Life.  Some see it as a randomly assigned smattering of days with no purpose.  Others believe in divine appointments they rarely keep.  For most, ordinary.  But it doesn't have to be.   What if we dared to go the narrow way? Join me in taking THE FAITH DARE.

Caution: Participating in this challenge might force you to give up some of the things (people?) dearest to you. This challenge could change your life.  Join at your own risk.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

FAITHdare #23: [Guest post!] To whom much is given much is required

I am so excited to share another guest post with you all = ] It has been a joy to watch God moving in the life of my friend, Julie. I pray we are all challenged by the way God is moving among us!

FAITHdare #23:
What is God calling you to?

"To whom much is given much is required.

I had heard this so many times in my life and for more than 30 years of it I believed it never
applied to me. I never saw myself as one who was given much. I grew up in a middle class
family and had a dad who did an incredible job of providing for our family, but in my immature
mind I was always busy looking at those who had so much more.

As a young adult, my outlook didn’t change. My job as a reporter left me with a meager salary
while my friends were free to spend as much as they wanted. And the feeling of playing catch-
up to the American Dream only deepened when I married my husband, who was 8 years behind
those his age in earning potential.

The first several years of our marriage was paying off his debt from bachelorhood, struggling
through the stresses of financial insecurity, and seeing the ugliness of sin and selfishness drive
some of our arguments over money. Secretly, I would walk the streets of our little town gawking
over the big, beautiful historic homes and wondering when and if we’d ever be able to move up
from our two-bedroom bungalow.

When was God going to pull through for us? When would Jeff finally get a career he liked
that paid the salary that would give us that house. That mini van. That image. When?

I had accepted Christ in my kindergarten Sunday School class and had watched the Holy Spirit
move in my life and transform me as a child of God. But God would allow me to live with this
obscure view of money and possessions for more than 30 years before His grace would step in
and say it was enough.

It happened two years ago. My husband came home from work and shared how he had
heard a great radio broadcast from Wess Stafford, the president of Compassion International.

“I have always thought it would be great to sponsor a child for each of our children,” he said as I
prepared dinner in the kitchen.

“That’s nice,” I said, but inside I was thinking something else. What?! Sponsor a child?! We
need to get a little further in our little life here before we can give up more than $30 a month.

But at the time, God has been teaching me and Jeff something different: obedience. So, a
couple of months later when we were at a Michael W. Smith concert and he started talking
about Compassion, I looked at Jeff and said, “If God is laying this on your heart, we need to do

We raised our hand and a woman handed us a packet. A boy from Rwanda, Africa, the same
exact age of our oldest son. At that moment, a journey had begun and I didn’t even know it.

I spent the next week, wondering how the heck we were going to pay this monthly fee.

Seriously, how? And then God grabbed me. There I was walking into Target getting ready to
spend $40 on a bag full of non-essentials and God said, “This is how you’re going to pay for it.
The same way you pay for stuff you don’t really need to get by.”

From that moment on, the Holy Spirit moved like wildfire throughout my heart. I got on
Compassion’s website and was extremely moved by these children. I read up on our little guy in
Rwanda and was deeply convicted about the state of our own home and my heart. Here, I was
so proud of how we were going to help this little guy, when actually he was helping me. God
literally took my face and turned it from looking at all that I didn’t have, to what I did.

I became obsessed with what I could give to God. We sponsored another child (this time
the age of our middle child) and I even became an advocate with Compassion. But it wasn’t
enough. I lay in bed one night crying to God. What else can I do? I had been so ignorant for so
long. And then I felt God turning my eyes to my engagement ring. I felt this overwhelming need
to sell it. To show God that only He mattered. Not only had the ring cost a lot, but it now was a
symbol of who Jeff and I used to be. When we bought it, we were part of a mentality that bigger
was better. That wasn’t me any more.

I prayed about it and asked God to soften my husband’s heart. He did and the day after
Christmas, my husband drove from jeweler to jeweler to find the best deal. He sold it and right
after he came back from depositing the check in the bank I donated it to help orphans. It was
the best feeling in the world. And the first, but not last, time I would feel a bit of what I call
eternal joy.

Since that time, I have found that the only joy I experience is when it comes to investing in
God’s kingdom. A year ago this month, God began a new journey in our hearts: this time
adoption. It came out of nowhere, but has taken us to places in our faith that I would have
never gone had I not followed His call. It may be a year before we see that journey come to
completion, but in God’s eyes it’s all wrapped in one. For the place we will go to pick up our
son is the same little country he used to open my heart and eyes in the first place: the beautiful
country of Rwanda.

I now live my days thinking less of my things and more of God’s kingdom. My joy comes not
from something new for my home, but from the new little ribbon we buy Maria, the girl we
sponsor in Tanzania. For after this world burns up, there’s only two things that will go with us to
eternity: God’s word and His people."


  1. Love this story everytime I hear is sooo refreshing!

  2. Julie, I love this! Thank you for sharing. I love what you wrote about selling your engagement ring and how that represented the old you. I agree with Maureen: This is so refreshing and encouraging! These stories should be shared from the pulpit of church. Imagine if what God has done in your life blew through an entire church! How cool would that be?! Praying for it!!!