by Carolyn Majoran
About a month ago, I was at a Christmas service at my parents’ church where we were asked to write our name on a piece of paper as well as something we wanted to pray about for the new year. Once writing these items on the paper, we were asked to join them with our neighbours and create a chain link of requests. The word floating around in my head for something I would be praying for was “trust”. Now, I really liked the suggestions that were given of family or even health – something more surface than deep. But, I kept coming back to trust. Feeling vulnerable, I wrote “trust” on my link and chained it to the rest of my row all the while hoping no one would read my name and connect my request with me.
I’m sure there are many who can testify along with me that when you begin to pray for something like patience, joy, trust, etc., your request does not go unnoticed. In fact, you usually get tested in such areas to grow that trait. And so, my current life story begins from this little request that God help me grow my trust in Him.
In a desire to read a good book over the holidays, I got out my iPad and checked my Kindle app to see if I had any more books left unread. There was only one. The one that I knew was unread but I hadn’t ever been very interested in reading. Not that I knew anything about it, but I wanted to read a no-brainer novel. Instead, the only book left to read that I had downloaded was “Crazy Love”, by Francis Chan. Somewhat reluctantly, but willing to read at least one chapter, I opened this book and began to read.
From the very first pages of “Crazy Love” I felt a kinship with Francis Chan. So many of his thoughts had been my thoughts. He was speaking my heart right there on the (electronic) pages of his book! Convictions I had felt in the past but pushed to the back of my mind began to resurface. Ideas began to form in my heart that I could no longer ignore. God had been telling me for years in many different ways He had a change coming for my family and suddenly, I was ready.
For the past 2-3 years, Ray and I have flippantly tossed the idea around of downsizing our home (a concept Chan speaks of frequently in “Crazy Love”). Once we came to the decision that Adalai would be our only child (unless God so chooses to change our minds again!), I began to feel that the home we had been so blessed to build was way too big for our little family of three. At first, my discontent was pacified by purging stuff occasionally. I would go through our closets and Adalai’s toys and bring bags and bags to the second hand store or downtown mission. But, then I’d return home and that claustrophobic feeling would return. Our home is nearly 4000 sq ft… how could I feel claustrophobic?!
And so, the discontent with having so much continued to grow. I don’t say this to negate the blessing that God gave us in our home or the things we have been able to own. We have and continue to be undeservingly blessed! I believe this discontent I’ve been feeling has been from God. He has had a plan all along to move us along in this life but I needed the push out of my comfort zone and into where He wants me.
This past year has definitely been one of growth. 12 months ago, I was very attached my home. I would never have dreamed of leaving our town and especially never our neighbours. We have been so blessed with the lovely neighbours God placed beside us. We have a relationship with them that I believe will extend beyond proximity. But, we knew that at some point, God was calling us to move. I recall thinking, “Well, as long as it’s within our community.” and, “I’ll downsize as long as I can still have an ensuite bath.” I know it’s ridiculous, but it was a luxury I had gotten used to!
While reading “Crazy Love”, God broke down the final few strongholds I had stopping me from being completely open to moving wherever He wanted us to be. I knew I could live in less space and be content - rather, joyful. I knew I could live in a home where I had to share a bathroom with everyone else living in it. It didn’t matter anymore. I was ready to let go of my house and go where God wanted my family to be.
Earlier this month, Ray and I chatted about how I was feeling during and after reading “Crazy Love”. He had read it in the past and, apparently, had simply been waiting for me to jump on board. This conversation occurred on a Friday night. By Sunday we had connected with a realtor to simply ask about the real estate market for this spring. On that Monday we started to look at homes on the market and by Friday we had purchased our new home. It was a whirlwind of a week!
Our main goal in downsizing our home and leaving our current community is to be able to live on less so that we can give more. Ray and I have always shared the mindset of a 10% tithe not being enough to give back to God of all He has blessed us with. Years ago, we heard a story about a businessman that recognized how much God had blessed him with and instead of giving just a 10% tithe, he gave away 90% of what he made and only kept 10% for himself. That idea has stuck with me for more than a decade. I would love to be able to do such a thing! We don’t need to have a large home to be happy. We don’t even need to have great neighbours (but I’d appreciate the next ones being nice as well!). We don’t need to own the best of the best or the newest of the newest whatever on the market. Life is not about what we have! We will be judged on what we have done with all we have been given.
And so, the next couple of months will be busy but full of hope… and trust. I’m trusting God to bring buyers to our current home so we can move to our new one sometime in March or April. I’m trusting, and feel confirmation, that we are listening to and being obedient to what God wants us to do at this time in our lives. There are many personal and financial benefits for making such a move but we are more interested in knowing that we are following God’s leading in this move. We want to be able to give back to Him more of what He has blessed us with. Maybe, someday, our own story will be one in which we can say we’re only living on 10% and giving the rest back to the One who gave it to us in the first place. What a blessing that would be!
Keys of Inspiration
Chris Tomlin – Lay Me Down http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pkWrvCZDHA
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.