Finding Faith and Grace in the Pursuit of Simplicity
I find it interesting how we enter in and out of seasons in life.
I’m often curious about the events or decisions which spark new journeys of the soul, where revelation and restoration occurs. When I sort through my memories I can’t help but think it was all leading to this moment. I guess it’s always that way, each season dies to birth the next of which can’t exist without the one prior. But, it feels more palpable now than ever before.
I’ve been in the trenches lately. My fingernails are dirt-filled and jagged from scratching the surface of the metaphorical walls around me. As I try to climb out, reaching for the light above I become more aware of the task before me – the work ahead to be fully vulnerable and exposed, full of faith there’s a reason for this season.
Crossing the Jordan
Maybe it’s the New Year, maybe it’s just the season I find myself currently, but I’m desperate for more clarity in my life. I’m grasping for it, thirsting for the truth within me to lead me to the pool of healing.
As I reflect on my life over the last few years I recognize the season of overwhelm, of boundaries over-extended. I notice the season of rest that followed, of little planning and less doing. Just being.
Now, I’m entering a season of obedience. A place of faith extending past the shore, wet feet and heaps of water surrounding me as I pass through. (Joshua 3)
It’s a place born of rest, nestled in the quiet space of stillness where I’m finding courage to believe everything will be okay. And enough.
You see, since the beginning of 2015 God has been shepherding me through season after season to reveal his purpose for me. And for a long time I thought that meant a certain thing – like being a writer or a creative in some way – when in reality it has been a much more important purpose, to be free to be who I already am.
And in some kind of miracle, in the dry season of that time in my life, I heard his voice calling me to follow him. To go into the unknown with him and let go of my fears and trust in who He is. He spoke promises into me. Promises of a Father to a daughter.
God never felt so fatherly to me than at that moment of his bidding to take a chance on myself.
Out of Hiding
In that process, a chance encounter with minimalism began a journey of pursuit that has carried me deeper and wider into the freedom God always held for me. Simplicity revealed the raw and untouched parts of my soul and uncovered who I truly am. It gave me permission to put off the old self of comparison, co-dependence, self-hatred, and keeping up with a culture that was never meant to satisfy.
I peeled back the layers of expectations for new clothes to provide confidence.
I laid aside the ‘just in case’ boxes so I could abide in the provision of God.
I removed the extras and duplicates and unnecessary that laid around the house in search of space and room to roam.
My fears of scarcity transformed into prayers of gratitude for enough.
I found my voice in waves of freedom with each material thing I shed and every agreement made with “more” was broken. Every step into simplicity diluted the desire to prove myself worthy of the world’s attention, affection, and approval.
Simple gave me back my soul.
It’s not been without cost. Simple is not the same as easy. In fact, simplicity has forced me to endure some of the most difficult paths in my life, paths I never thought I’d have to travel. But I’ve learned it’s on these paths of the unexpected trials that simplicity is an unexpected grace.
The grace of space, silence, stillness is where our hearts return to the Father. It’s the mercy of walking down the prodigal road to an Abba Father running toward us, ring and robe in hand.
The Grace of Space
Once in a while a reader will email asking about the correlation between less stuff and more time. It’s often a mysterious grace, because we rarely appreciate the amount of time we invest in owning things. The grace of space restores the moments most precious, like doing puzzles with your kids or noticing the colors of the sunset or preparing a meal for a hurting friend.
We often can’t quantify the time we spend to clean, maintain, organize, and present the things we surround ourselves with. We’ve settled into the routine of it all, busying ourselves with housework or spring cleaning as though it’s just the way life is. This is what being a grown-up is – responsible ownership of things we don’t need, but paid good money for.
My relentless pursuit of simplicity began here, in the grace of space. The first area I tackled with minimalist zeal was a small corner of the master bedroom where I sit at a cheap IKEA table to write words like these. It was the first taste of God’s grace in space. He met me there, where I purposefully removed distraction, and told He me this is where He always was – not at the IKEA table, but in the space I create in life, in my home, and especially in my soul.
From that small space I purged the whole house, with the help of my family, and rallied on until simplicity wasn’t a matter of stuff, but of the soul. I simplified my time, built healthy boundaries, let go of expectations, and found myself exactly where I had buried her years ago.
Leap Into Faith
I recently heard of the Kierkegaard saying “leap into faith”, and as the words settled in I realized this is what minimalism does for me. Living simple is a leap into faith, every day and every decision. It’s a declaration of identity, I don’t need any thing to define my worth; I have nothing to prove.
Simplicity is an invitation to a new season of faith, a reawakening to who you are, and a grace in the spaces uncovered.
As I fight for clarity in my current season, I consider this great gift of simplicity as a grace most extravagant. It’s all I need, He is all I need. And in the grace of space I find Him and I find me.
Are you longing for more clarity and depth in your simplicity and faith? Have your insecurities overwhelmed your identity and purpose? My course, Soul Deep Simplicity, is designed to walk you though three areas that our soul loses in the cluttered life: vulnerability, confidence, and identity. You will uncover the courage to not be perfect, to pursue your purpose, and live in the freedom to be who you already are. I invite you to get your feet wet, leap into faith, and shine. Learn more about Soul Deep Simplicity here.