My family didn't have tons of money while I was growing up, but we always had everything we needed. One of my favorite memories is the day I was able to buy my grandmother's convertable from her for $900 - money I had saved from working at American Eagle in high school. I was a senior and it was a GREAT first car! I loved driving up and down Troy Highway on my way back and forth from Troy to Montgomery with the top down and music up. God provided scholarship money for college and my parents were able to cover my housing and meal plan costs. Life was SO good..... Except that my car broke down. a lot. And every time, I would PANIC. How was I going to pay for it? Even if I had the money, I didn't want to spend it on CAR PARTS! One of my sweet friends always suggested that I take it to her dad, a mechanic, and he would always fix it -s ometimes for free, but often I ended up paying something, and the Lord always provided. The main point is : even though God always provided and showed Himself faithful, I would still have that sick feeling in my stomach (fear, worry, anxiety, greed) every time the check engine light came on.
That pattern continued into my early years of marriage, ministry and child-raising. LOTS of anxiety of having to spend money I thought we just didn't have.
That feeling was still very much a part of my life even in the first year of living here in the hood... If I give away all my snacks, what will my kids eat? If I spend all my money on food for my family and countless neighbors, is that good stewardship? If I pay someone else's power bill, will I have enough money at the end of the month to make it?
Sometime as that first year came to a close, I began to hear the Holy Spirit, loud and clear : "Let it GO!"
He wanted me to STOP worrying and to give. He wanted me to stop being greedy and be generous. He wanted to prove to me that He would meet all of my needs, and that I needed to let go of some of my wants. It was an AMAZING freedom to really start to let go... even if it meant going BACK to the grocery store for the 3rd time that week. I was literally telling myself out loud to just let go.
And that was just the beginning of what God was wanting to do in my heart.
Over the last 2 years, He has been telling me other things I need to let go of...
*clean floors - sounds funny, but the more I held on to the idea that my floors had to be clean, the more unhappy I was!
* peace and quiet - now there is a time for that for sure, but PEOPLE (esp kids) make noise, and PEOPLE are the very heart of God!
*the things of this world - sound familiar ? - I think there are a few verses in the Bible about that :) - but I tell you, the more I pray to Love the Heart and purposes of God, the less room there is for selfish comforts and pleasures. Now THAT is cause for a whole seperate post!
I know He is not even close to finished working on the super-selfish heart of mine. I am so thankful for the growth I have seen in this area and hope to see even more as the years go by.
PS - did I tell you I am an official god-parent?! My godson was born on my birthday - Oct 12. I am so blessed! I would attach a pic, but my computer freezes every time I try :(