There were some changes on this site recently, once more. Let me explain why.
To sum up changes in my life and on this site, I’ve given up the chase.
For years, as I sought to help our family’s financial situation and avert disaster (culminating in our foreclosure situation), I learned as much as I could about how to have success. And yet, success alluded me.
Not only that, but in the midst of all of this pursuit of home business success, I felt more and more frustrated and miserable.
I knew, as early as 7 or 8 years ago that I had made a wrong turn. Yet, I kept trying to silence that voice inside of me that said, “stop” because I was looking at the stakes involved. Stakes like losing our house, losing everything. Stakes like a husband working 60-80 hours a week while barely staying afloat.
How could I? How could I just jump off rail I was riding on?
And…how fair would that be to my husband? He’d be hooped if we both did that. He said he didn’t expect me to be the breadwinner, but I expected it.
Cynicism with the Chase
Perhaps it’s part cynicism on my part. Perhaps it’s part exhaustion. I’m not sure. At some point I decided that the constant pursuit of so-called “blogging success” was not what I wanted my whole life to be about anymore. I became tired of chasing followers, likes, and page views. I became tired of trying to maintain the schedule everyone said I should have.
Instead, I’ve decided to go back to the original plan for my website: a project of passion instead of the expectations of others.
I’m done chasing money.
Seeking the Real Solution: Christ Alone
Part of this was the realization from the Lord one day not too long ago. He reminded me that no matter how much planning, scheming, and well-thought-out budgeting I implemented, it was still all His grace that came through for us.
I didn’t fix our foreclosure situation: He did.
I didn’t fix our large medical bills: He did.
I didn’t solve any problem we’ve had, no matter how much good advice I’ve pursued and implemented. His grace moved on situations and fixed them in a moment.
In fact, His grace moved right after, in His providence, He allowed all my hard work come to naught. So many times, a fire sale, or a special offer, or some other “plan” of mine helped us jump forward towards our goals, only to have my tower of blocks fall over unexpectedly.
I believe all these lessons from the Lord served to show me Who it is that I should be trusting in.
- My plans? No.
- My Goals? Nope.
- Other people? No again.
- Doing the “right” thing, by American cultural standards? No siree.
That’s not to say that plans, goals, support networks, and doing right are bad things. They are good things, of course.
The real issue, in my own heart, was in what I was trusting in. Where was my focus and where was my heart? Matthew 6:33 really speaks to this.
Was I walking with Christ or was I walked with other teachers who were encouraging trust in self and plans?
“Don’t Buy What They’re Selling”
Years ago, I felt the Lord speak to my heart when I asked Him to show me how to please Him when my life’s plans had fallen through. His words to my heart were,
“Don’t buy what they’re selling.”
I thought that was strange. Vague. Not really pertinent to me.
I’m quite sure that this was of the Lord though for no other reason than how much it both troubled me and resonated in my spirit. I am not one to walk around saying God spoke to me. Most of the time, those people ate too much chorizo before bed. A few times though, I have felt the Lord give me guidance, a “word” if you will, that has so resonated and remained with me, I’ve yet to shake it twenty five years later.
I also can see, in hindsight of course, how disobeying the simple, vague instructions to not buy what they are selling has caused my feet to slip from the path of following Christ.
This applied to many areas.
- Buying into a view that financial blessings mean you’re pleasing God more than the poor.
- Buying into the ideologies of self-reliance. In hindsight, anything that starts with self is probably not pleasing to Christ.
- Buying into the marketing hype of our culture at large and our smaller social groups.
- Buying into a theology that makes my possessions “mine” and not simply on loan from God.
- Buying into social pressure towards discontentment with what God has provided. When God provides it, then it is enough. Or should be.
- Buying into theology that twists God to fit into our current cultural world views.
- Buying into a worldview shaped by punditry and fear mongering.
- Buying into theology that twisted Scripture away from following Christ.
These are just a few areas that Jesus has been working on my heart.
I am not sure where this is going, but I think that is the point of walking with Jesus. He gives just enough light for our paths as we follow Him.