This One Thing Changed My Whole Life

I remember the first time that I heard a song by U2 that completely captured my attention. The chorus still echoes often in my mind:

“But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.”

Admittedly, I have tried to find what I am looking for in so many things, only to come up empty. We all go through these phases continually through our lives.

I have poured hours into scripture wanting to find a way to have authentic joy.  I kept coming back to faith in action and pondered what that looked like.

I was waiting for the Lord to show up in my prayers with a loud booming voice and command me where I was supposed to go. I didn’t want to do it wrong, so I did nothing.

We see amazing people do spectacular things and think, wow if I just had their talent or money I would do something great like them.

Or we find ourselves begging the Lord for mercy for our suffering friends, feeling discouraged we can’t fix them.

But here’s the thing. I have found the most amazing thing that can change the way we live.  It will add a healing to your life that is unexplainable. It will open doors you didn’t know existed. Most of all, it will bring you hope and joy!

Some of us will have that magical moment where G-d intervenes in a miraculous way. But much of the time He is waiting for us to step out in faith.

So here is the one thing that has changed my whole life: giving.

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It can be our time, resources, or any way you feel led.

It’s just showing up for someone.

I remember sitting in my bed when I was so sick and close to death. In those weak moments, I realized that looking back on my life, I wasn’t successful. I am not talking about college degrees, a big house, or a big bank account. I am talking about realizing I hadn’t done much to really help anyone out unless it was easy for me.

A lot of the times I am finding out that true giving isn’t convenient. It’s stopping to help a person when you are in a hurry. It’s visiting someone who has no hope and entering willingly into their pain.  Most of all, helping those who can’t give anything back.

That moment I had that realization in bed I promised the Lord that if I got well, I would make sure to help others as much as I could. When I didn’t get well fast enough I would cry out to Him and say, “How am I supposed to help when I can’t leave my house!”

He ended up bringing people to me. Sometimes it was a phone call or sending/answering a message on the computer. While I couldn’t give them money or fix their problems, I could listen and pray for them.

It didn’t seem like much at first, but after a while, my eyes were opened to see there were so many  suffering all around me. As I have grown stronger he has me step out of my comfort zone to help meet other’s needs in unique ways.

Through each hardship we have experienced, the Lord sent many people in our lives to help us out in unique ways. We had people drop off clothes for the kids, meals, babysitting, taking my kids to school, helping clean our house, and so much more. Sometimes we didn’t even know who they were. All I know is each time they showed up, we were filled with gratitude and awe. It’s one thing to read about acts of kindess, but another to experience it. It was contagious and I wanted to pay it forward.

I have found my true fulfillment isn’t in what I gain, instead, it’s what I give.

We have been instructed to do these things in secret as much as possible. I think it just makes it that much more special when someone is standing there baffled wondering who it was and then it gets them thanking G-d while bringing hope to their hearts.

The simple act of showing up and giving has revolutionalized my family’s life. I have found on days where I am really depressed or frustrated, I stop and think about what I can do for someone else. Without fail, it always turns my day around.

Today, I want to challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and give. Whether it be dropping off something simple, taking the time to listen to a hurting heart, or whatever thought comes to mind. Each day, be intentional in trying to do something for someone you know can’t give anything back.

Just show up.

But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Matthew 6:3 (NLT)

Your life will never be the same.

Guess what, I found what I am looking for.

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