Wow! It has been an amazing couple of weeks. Barry started his new job, the Littles started at their new Options Day location, we packed up our house, moved, unpacked the house, started another homeschool year, met our neighbors (One family who happen to also be Baptist missionaries here from SC. I mean, really??? So God!) and Barry started teaching the 5th graders at our church. God has been exceedingly good to us. So…why do I feel so guilty?
I’ve been thinking lately about how much I don’t deserve what I have. I mean, I honestly deserve nothing. If you truly knew my heart, you’d agree! Yet, He just gives and gives. Even more than normal, however, I feel guilty about what I have. God has provided us with a fantastic church, a nice home and new friends. It feels like, as missionaries, we shouldn’t have it so good.
I clearly know that it is through God that we have any of it. Through the gift of Barry’s job and the financial support of people like you, we are able to rent our new house. It is a very nice house by my standards. Plenty of space. Space enough to provide a home for a teenage girl or maybe even a mother and her children as they flee the FLDS. I know God gave us this house for that specific reason. We could not host in the 1200 sq foot townhouse we were renting before. So why do I feel guilty for having it? People. Yes, people. I feel guilty because of what other people will think. I feel like I should be cautious of posting pictures of the house or talking about how much we love it because I am nervous what other people will think, ‘Why are they living there?’, ‘Doesn’t look like missionary housing to me.’, ‘Wow – they don’t need any support. Look at that house.’ Now, it’s no mansion, but it is nice. Of course, we have reduced all of our expenses to afford this house, including going down to just one vehicle. I know our main goal is to provide a safe home for the person or people that God brings to us. I know that He alone has provided the means to do that. Why then am I still focused on what other people will say? So…here’s goes…my leap away from guilt…here is a picture of our new, God provided house.
I also feel guilty about not doing enough. I was reading a Frances Chan book last week; The Forgotten God. He asked a question that is still with me. “If everyone in your church was just like you – gave like you, served like you, went on mission like you, evangelized like you, prayed like you, studied their Bible like you – what would your church look like?” I got to thinking about that question and began to feel so inadequate. I am ashamed to say, it would be a pretty sad church indeed. Why am I feeling the guilt in this area? Again, I have allowed what people think to come before what God thinks. I’ve tried not to appear too radical, too weird, too pushy and instead have become too complacent, too quiet, too comfortable.
Today, I am surrendering the guilt in a prayer of repentance. I pray that The Lord will forgive my desires to put what people think over what God requires. I repent of trying to hide his provision for the sake of not being judged by other people. I commit to trusting that He will provide regardless of what other people think of our situation. I am praying a prayer asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit in a new and bold way, even if that makes me radical, weird and pushy.
What can I pray for you about today? Are you struggling with guilt like I am? Are you more concerned with what your friends think than what God asks of you? Are you carrying a burden that is not meant for you to carry? Are you in a broken relationship? Is the devil attacking you through your finances, children, illness? How can I pray for you?
As I was walking my dog last night, this was my view. A God that can make such beauty from nothing, can turn our sin and struggles into victory for His glory! He can turn our ashes into true beauty.