Simplify

I just deleted four paragraphs.

What I just typed was beautiful, but it completely negated the central theme and most important message of this blog, so I deleted. And no, I don’t feel any kind of way about it at all. #kanyeshrug

One word has resonated in my spirit on repeat for the last two or three weeks…SIMPLIFY! God has been whispering to me in my sleep, speaking to me while awake, and reminding me as I make decisions.

“Chris, simplify.”

Long before my spirit caught wind of what God was saying, I was doing it. At the beginning of March, I made a [hard] decision to give up something I loved that was draining my pockets. In typical Chris fashion, I brainstormed plan after plan in an attempt to make it work. At some point, I had to make the decision that being without it was the only way to relieve my life of the burden that it had become, so I did what I had to do. That was beginning of my sudden urge to clean out my life. Next, I went on a rampage and began cleaning my house. Five large trash bags later, I threw away things that I had carried from place to place…some of which I hadn’t seen or used in years. One night I watched the clock tick into the wee hours of the morning as I went through my laptop and deleted old documents, pictures, videos, and files that I’d been saving since 2012. As I ran across letters and poems written to my ex, I not only found freedom in trashing what I wrote and saying goodbye to the memories attached, I joyfully bid farewell to the girl who wrote those words. (Whew, I was not as wise or whole as I am today.) Over the course of the last few months, I have been releasing the weight of empty things I have been carrying emotionally. Interesting correlation: as I was cleaning out my second bedroom, I had to move around a garbage bag full of purses. Though the purses were empty, the weight of the bags themselves still made the garbage bag extremely heavy. The only resolve for the heavy garbage bag was to get rid some of the empty purses that I no longer wanted, that didn’t fit my style, or weren’t useful to me anymore. MESSAGE! Just because it’s empty doesn’t mean it can’t be heavy. Useless things carry weight too.

I found a level of freedom in letting some things go especially when I considered how that sweet benediction would benefit my future; however, a part of me wished I didn’t have to part with the things I’d had and loved for so long . I had no clue that there were more choices ahead of me that would require me to simplify. Imagine being presented the opportunity for one of your dreams to come true, but it can’t happen the way you envisioned it. That too has been my story. I had the chance to do it my way…a way that would have allowed me to have a glorious story written just the way I like it. The problem was my way would have cost too much and created a deficit that I wouldn’t be able to fix. Then here comes God like, “I have a way to make it happen, but it’s not as glamourous. You down?” It seems like every single thing has made it’s way to the chopping block, and I have to make a decision…even down to where and how I live. Whew!

Interestingly enough, this word from God has not only been a command but an explanation. I didn’t understand why I had the unction to get rid of some things until I clearly heard God say, “Chris, simplify.” God wasn’t just telling me what to do. God was confirming what I had already begun doing.

“Make room for what you are praying for.”

-a Tweet

I ran across that quote on Twitter about a week ago. Obviously, that is something that I have read before, but after hearing, “Chris, simplify,” it hit differently for me.

At the top of the year, I purchased notebook with the word Dream scripted across the cover. It was my intention to fill the lined pages with my vision for 2020. I took me weeks to write anything down as I felt as if I had nothing to look forward to. You can blame that on the roller coaster ride called 2019 and the plethora of things on its vision board that remained unaccomplished by the year’s end. Weeks after purchasing that notebook, I poured my heart on its pages and set the notebook aside. Every now and then, I’d consider picking up the notebook to try to dream a little more, but it never panned out. As our lives were shaken by pandemic and I entered into quarantine, I figured there wasn’t a reason to even dream. What I had already put in the atmosphere and asked God for was more than enough. Furthermore, I assumed some of those requests would be put on hold indefinitely until life regained some normalcy. Boy, was I wrong. Unbeknownst to me, God had me cleaning out my life to make room for the prayers that I prayed then second guessed. God still manifesting though my faith was a little weak… ladies and gents, that is grace! Quite sometime before I made the hard decision to relinquish “the thing I loved,” I prayed and asked God for relief. I knew that unless a major shift happened for me, I would succumb to the weight that my once blessing was now pressing on my shoulders. Fast forward the clock a few months, and I made the decision to simplify. Long before I went on a rampage cleaning out my guest bedroom, I prayed to God and asked that the next place I lived would be clean, peaceful, and would surround me only with what mattered most to me. Fast forward the clock a few months, and I found myself trashing old baggage so that I don’t pack it up and carry it with me into my next place. By the way, who knew I’d consider downsizing so I wouldn’t have room for the extra baggage anyway?

About a week ago, I decided to peruse through that notebook with Dream scripted on its cover. As I laid in bed flipping through the pages, I chuckled. Some of the very things that I had written down were already in motion, coming to fruition. Months ago, I wrote my vision, prayed about it, and walked away from it because I was unsure how those things would come to pass. Though I pushed some desires to the back of my mind, God didn’t forget my prayers at all. Instead God was ordering my steps and influencing my decisions which ultimately was making room for the very things I had prayed for and counted out. God helped me simplify.

I have peace. That’s what I feel as I type this blog…peace. I’ve given up quite a bit. I’ve lost some things too. I’ve made decisions to take the less glamorous yet more efficient route. I’m going to downsize. I’m doing what’s best for me with no regard for outside opinion. I’m making room. I’m simplifying. *sigh* This literally feels like a breath of fresh, crisp air.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

…if you haven’t already gotten the point. Sometimes less really is more. You can live without the things/people/opportunities that you thought you’d die without. The potential loss may be creating space for a significant gain.

In this season, I am choosing what God wants and what’s best for Chris. This is a far cry from the habits of a serial people pleaser. I’m just simplifying.

I hope this helps. I love you with my whole heart, and I mean it.

-Chris

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