Can I tell you a secret truth that’s been confirmed over and over for me recently? I am ridiculously rich!
It’s happened multiple times over the last few weeks. I’ll be chatting with someone and something about the conversation will cause me to feel a sadness or discontentment with my life. Thoughts about how “if we just had more money for this or for that” attempt to start parading through my mind, trying to tell me how much better and sweeter life would be, could be, if we just had more. But almost instantly, an image of a person in my life will pop into my mind and the Spirit has impressed on me in those moments…”Darci, you may not have some of the monetary things you think would make life better, but I have given you a relationship with this person and he or she is what has made your life rich!”
I’m telling you, multiple times it has happened recently where the Lord has immediately fought the lie in my own mind with the truth of His provision in my life. And the provision, the truth of what He has blessed me with, and the true measure of wealth in my life, comes down to the people I love and the people who love me. The truth sits there and stares me bold in the face. And when I’m wise enough to choose to believe the truth instead of the lie, it immediately dispels the discontentment and ushers in contentment and gratitude. It’s my people! They are what makes me rich!
The Richness of a Godly Marriage
It happened clear as day with my oldest sister, Joli, a few weeks ago. She met me in Texas for the women’s conference to be a support to me and so we could get some quality sister time. Sometimes when we’re together we’ll tell the Lord in earnest prayer how it would be great if he could just make one of us extremely wealthy. Not both, we’re not trying to be greedy, but just one because we like to dream up plans (schemes) for us and our families. Dreams about how we would do this or that for our parents if we could, or how we’d take our families on a missions trip together, or how we would fly together to Europe to be with friends we are desperate to see. Sometimes the dreaming will turn to sadness that most of the things we’re dreaming about just aren’t possible right now.
I felt the sadness start to creep in on this particular occasion. But, in just that instant, a picture of our two husbands at home with our kids came into my mind and the truth of our wealth dispelled the sadness. I turned to Joli and said something profound like, “But, what about these amazing men of ours!?!” and she, being equally profound, said “Seriously!”. This turned our conversation from dreaming of things we didn’t have to naming all the ways that these men are, without a doubt, the biggest blessings of our lives. Countless ways they care for us and our kids, but even more important, ways they pursue God and His plans first, and in doing so bring such trust and stability to our marriages, to our families.
Outside of deciding to follow Jesus, marrying my husband has been the absolute best decision of my life. Without even realizing it, that decision, as a 22-year-old young woman, would prove to make me rich in ways I didn’t yet know were important. Rich in our shared desire to seek first the Kingdom and live for it’s rewards! Rich in intimacy, loyalty, and trust, and in growing up and growing older together. Rich in sharing an imperfect but intentional discipleship of our children and of others whom God entrusts to us. Rich in laughter and silliness and just being known. How could I have known how desperately I would need all of these things? I didn’t, but God did, and when He gave me Matt, I’m pretty sure I won the Marriage Powerball. Is it perfect? No. Is it hard sometimes? Of course. Do we need Jesus in our marriage to continue growing in richness? Every. Single. Day.
The Richness of Lasting Friendship
As I type this, I’ve got another suitcase out on the floor waiting to be filled. I’m taking another trip but this one’s a bit different, a bit farther. I’m flying 5100 miles to Ireland to spend time with dear, life-long friends who are dealing with a health crisis. I may not have any power to heal the body, but you better believe I’m taking Jesus with me, and together, we plan to serve in love and encourage their spirits. This time, this trip, won’t be about me speaking as much as listening. What has occurred to me most while packing is the immeasurable richness of the gift of friendship.
There are all kinds of important friendship relationships: friendships that only last in one particular season of life, like high school or college; casual interest friendships at work, church, or the neighborhood; and deep, abiding friendships we’ve made as adults that champion our faith and our life’s mission. All friendship is a gift and make life richer. But the rarest, maybe diamond level of friendship, is the kind that knew you back when, they know all there is to know, and even with that knowledge, they still love you and push you to Jesus.
These diamond friends, they know about the loser you dated in high school. They suffered with you through that acne phase or when you tried something stupid, like smoking. They’ve walked with you through your poor choices but also celebrated with you in your big moments. They’ve prayed for you, cried for you, and cheered for you and those important to you. These people, they know you, and when you’re together, it’s impossible to hide your real self from them. These relationships, with Jesus smack in the middle of them, they are what make life rich!
So today, as I pack my little carry-on, acknowledging the gift of my husband, and anticipating being face-to-face with two of my favorite people; I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the richness of God’s grace in my life, through the riches of relationships.
Building Relational Wealth
Can I tell you what makes this exciting for me and, hopefully, for you moving forward? It’s the fact that no matter where we would calculate our relational wealth today, we can start right now to build and grow our wealth of relationships, every day, in one simple way. It’s not hard to do. No magic formula or special prayer that God only answers for some. We simply have to love people. Just love people.
We can’t go back and create friendships that are from our youth. But we can start now to be the kind of person that treats our existing and future friendships with genuine care and utmost importance. And in this work, day-by-day, we’ll build true, lasting relationships that bring exponential joy and richness to our lives.
If anyone were to look at the numbers that make up my life: the bank accounts, investment portfolio, or cash in my wallet, they certainly wouldn’t put my name in the wealthy category. But, as much as I war against allowing those numbers to define how I feel about my life, I know from wisdom and experience that living a rich life is about much more than having money–much, much more.
God desires this for us. The gift of earthly relationships is one of His gifts to help us get through this hard and painful life. If you’ve never considered it before, I hope today you’ll think of all the people around you, your people, and see them with different eyes–through eyes of grace. You may be shocked at how rich you really are.