Friday, March 12, 2010

Working through my emotions

The Personal Journey

If you have been keeping up with the blog it is obvious that Andrew has been the one most active in all of the blogging. And up until about three weeks ago (like I mentioned in a previous blog), I had been resisting the idea of actively participating in the writing.

Now to be completely honest with you, writing wasn't the only thing that I had reservations about. When Andrew first approached me about giving away our income for 40 days and keeping a blog about it, I had very little trouble getting on board. I had a few questions about why he wanted to do it and how we were going to balance our own monetary responsibilities and the giving, but overall it sounded good to me. This is exactly the kind of thing that I love to hear about other people doing, so why not us. I have always been a giver.

But, as soon as I said yes, the doubt and reservations began to pour through my mind and I secretly began losing my enthusiasm. Yes it was a great idea, and I love giving … but this … this was extreme and I had never been a radical giver. I’d never been a radical anything!

I thought that it would be interesting to read about this journey. And when someone would ask about what we were doing with the project I felt good in saying we were doing an experiment in giving for the next 40 days. It sounded great. Generous. Kind. Good. All things that I strive to be. But I secretly felt from generous. I felt disgustingly stingy and downright annoyed that I was giving my money away. It's my money. What if I need it? We just put in new windows!

Oh, how I thought that I was above all this kind of thinking.

This was a huge wake up call for me. Giving away 10% wasn't a stretch anymore, but giving it all away had me fearful of being broke. Literally. I haven’t missed the 10% of my income that we regularly gave away because it had become a habit to me. We would write a check to a good cause and forget about it until the next payday came around and then do it all over again.

What is so radically different about this project is that we aren't just giving out of our plenty but that we are giving everything. We are paying our bills out of our savings and taking away from our safety net in a time in which we have a growing family and bills to pay. Honestly, it scared me.

It scared me for a myriad of reasons. What if Andrew loses his job? What if something breaks down? What if he gets the urge to sell it all and wants us to eat locusts!

I can remember from Sunday school hearing about Jesus telling the rich man to sell everything and to follow after him, but I never thought about that in the context of my own life. I’d always been taught that Jesus’ teachings were to be taken in a very personal, life-changing way, but I never thought about what he said to that rich man in the context of my own life. What does it mean for me to give away everything and to live in the moment … even just for 40 days?

There have been so many questions that have been running through my mind since we started this journey. The questions about self. Like who am I really? What truly matters to me? Then there are the selfish questions, the truly ridiculous ones like, "Well if he does want to sell it all and eat locusts, who will take care of us?” Yes, a more spiritual person might say that God will care for you, that He will provide for all of your needs, but honestly I imagine that is tough leap of faith to make.

And then I had to take a deep breath and relax. It will all be ok. And I have some things to work out. But I will be fine.

Since my semi-crisis, Andrew and I have done more talking and I am still seeking answers to my own questions. But I am on board, completely and fully. I have no idea where the next few weeks will take us or what the next months or years will have in store for us. But I know that now, the moment that I am in right now, is all that I have. And in this moment I will do all that I can, for my family and for others.