I’m willing to accept it… my life looks a little weird. By most human standards, the path I’ve taken seems ridiculous, unsteady, and restricted.
I have a master’s degree in an amazing field from a school ranked #3 in my program. I loved my career and had an amazing job (with great insurance). But I quit all that to stay home with my children.
Speaking of those children, I have four. One through a costly adoption, one through a rocky pregnancy, one through bumpy foster care, and the last one… well, he’s just a chunk of happy joy and “normalcy.” I had a boy. Then a girl. But I didn’t stop. Even though my family “perfect.” I added more. And I’d add more tomorrow if I could. Maybe someday I will.
My husband is a pastor. We live simply and frugally. We haven’t taken a real “vacation” with our little family in two years. We shop wholesale and at thrift stores. And that’s okay. I actually enjoy frugality, and I wouldn’t trade a life of full-time ministry for any other.
From the outside, my life is crazy. It doesn’t make sense. I don’t party, travel, or have much of a retirement account. There are few accolades, little money, and lots of opportunities to serve rather than be served. While I love manicures, success, and designer shoes, my days are full of flip flops, crusty food smears, and ignominy. And I believe this is the life I’ve been called to live. This is what Christ wants from me. And that scares some people.
Even when I was in college, I looked a little weird. I didn’t drink, swear, sleep around, or party. (Don’t get me wrong, this mama loves a glass of red wine, but the authority I was under in college (my parents and church), did not condone drinking, and I submitted to their leadership. Then (and now) people would point out how weird my life is. They would (rightly so) link it to my “religion,” and would back away hesitantly.
Because I can’t bottle the ineffable happiness and peace. I can’t wrap up the rest and delight. I hope my life SHOWS you the magic, but you yourself can’t taste the JOY… without jumping in.
I once had a friend shake her head skeptically, “I don’t know… I don’t think I could just hand my life over like that. It seems like a lot. I want to live how I want.”
My heart broke a little.
It’s true. When you ask Christ to save you, you’re not just purchasing “fire insurance.” You’re signing your life over. Every decision in every category.
But when you are outside of the magic, you can’t see it’s beauty in all it’s fullness. The delight of being chosen. Being holy. It is marvelous, a beautiful light.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Until you’ve entered holiness, the hunger for holiness is feeble, perhaps even nonexistent. It takes time and work and faithfulness to love a life that is different (and often scary). Even my Christian life is splattered with times when I didn’t crave being set apart and different for God’s glory.
I can’t say what path God will ask you to walk as His child. Chances are it will be different from mine. (Although orphans and ministry to others are to be the heart of every believer!)
But I can tell you, living a weird, wild life on the straight and narrow will bring you joy inexpressible.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13