Gods Will Isn’t Glamorous and It’s Not About Us.

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Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for  they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”  The Beatitudes, Matthew 5:3-12. (NIV). 

I grew up Catholic so when I thought of God, I pictured Him as some big CEO that sits in His office sorting through paperwork. In Catholicism, praying to the saints and not directly to God is a part of the religion. So, I grew up thinking that I would have to go through all of God’s assistants until I finally got an appointment with Him. I thought God was this rich dude who only wanted the most successful people in His office- which is why the Beatitudes never made sense to me.  Why would Jesus say that those who were humble would embrace Heaven and all it’s glory? Why did the poor people get to be seated next to Him?  Why would some big successful guy say that the meek and the persecuted were His children?

I grew up living a life that was more privileged than most and I am very grateful for that. But when I was 20, my dad told me that I, and everyone else, need to go through a season of being severely poor. According to him, everyone needed to experience this so that they could understand the dangers of greed, learn how to manage and budget money, and live with little to nothing so they could understand that money is good and necessary, but joy cannot be found in it.

No kid likes admitting this, but my dad was right. When I was (still kind of am) poor, I developed a sense of hard work, money management and a deep awareness that money was good, but that it could not give me everything.

But I’m not going to lie, I was at the grocery store this morning and I was unable to make eye contact with cashier because  I felt so much shame. You see, an opportunity arose this last week that would allow me to leave Starkville a few months earlier than planned. I am SO excited about this, but this means that I need to save up to pay rent during the months I won’t be in my house.  I’m also slowly getting myself out of my own personal debt, paying for a class, paying for rent, food for myself and my pups and pretty much anything else I need. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being independent and have no issue giving my money to these things.

But, this morning I spent roughly sixty-dollars( that my dad gave me), on ramen noodles, eggs, some of that 88 cent packaged tuna, pre-made mashed potatoes and dog food. I bought approximately two months worth of food, but once I got back to my car, I just sat there crying, talking to the Lord, feeling dumb for having to buy cheap food, because shouldn’t I be better than this? Would He still be proud of me even though I’m dirt poor?  Would He still want to go through with the whole social media thing even though I don’t have enough money to travel and take “Instagram worthy” pictures? Wasn’t I supposed to do more for Him? Shouldn’t I have been in a relationship by now? I know that God has called me to missions and some form of evangelism, so why isn’t my life better by now?  I wasn’t supposed to be sitting in my car, poor and sad- this couldn’t have been what He wanted for me.

If I had a say in Gods plan for me, my life would VERY different. I would be married by now and I definitely wouldn’t be in school. Instead, I’d be running barefoot, wild under the sun all over the world preaching His gospel with my husband( but we would be those super cool missionaries). Oh, and I wouldn’t own a phone. I wouldn’t document anything. I wouldn’t write about it. I would have beautiful conversations with all kinds of people and we would be the only ones who knew about it. Plus I’d have enough money to buy decent, real food.

But, that’s not how it worked out.

I’m still in college. I have to use my phone in order to post on social media.  I am as single as it gets and I’m going to be living in Mississippi for at least the next two years. I haven’t set foot on the PCT yet and I am far more poor than I’ve ever wanted to be in my life.

Here me when I say I’m glad I’m not doing anything I planned on doing last year, but also hear me when I say I’m not as happy about it as I said I was.

My sweet friend Margaret and I went to catch the sunrise yesterday morning at the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge here in Starkville and as we were talking about all the things that were happening in our lives, I think we both realized that nothing looks the way we wanted it to. We talked about our dreams and all the things we wanted to do, but it didn’t seem like God was giving us anything.  It was like God was hearing what we were saying, but was ignoring us and giving us something else.  We felt like we didn’t fit in this place we were in.

I rested on this throughout the week and during my prayer with God, I told Him EXACTLY what was on my heart. I was asking Him to lead me to a place where Christians gathered around and grew deep in scripture together. I explained to Him that I desire a life that is strictly dedicated to studying His word, character and heart- and then teaching it anyone who’d be willing to listen.

Then it hit me.

God IS giving me EXACTLY what I asked for-it just doesn’t look as wild or as “successful” as I would have liked.

A few weeks ago, a friend from Tupelo asked me if I wanted to take part in a summer internship up there. For some reason I immediately said no. However, one afternoon, I was going on a drive and the Lord told me to tell him yes- that I would love to come to Tupelo in the summer. I am moving there in August anyway, so why not head up a few months earlier than planned?

I rested on this and realized that my life in Tupelo is going to fit the description of my desires- minus the tropical destinations and “Instagram worthy” experiences. The program I am taking part in will walk me through the entire bible in one year. I will live in an intentional community with men and women who love the Lord. I will be given mentors and be discipled by someone in the church whose wisdom surpasses my own.

My point in all of this is to say that God’s plan for us isn’t meant to be glamorous. It’s not about what WE want. But what HE wants.  Our lives are meant to be lived in humility, meekness and sometimes even persecution. God still wants us whether we are eating ramen for every meal or are enjoying a $100 steak in our all gold house.

To be honest, a lot of what we do for God won’t be worth posting on social media. A lot of what He plans for us won’t look anything like we pictured. A lot of what we want isn’t what we need- and God knows  that.

God wants us  to love the sick and the poor.

God wants us to be unpopular.

God wants us to hangout with the lowly people of society.

God blesses those who don’t have a lot.

He listens to those who mourn.

He weeps with those who weep.

God loves us no matter our success level.

God loves us regardless of our relationship status or geographic placement.

God doesn’t care about our money and possessions- in fact, He tells us to give it all away. (Matt. 19:21)

God wants us to have a servants heart- one that is solely dedicated to loving Him and His people, and that’s not always pretty. That’s not always going to look good. But that’s the thing, its not about us. It honestly doesn’t have anything to do with us. God’s plan has everything to do with HIM and HIS glory- we are simply the vessels in which He uses to achieve His plans. All we have to do is say yes to Him, take up our cross and  make ourselves completely and totally available to Him- no matter what that looks like.

I know that I’m going to be poor when I’m there and that’s okay. I know that I may not be in a romantic relationship for a while and that’s okay. I know I’m going to be tired, worn out and living on gas station coffee for quite some time- and that’s okay.  I know that my time  in Tupelo won’t be full of glamorous things.  I know that I’m probably going to be wrestling with a lot of emotions for the next year and a half- but I get God and His presence  and some really beautiful people to walk through life with- and that makes all the tiny bank accounts, tears, loneliness and late nights worth it.

All my love,

Sarah.

Scriptures about money and success: 

http://www.acts17-11.com/money.html

Scriptures:

Hebrews 13:20-21

Psalm 23 ( my personal fav).

Luke 9:23

Proverbs 3:5-6

Hebrews:10:36

Psalm 145

Psalm 34 & 46

My worship playlist:

Sermons that help:

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