Not For Sale

Erik Cooper —  January 11, 2012 — 4 Comments

Every church kid will relate.

I was terrified God was going to call me to Africa. All the real Christians went there to live in thatched huts to teach the Bible to Nationally-Geographic naked people with bones in their noses. It’s true.

And if you sat in enough church services with those sleepy 35 millimeter missionary slide presentations, you just knew you were going to end up at the altar in a mess of tears with a covenant promise and plane ticket in your hand.

After all, “dying to self” must mean doing something you hate. Right?

That’s why today is such an interesting emotional challenge for me. We put a For Sale sign in the yard. And if I’m being completely honest, we really didn’t want to. If I’m being even honest-er, we kind of hope it doesn’t sell. (Sorry Nina, but you knew that going in).

When we moved here in 2000, my oldest daughter was our only child, still unable to safely navigate the steep stairwell on her chubby little toddler legs. Next month she’s a teenager, and the warmth of this home has now embraced her two younger siblings as well. They’ve grown up here. We’ve grown up here.

This was supposed to be our forever house. Our buckle in, raise a family, pay off the mortgage kind of place. My parents and my in-laws live just minutes from our front doorstep. We feel safe here. We’ve built memories here.

Which is why I think we have to be willing to let it go.

Three years ago we started a church in downtown Indianapolis. We live 9 miles outside the city center, as far west as you can be and still call it Indy. And to be honest with you, we’ve never once felt like our location hampered our ability to do what we’re called to do.

But making our house a non-negotiable has negated our ability to follow. Surrender took the form of a black and yellow sign. It’s certainly not a hut in Africa, but right now it might as well be.

So we’re (anxiously) letting go…

Believing God’s imagination for the future is so much greater than the memories we cling to.

Assaulting our idol of control.

Knowing that God is for us! That He’s not always easy, but He is love.

Honestly hoping He lets us stay. Surrendered to whatever He decides is best.

Today I’m a little nauseous, like I’m in the back seat and someone else is driving. Grab a barf bag, because I’m pretty sure that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am.” –Matthew 16:24 MSG

Is there anything you’re holding on to a bit too tightly?

4 responses to Not For Sale

  1. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. It’s humbling and inspiring to see the leaders of a church community matching their life with their words. We know you’re not perfect, but thank you for being an example of what it means to follow Jesus. Praying for you guys.

  2. I read your post and immediately I thought…brave not safe. This post has so many amazing parts. My heart hurts for you yet I feel joy in the what God would bring. I would also say this message is for me today. We will be praying for you all….praying.

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