Have you ever prayed so hard for something but when it finally started happening, you found the transition to be hard?
It is hard to give things up. It is hard to sacrifice.
I found that out.
I had been longing for years to move to a warmer climate. But wanting something and actually putting in what it takes to get that something are two different things.
I loved my home. My beautiful home. My “over 3500 square foot” home sitting on an acre about 20 mins out of town. I loved hearing the horses and the cows in the summertime. I loved the “buffer” zone we had between neighbors. I loved the greenery. I loved my beautiful big kitchen with the huge island in the middle and the openness between rooms in my house. I loved my walk-in closet and my big bathroom.
So wanting something different in locale meant giving up something that I loved. To gain, you usually have to give up something. And that was true in this case.
I was excited to finally be doing something. To be working towards something I’d wanted for so long. But the day we put our house on the market, I cried. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. I realized my house was a part of me. So many memories there. And I was so thankful for it. I knew it was a blessing. When we first built our house, I told God that I would always use it for Him because I knew it was a gift from Him. And I did. I let the youth group have parties at our house, we hosted missionaries, and we opened our doors to others.
Our house sold in two weeks. TWO weeks in a market that was still shaky. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Absolutely. Hard?? Most definitely.
I’d walk around my back yard in the season that I loved living in my house the most. I knew I was going to miss it. Terribly. I had no idea where I’d live next. Would it be a tiny little house? Would I even have a grass backyard much less an acre? Would my kitchen have beautiful hardwood floors? Would I be proud of my house?
And the verse kept going through my head over and over again – “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24
I never considered myself rich. But I finally FELT and understood the words in this verse. It is hard to give up blessings and good things in life. It’s hard to give up material things. And it is at that point when it’s hard, that we have placed them too greatly in our lives.
Sacrifice is always hard. No one said it would be easy. But if we refuse to do it at all, then we are just like that rich man who values what He has more than He values God’s kingdom.
I still had a hard time letting my beautiful house go. But from that moment on, I could look at it and see that a house is just a house – no matter how much you love it. It’s the family that lives within those walls that makes a house a home. And that can be done in any building.
I don’t want to be like that rich man. I don’t want to be too selfish to give up the beautiful things in my life. It may not be easy and I may trade them in for something that isn’t quite as beautiful; but a rich life isn’t in things….it’s in people. And it’s good to remember that.