When we sold our house last month, we assumed the journey God was leading us on had to do with where we live.
(Home. Live. Seemed like a reasonable connection to me).
Little did we know, God had something much bigger in mind. Signing that purchase agreement was the equivalent of pulling our thumb out of the dyke. A back hoe moved in and began excavating some deep places in our hearts, ripping up the roots and setting them on the surface for everyone to see.
Things we knew. Things we didn’t know. Stuff we were dealing with. Stuff we thought we’d already conquered.
Over the course of this week, I’m going to share a few of these uprooted revelations with the hope you might find a bit of yourself in our messiness – your own “journey home.”
The week after we sold our house was heavy. I literally felt a weight. In my gut. On my shoulders. In my spirit. And my face registered every pound. Our realtor was showing us houses all over Indianapolis and all I wanted to see was the bathrooms.
Could I discretely vomit in here while they’re checking out the kitchen?
After a few days of soul searching, my wife and I both realized the culprit: Expectations.
As leader you always feel it, and some of it’s healthy. We lead with our lives. “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) But when the weight of opinion and other people’s convictions begin to dominate your thinking, you’re no longer able to be true to yourself or listen to God.
Somewhere on my journey I learned that agreeing with others avoided conflict, and avoiding conflict eliminated embarrassment, pain, and shame. Elevating other people’s opinions above my own convictions kept me in the club.
My wife grew up under the pastor’s kid microscope. She and her brother can recall stories of self-righteous board members physically pulling chewing gum from their mouths on church property under the guise a passing motorist might think a 6 year old was chewing tobacco. (You can’t make this stuff up).
Perceptions involuntarily became important to both of us. Surrendering to the expectations of others a coping mechanism. So when a simple, little “For Sale” sign turned “Sold,” the voices of old conflicts and angry board members began ringing in our heads.
“So I guess you’re gonna….”
“Wow, it’s about time you…”
“Surely you’re not planning…”
What will people think? How will they perceive us? What do they expect? A root we were already well aware of (and thought we had dealt with) got re-exposed to the elements. Novocaine free.
People pleasing isn’t just unfortunate, it’s a sin. Elevating the accolades of others above the love of God. Surrendering to outward expectations rather than pressing into who God designed you to be. It’s a reminder we’re broken. It’s a call to repent.
Do you wrestle with the weight of pleasing others? How does it affect you? Is it ever a good thing?
Sometimes God pulls and end around. He calls a run play when you were 100% sure He was going to pass. That’s the journey we’re on here. Our journey home.
More beautifully uncomfortable revelations to come later this week.