What is poverty of spirit? Others have defined it as utter dependence on God or as the emptying of self to allow room for God’s love—both excellent definitions.
Poverty of spirit requires daily work on my part to defer to God’s will without a fight and with joy when it conflicts with my own will and involves personal sacrifice. Something like holding my “stuff” in an open hand and allowing the Lord to pluck away what He wants.
What kind of stuff? For me, it could be my health or that of a loved one, material possessions or financial security, or even my dreams and plans, all the while trusting that He has something different but better for me in the long run.
It is one thing for me to pass on a new pair of shoes, or to do something I don’t want to do occasionally, or to accept limitations of an older body, but releasing the grip on my plans for the next four years and allowing them to be changed entirely. Well, that is a bit harder. Okay, it’s downright tough.
When I realized that my retirement would be spent babysitting my adorable grandkids instead of focusing on my writing projects, gardening, and traveling at will with my husband, I finally owned that I was going through a grieving process—even though I was confident that babysitting was God’s will.
Three months into the ten-hour to eleven-hour day of caring for two toddlers five days a week, I can honestly say that it is the best job I ever had. Mothers that stayed at home may not be surprised at my “discovery,” but I was never a stay-at-home-mom. I always had a full-time career that sometimes required transcontinental travel.
Finally, I have relaxed into my retirement “overhaul” and allowed the Lord to pry my fingers loose from my plans to accept the gracious gift of His plan. And the bonus: my husband is job-sharing with me, 50/50. Yep, that took a while, but it happened. Wahoo!