It’s Tax Deadline Day! (Which has nothing to do with this blog). Or does it? For many people April 15th is not a date that is joyfully anticipated. Nope. On the contrary, it is a dreaded day that, if possible, would be completely avoided.
March 28 is the day I would have avoided if I could have. I knew it would be difficult emotionally, but I underestimated the intensity and duration of the ache that would settle in my heart. Let me say that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least significant, my circumstance is a one when compared to other losses of much greater significance.
Nevertheless, the pain was real. I sold my house. This is a very good thing. So three weeks ago I began the process of packing to move. The plan was simple. Store what I want to keep and get rid of everything else. But having lived in this house for almost 39 years, it wasn’t as easy as the plan sounded. I am very sentimental. So letting go of memories in the form of stuff is hard.
I had plenty of help. My sister and her husband drove three hours one way for three weekends in a row. My children were also there every weekend as well as a friend. I rented a dumpster. (I think this was to “encourage” me to throw stuff away). My family diligently packed, wrapped, and organized. My primary job was to determine the destination of the “stuff”-storage, dumpster, or give away. This wasn’t easy either, because I have two very practical sons who kept reminding me that the storage facility and their garages could only accommodate a limited amount. We were very organized and prepared when “moving day” arrived. As the door on the rental truck was closed, the reality of loss and change hit me.
I thought I was prepared for the day. I expected some sadness. I expected to feel some pain over leaving the place that had been “home” for most of my life. I had no idea that I would feel a sadness that would lead to deep despair. I was an emotional wreck because of grief and fear.
In the days leading up to March 28, emotions began to surface. In the days following “moving day”, I was engulfed by them. I felt like I had lost the ability to control myself. My emotions were dictating my thoughts and actions.
In the midst of my emotional crisis, I had dinner with two good friends, a dinner that been planned for over a month and then rescheduled. (Did you know, God’s timing is perfect?) They affirmed my feelings of grief – it was normal- and gave me encouragement. Then I began to consider my experience in the light of Truth.
It is natural to grieve over a loss. In this case, I was leaving my home of almost 39 years. The truth is, “home” is in heaven, I am an alien here, and while I am on earth, home is not about a building. It is about family and relationships.
My house is not my security. The truth is, God is my security. I can always count on Him, He never changes, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He will supply all that I need.
Change is not something to be afraid of. The truth is, growth requires change. God has prepared me for this time. Nothing is an accident, or unnoticed by Him. Two years ago, He put it on my heart to intentionally work on Trusting Him. Last year we worked on surrender, and this year we are working on contentment.
I have the opportunity to apply these very relevant disciplines to my life in my current circumstances. I can trust God to do what is best for me and to meet my every need. I can surrender, let go of everything, all the stuff, and worship Him only. I can be content with what I have and where He has placed me.
For now, I am living with one of my children and his family and enjoying the opportunity to strengthen the relationships with my family. I am learning to be less independent and allowing my family to give as they are so willing and desirous to do. I am learning to accept the grace offered by others.
If my earthly family desires to show their love for me in such gracious ways, how much more does my Heavenly Father desire to shower me with His love and grace?! Two weeks ago, I was an emotional wreck. Today I know the joy and peace that I have in Jesus. Freedom from grief and fear triumphed when I decided to trust God with my circumstance and my life; when I opened up my hands and let go of earthly things (which includes my will) and when I chose to be content with my life as it is.
I am grateful for the events of the last month – all the good and especially the difficult things. Change is not welcomed by some and I am definitely one who does not like change. But as I reflect on recent events, God has revealed one change I must make: to move from an independent attitude to an attitude that embraces total dependence. I depended on a house for security. I depended on “stuff” to remind me of my worth. Now I will depend on the one who is King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and who loves me with an everlasting love.
So while I thought I would have avoided March 28 if possible, now I see what a blessing it is. Thank you for missing me these last few weeks. I missed you, too, and it’s good to be back.
A Work in Progress
PS: Maybe you avoided April 15, only to learn you get a refund!