had to have, the things we thought were so important to collect and surround ourselves with, the job we were certain was ours, the place we thought we'd live in all our lives. . . Surrender control to the supreme wisdom and authority of God and to the Divine in your soul. Step into the void with courage. Learn to say, I don't know. That's not blind faith. It's pure faith that will allow God and your spirit to lead you wherever your soul wants and needs to go.
Melody Beattie, "Finding Your Way Home"

I found this quote the other day and was blown away. Do you ever read something and think to yourself, "Wow! I really needed to hear that!" !? Blind faith, is pure faith. How awesome is that!? This last year, I have had a "crash course" in this lesson! God has forced me and David to surrender a lot- material things, people we clung to, the need to feel in control and the desire to not live for ourselves but for a much higher purpose.

It hasn't been easy. I've cried a lot this year as God peeled back the layers in my life. For the first part, I fought back. You know, like an unruly teenager...."this is MY life, I'll do what I want, you don't know what's best for me" Well, I also learned something else. Praying for God's will in your life is quite daring if your not really willing to follow his lead. So, don't be like me....don't pray for God's will and then yell at him when he starts letting your idea of  "life" go down the drain. Whoops! Lesson learned. Kinda like a wise woman told me one time..."never pray for patience, God will give you trials to teach you patience".
So, if you REALLY want God's will. Be prepared. Really evaluate yourself and your present life. Are you really ready to give it all up to live the life you were designed to live?? For years, I "thought" I was happy, I "thought" we were on the "right track". I "thought" that if we kept going in the same direction we had been that we would have "it all". You know, "it all" being the stuff that doesn't really matter in the end anyhow! All the "stuff" we had, is all the "stuff" I have stacked in totes right now to give to charity!
 A couple weeks ago, a good friend of mine that I met at our church came over. She recently had weight loss surgery and lost about 80 lbs. She's a single mom of twin boys (age 6). She has taught me so much this past year about giving even when it hurts. One time we were short money for the month and we were talking on the phone. At the end of the conversation she said, "I'm going to the store, I have some extra money, what do you need? I will get it for you?" I laughed and said; "Pam! You can't afford to do that right now yourself! If you do, you'll be short by the end of the month!" She replied, "Well, I'm fine right now and I have extra. I'm not worried about the end of the month because God will take care of me. But, right now, you need my help and God wants me to help you first". I was speechless and humbled. She went to the store that afternoon and brought well over $100 worth of groceries to our house later that day. She wanted nothing in return. She hugged me as she walked out the door and said "you have been Jesus' hands for me when I needed it the most, I'm honored to return the favor" .....So, this past week...I dug out several totes of clothes I've "saved" for myself. You know..the clothes labeled "I MAY WEAR THESE ONE DAY, BETTER HOLD ON TO THEM"...I called her over and let her go through all of them and didn't even go through them first myself, I let her have first pick. She went crazy! Trying on clothes and smiling from head to toe! It was awesome watching her do this, It felt so good to give these clothes to her that weren't doing anything for me other than collecting dust.....Could I have used them? Sure...maybe some day...but Pam needed them desperately right now and I had it to give.
She even took a bunch of David's old stuff to some friends of hers that she has been ministering too at a local homeless shelter. It feel good knowing that David's stuff was going to clothe men who had nothing and would be so grateful for it.
Getting rid of this stuff was such an eye opening experience. It was so energizing! Ever since then, I have collected over 4 totes of stuff....all waiting to be donated to charity. I'm still on a role and have much more to "rid" our lives of. It's hard to dance through life with "things" weighing you down! That is what I think of as I clean out each room.....will "this" weigh me down while I dance??? Do I really "need" this?? Is God telling me that someone could use this more than me?? It's funny how many of these "things" I used to LOVE a year ago and really believed I couldn't live without them. Now, they are nothing but weights on my dancing shoulders. Ready to be tossed off and left behind so I can keep cha-cha ing my way through this life, dragging others out on the dance floor (you know who you are..the ones who like to sit on the sidelines and pray that  no one notices you aren't dancing!)..grabbing their hands and helping them boogey down with the man himself-Jesus...the giver of life, the ONLY one who knows are purpose and where we are headed..the ONLY one who knows what we need and asks us to trust him...and really, the ONLY "thing" we need to live life to the fullest!!!!