I think it is safe to say the United States, in particular, has completely allowed us to believe that the more things we have, the better off we will be. The bigger the better. That we NEED to have the newest iPhone or car, 55″ TV isn’t enough, we need the 60″. We need a home with a room for every single person, including a guest room, and an office, that is just how it “should” be and what you need to feel comfortable.
The crazy thing is…they don’t tell you that those things won’t truly satisfy you. That the more independent, and secluded you are, the more lonely you feel (to most). People avoid living in community with others because everyone wants things “their way” or want to avoid conflict at all cost. I totally understand why, but what if you are missing out on an aspect of joy and love you haven’t tapped into yet?
My husband recently announced we bought a home. It has been such a blessing as we are almost done with all of our projects and renovations! We really have always prayed that our house will be used to bring people together and encourage one another in faith. As we started painting our house, the first room I started working on was MY office.
For months I had been talking about how excited I was to have an office! Running my business at home and Jeremy doing a lot of his ministry work from home, we needed an office. I needed a place to feel inspired and organized, he needed a space for his paperwork and to feel productive. Well while I was painting and talking about the office, I had a very unsettling feeling. It was quite annoying actually, and it was taking away my excitement of finally having MY office!
Davon is a teen from our youth ministry that committed his life to God, Easter of 2015 (the day we met him). While it has been a journey in our relationship, establishing trust, and consistency, he has always had a special place in our hearts and it has been more of a “parent-son” relationship with him. I know it’s not really suppose to be like that, most kids in our ministry have their own parents, but some people come from broken homes, where not all parents can give or do what others can. So unfortunately for him, at the beginning of this summer he needed a place to stay until legal guardianship was obtained by his aunt (so he could live with her). Of course, we have a couch!
Let’s just say our 2 bedroom apartment was a little tight. My best friend Ramie lived in the other room (who recently got engaged! Read previous blog post), our baby’s crib and furniture was in the dining room, and he now was on the couch. This isn’t the typical “American Dream,” but it worked. All of us were a family, we drove each other nuts at times, but the sense of community and love we had for one another is something that you can’t buy.
Fast forward, the end of the summer was catching up to us, we had been working on the house, Davon started to spend time with his aunt, but again, I had a very unsettling feeling about MY office. Even though his aunt could take care of him, but because of her serious health issues, I knew we would be able to keep up with his needs and set him up for success to prepare him for college (a dream of his).
No matter how badly I wanted that office, I was going to miss him. I knew deep in my soul and my spirit that God wanted him with us, to mentor, guide, and love him because he needed it and because he was capable of influencing many people for good and for God, if he had a stable home life. Well, after multiple conversations with my husband and confessing to him that every time I would talk about MY office, God would be like, “this isn’t yours,”I knew this is what we needed to do.
You know what? I could care less about having my office now. When I see the joy on his face every day, that’s why I don’t care. When he tells me he shared his testimony with a friend and she decided to not take her own life, that’s why I don’t care. When I see him love, cherish, and look after my daughter, that’s when I don’t care. When we dance, joke around, and do voice impressions, that’s why I don’t care. When we have to spend all day getting uniforms for a new school that will give him a better education, that’s why I don’t care. When he frustrates me and gets me annoyed, that’s why I don’t care.
Because it’s not all fun and games, it’s not “comfortable” to have to give up something of mine for someone else, but its worth it. So many of us hold onto so many things, even though those things could bless someone else. I’m not saying that everyone needs to or should take in someone in need (even though it is a good idea) and living in community is awesome lol… what is it that you are holding onto that isn’t necessary? What is something that means something to you that you can give up for someone else? What is something you are afraid to do, that would take you out of your comfort zone, but you can’t get yourself to do it? Whatever it is, know that when you live your life always feeling ‘comfortable’ YOU ARE MISSING OUT!
The uncomfortable feeling of starting something new is uneasy, unsettling, and scary, but the end result is always worth it! Take a risk. Step out in faith. Love unconditionally. Things will not go perfectly, there WILL be ups and downs, but it is always worth it.