We are moving after almost 20 years in the same place. My home has been a haven for four children and countless visitors and long-term guests. For many years, it was also an office for the national campus ministry and a home-schooling headquarters. The back patio was “party-central” for hundreds of fiestas and cook-outs. We served to up to 50 people for Thanksgiving dinners, and snacks, meals and desserts to 1000’s more.
We have been so blessed in this home. We have laughed and cried and fought and forgiven. We have studied, played, worked, and prayed. We have grown in understanding God’s grace and truth… there are so many memories!
… And we have accumulated A LOT of stuff!
Our yard sale is a big one… almost everything will go. All the children are growing up and moving on with their lives. We no longer hold an important position in the ministry here, and it is time for a change… well, lots of changes.
I am learning in the process.
First, stuff is just that – stuff. I can really let go of almost anything. Some things “sting” a little to let go; with others it is so fun to watch them bring joy and provision to someone else. We will keep a few special things for each child and some personal items… but most everything else will go. We don’t need nearly so much stuff, especially in this new stage of life. A good friend reminded me again that God has provided so perfectly through the years – that will not change – He will provide in our new place as well.
Second, change is good. It is refreshing to go through a “cleansing” like this and be reminded of what is most important. I don’t ever want to get too comfortable where I am; I want always to take challenging faith steps that cause me to depend on God. I want to continually learn and grow. I don’t ever want to depend on things, or a certain lifestyle, or even people; letting them go, trusting only in God for my needs, is good for me. I don’t want others to depend on me either; I want them to depend on God. Change is good for them too.
Third, it is OK to grieve what is past and what is lost. Investing and building into people for eternity is why we were here. Looking back at the transformed lives is satisfying and encouraging, but those special people are also what is hardest to leave. I will greatly miss dear friends – some I will probably never see again. That is painful, and there will be many tearful goodbyes. I have finished the “full-house” stage of life – it was a blast while it lasted, and I will miss it, but it is time for others to fulfill that role. I get to take the pictures with me… and the memories have engraved themselves on my heart forever.
The future is full of hope! The future is unknown and uncertain; it will certainly differ from the past. But I can face the future with peace because I know that God’s loving-kindness is new every morning (Lam 3:22-23), and He has good plans for me. (Jer. 29:11). When I look back on all that God has done before – His provision, His care, His direction – I have no doubt that He will be intimately involved in my future. So… take it all away! I am ready for something new!
How about you? Do you have too much stuff? Does it hold you back?
How do you handle change? I’d love to hear from you!