Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The 7th Year- Week 2: Tightropes

This is the second week of my 7th Year Journey. (You can read about the first week here and more about the ministry here.) Alicia continued discussing our life map. Last week, we were asked to pick 3 or 4 backdrops of our life- as if our life was a play or movie. I picked 4 different places that I felt were the big ones...and wanted to add Connecticut as a fifth. 
This week, we were asked to think deeper about those scenes or backdrops. Here’s what I asked myself: What has made these places stick out to me? What is similar between those places and what changed- other than the obvious location? 
After some thought, I feel that my scenes stick out to me because life-changing moments happened there...both good and bad things. Sometimes the life changing moments were mere moments and other scenes were many moments made into one major moment. The scenes varied by location, people present, age, and stage of life. Some backdrops included both happy and hard moments. The only things that remain the same across all of my backdrops was my presence (duh!), Jesus was there, and a figurative tightrope. 
During each scene in my “life play”, I walked a tightrope of faith. Sometimes the tight ropes were easier to walk than others. Sometimes I needed to depend on the presence of Jesus more than others. But every scene required me to take the first, timid step onto the tightrope. I had to decide whether I would trust that Jesus would take care of my every detail. I had to choose to believe that he knew what he was asking me to do and was aware of my every move. When I think about these tightrope moments, I feel cinched in, pressure, swaddling, hugged, controlled but intentional breaths. 
I’ll be a little transparent and give a specific example. One of the scenes on my list was the house I just moved from in VA. So many wonderful things happened in that house. I loved it for a long list of reasons. Many tight rope moments happened there, but one moment that jumps out in my mind occurred just a week or two before we moved to CT. Gil and I packed up our daughters room to make a “landing space” for everything to come down out of the attic and get sorted for packing, trashing or donating. That was the easy part. The hard part was fighting through such deeply rooted security. The problem was that I found security in someTHING. You see, since my daughters were born, all most all of their clothes, toys, essentials were given to us. God used arm loads of people to bless us and provide for our needs. I can tell you who gave us almost every item. I thought about those individuals when my girls wore the clothes, played with the toys and were swaddled in the blankets. These baby and toddler items were proof to me that God existed and that he KNEW I was here and needed him. These things were my little altars- reminders that God cared about me.
When it all came out of the attic and I had to make fast decisions of whether something was going to take up room in our moving truck, whether the attic heat (or my kids) had ruined it or if it was to be donated to someone else. Rubbermaid tubs full of little pieces of evidence that my God loved me and my family piled high around me....almost to the ceiling.....and I had to pick through it. The task was huge and felt overwhelming, but that wasn’t the cause of my panic. I had almost packed up our entire house....what’s one more room? No big deal. The fear was a result of my trust in God. Here is what was running through my mind: 
God promised he would provide. 
And He did. 
He provided, through his people giving, sharing, passing along these items. 
Both of my girls wore/played with/used these items. 
This dress was worn for E’s pictures when she was 18 months old. 
M** gave it to me.
M** loves my girls, I am so glad she is in our life. 
Do I get rid of this stuff? 
Is it frugal or wise stewardship to get rid of it? 
What if we decide to have another child- do I risk it being a boy and not wearing all this stuff? 
Do I risk it and take up room on the moving truck just in case? 
Would I donate it to someone who would love it as much as I have loved it? Who would that person be?
Are we really going to have another child? 
Do I trust God enough to provide again? 
Is it asking too much from God to clothe another child? 
Do I trust God enough? 
Do I trust God? 
Image courtesy of: tightrope.png

See my tightrope? My thoughts got narrower and narrower as I found the source of my panic and fear. Do I trust God? Do I trust God enough to provide for me again? Do I trust God enough to keep reminding me of his goodness? Do I seriously need things in my life to remind me of his blessings- this item (or stacks of boxes of items) specifically? 
(PS-I am totally all about keeping things in life as reminders of what God has done- this wasn’t exactly that....nor does anyone need this large amount of stuff to remind them of what God has done.) 
I knew I had crossed the tight rope when I drove away from the Crisis Pregnancy Storage Area. I donated an entire minivan FULL of beautiful baby things. I allowed myself to keep one tub of sentimental items- or things I want to give my girls one day- and donated the rest. I forced myself across that tightrope and into the trusting, providing, safe arms of Jesus. I threw the ball back into his court. If Gil and I felt led to have more kids after our move, God would come to our rescue once again and be our provider...in one way or another...and I just decided to trust in that. 
Matthew 6:19-20: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”
Deuteronomy 8:3 "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD."
When I drove away from the Crisis Pregnancy Storage Area that day, I felt cinched in, swaddled, protected, tight....yet free, light and untangled. 
Cinched in and free at the same time?
Swaddled and untangled at the same time
Tight and weightless at the same time? 
While standing on the tightrope, my security just shifted from my surplus/storage/stockpile....to Jesus. Only Jesus. 

1 comment:

Annie said...

Thank you! I could so relate. Old House-here I come! (I keep saying that, don't I?)