There’s a book that sits on my bookshelf that I love. A dear friend gifted it to me a couple of years ago. It’s a story I could have written myself. Not because my life looks anything at all like the life of this girl, but because it is a story about a girl who loves Jesus. And because of that love that girl could never again find fulfillment in living a comfortable, safe life. She writes,
“My heart had been apprehended by a great love, a love that compelled me to live differently. I had grown up in a Christian home, gone to church, and learned about Jesus all my life. Around the age of twelve or thirteen, I began to delve into the truths of Scripture. As I read and learned more and more of what Jesus said, I liked the lifestyle I saw around me less and less…He began to grow in me a desire to live intentionally, and different from anyone I had ever known.”
— Katie Davis Kisses from Katie
As I read more and more of Katie’s story a deep longing overwhelmed me, choked me. Her book was putting words to so many of my heart’s long unspoken desires. Reading her words, I kept nodding in agreement as if Katie herself was sitting right next to me, pouring out her heart about how this great love changed everything.
And I wanted that too. I had been apprehended by a great love, the love of the living God, who wooed me to Himself and took me up as His own, and now that I had fallen in love with Him, I was ready to follow Him to the ends of the earth. Into all the wild places. Wherever He was, that’s where I wanted to be, and I knew that God would lead me into places people say I shouldn’t go.
But for a long time I was afraid.
I lived for many years in the lap of fear. I know it well. I know the smell of fear, the look of fear, the way it sneaks up on you and grabs you from behind. I know how it bullies you and beats you up. I’ve been bruised and knocked down by fear more times than I can count. I listened to its voice and drank in its poison. I listened to the voice that said something bad is going to happen to you. I inclined my ear when it said you can’t handle this, nothing will ever be okay. I nodded in agreement when it said you are victim and nothing will ever change. I heeded its words when it told me go home or don’t leave or be afraid. And I wasted away because of fear.
But through it all I clung to that Great Love that had apprehended me. I fought my way to the surface of His truth, gasping and gulping in His wonderful love before being plunged back under to wrestle with my fears. Eventually, I found the stability of shore- the word of God nestled deep into my soul. And now when I travel into the deep waters where my fears are strongest, I am cradled in my boat by the word of God and His Spirit in me.
I’ve learned to fight fear and win.
My friend who gave me Kisses from Katie wrote a note on the inside cover. It read:
“May you hear and know the Lord’s will for your life and may your answer be “Yes!”
Once I was afraid of death, of being rejected or incapable, of being uncomfortable or inconvenienced, but now, now as the love of God grips my heart more powerfully than my fears ever did, the only thing that makes me shudder is reaching the end of my life knowing God was calling me into the deep with Him and
I want to say yes with all my heart. Now through incredible circumstances, my husband surrendering his life to the love of Jesus, my husband and I are both in the grip of the overwhelming love of God and we can’t look at our lives the same way ever again. We want more. More of God, more of each other, more of life into the deep and wild places trusting God and relying on Him for everything. We’re saying yes.
But we also know what we don’t want.
We don’t want a life hiding behind comfort. We don’t want to anchor our lives to our stuff, or to retirement or to a predictable life that atrophies our souls.
So because of all God has poured into our hearts these last couple of years, we’ve made the decision to sell both of the houses we own, the majority of our belongings, buy a sailboat and sail to wherever God leads us. Is it crazy? Maybe. Is it impossible? Not at all. Will it be challenging? Of course. We’re not looking for a smooth road. We’re seeking God, adventure and a new way of living life. We want to look back and say we did it. Even if it was hard. Even if it wasn’t always fun. Even if it takes us somewhere completely unexpected. We know God loves us. But we know we’re not going to experience more of God while still firmly rooted in the patterns of our old nature. The old man (Ephesians 4:22-24). The man in us that died once we came to Christ. The man that finds it impossible to trust an invisible God. The man that wants to save his life. But Jesus said,
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
God has so much for us out in the deep waters of his love. For us it is not a matter of should we trust, but how much of our lives can we entrust to Him. It is knowing with assurance that God will be there to catch us when we fall, to shelter us in the storm, to guide us in the dark and to teach us in the unknown.
We would absolutely love for you to follow us along on our journey! Soon we will start a separate dedicated blog to chronicle this new chapter in our lives, but the gentle home will still be here for you to access! Sign up for gentle home email updates so you don’t miss a post! Stay tuned to hear about our new blog and in the meantime follow me on Instagram @thegentlehome and on my Facebook page here