It all began with images and dreams of death. I couldn’t shake them. At one point I saw myself in a casket from over my right shoulder; my hands were folded as I lay in repose in the stillness of the grave.
I wasn’t afraid. As I explained these to my mentor, she remembered a time in the past where the pattern was similar. She reminded me last time it was heralding a new beginning, the start of a new season. I began wondering what had to die in me; God was prompting something huge.
I remember thinking, as I was laying in bed one morning earlier in the month, How could I ever leave my home? I even said aloud to The Elder, There is NO way we could possibly move from this house. There’s just too much stuff to manage and I love this place. We’ll live here until we die.
See, we had the house just the way we wanted it. I had carefully curated every piece of furniture, painting, and kitchen tool for years. It finally seemed like we had a “grown-up house” after twenty-five years of “playing” house. We are proud of where we live and used our home for all sorts of ministry in the ten years we have lived in it.
Over the next month, something was making me feel unsettled. We’ll call it a movement of the Holy Spirit. As I began looking around my house and in my garage, I began to see things in a different light.
The minivan, the one we had for ten years that faithfully carried us from Baby-dom into Teen-dom, seemed like a giant cavern now that my littles weren’t so little. The Man Cub will be driving soon, so I won’t be shuttling him as much. It will just be Little B and me and six extra empty seats. Honestly, I was all alone and lonely with all that space.
I sold the van in six hours to a lovely couple with “two under three” and one on the way. Joy came knowing that young family will be blessed by that van for all its worth!
Was this the key to ending my season of death? To give away the things I loved that had served me during such special seasons? Maybe.
My closet was next. Honestly, as a stylist and a former #ClothesHog, you might be surprised to find out I really don’t have that many things in my wardrobe. Each season I comb through my closet but this season I was super-critical, getting rid of pants, shirts, skirts, coats and shoes that were duplicates or just not practical. There were a few sentimental pieces I finally let go of; I’m embarrassed to say, though they still fit me, they were from my college days long ago! I loved them and they had served their purpose, but I had to move forward. Someone else could be blessed with what I had held onto for too long.
Moment of Transparency:
I place a lot of emotional value on THINGS. I remember WHEN I received something or WHERE I bought it or WHO gave it to me. I use things like touchstones, to recall times and seasons and places. When I sell or give things away, it feels at times like I am giving away my memories of the past. Anyone else do this?
But Scripture tells us to “forget the former things, do not dwell on the past” and “forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal” in front of us. (Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3:12-14)
Really, we can’t take our things with us when we go. All we take when we pass from this life into the next is our faith and hope that becomes reality when we stand before Jesus Christ and the LORD Almighty on the Day of Judgment. When I’m gone, all I leave behind that matters is how I loved people and shared Jesus with them. My dynasty is my children and the people whose lives I touch in some shape or form for eternity, not some vintage clothing from the nineties or a mid-century side table.
So we’re selling our grand and beautiful house, too. Although I love my home SO much, I am willing for it to go, too, because
It’s going to another young family, one that will stretch and grow and enjoy all the love and peace and joy that we prayed into these four walls. And they will be blessed abundantly by the neighborhood and the people who live here.
In releasing my grip on the blessings God has given us for a season, these become new blessings to those who receive them. What dies to us becomes life for someone else.
We are moving to a smaller, more sensible ranch in the event that we need to begin caring for aging parents. We couldn’t serve them in our present location. Plus, this transition, this downsizing and simplifying in order to more fully live life together as a family, will be a new adventure for our family. ADDED BONUS: There is a new mission field for us now in a new neighborhood.
Watch out, Lincoln Hill! Here we come. #jesusineverything