When I was in high school, I memorized Philippians 2, as part of a challenge for church. I remember most of it, and I typed out the most relevant parts for my story.
Do nothing out of selfish
ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than
yourselves. Look not unto your own interests, but each of you unto the
interests of others. Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus: Who,
being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very
nature of a servant!
-skip a few verses-
everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless
and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved
generation, where you shine like stars in the universe- as you hold out
the Word of Life- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I
did not labor for nothing.
There you have it. We, as Christians, are commanded to serve. It is not
an option, and it is not easy. Our human nature is to be greedy,
hoarding all of our earthly comforts, so that we do not want for
anything. We are supposed to put to death our old selves, including
greed, and put on our new selves. Those new selves are full of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and they are being renewed in
the knowledge of the image of our creator! (Colossians 3)
We've been living in NJ for over two and a half years now! I can't believe it has been this long. It is no surprise to everyone that I really hate it here. Lately, as in the last year, Michael and I have both felt like maybe we are here for a reason. The problem is that we have no idea what our purpose(s) is/are here!
Here's the kicker. The more we pray about what we are supposed to be doing, the more we are called upon to serve and sacrifice for others. Here's the weird part: the more we sacrifice and serve, the more we end up having. I know it sounds crazy, but I'll give you an example. Last spring, Michael was working his normal full time job, and he was also working a part time job on the weekends. He worked 7 days a week with 10-12 hour days! We still could not pay all of our bills on time. During this time, God convicted us to actually tithe the full 10% (shock and awe). We took a huge step of faith and actually started tithing without fail every single paycheck. Michael lost his second job that summer. By that time, we were ahead on all of our bills, putting money into savings, repaying my student loans, and making double payments some months on them! Looking back at my excel spreadsheets for our monthly budgets for the last 18 months, I can tell you that I have NO idea how that happened.
The last three months have been very difficult for us. We've had this nudging that maybe it is time for us to buy a house. :( I am really on the fence about this. In one sense, I would really love to paint, decorate, have a yard, and call some place home. On the other hand, buying a house really makes it official that we live in NJ, fourteen long, excruciating hours from our family in TN. We found a house, but we will be coming up a little bit short on the closing costs if this whole thing actually works out. During this time that I want to pinch every single last penny we have, it seems that we are being called upon to give.... some more. We decided to trust God. We put in an offer, and if we are supposed to get his house, then somehow it will work out.
In the meantime, I have no idea what my purpose is right now. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my life, and I have no idea where we are supposed to settle down. Oddly enough, I have a sense of peace with it for the moment.