“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. . . In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce his possessions cannot be my disciple.” ~ Luke 14:26, 33
I have been pondering this subject for several days. In actuality, it may have been more like several months. Actually, since I first started deciding what I would move to my new home.
I truly and honestly feel that this is where I am supposed to be. I choose to call it following God’s call on my life. After all . . .27 years ago I made a promise that if HE could get me thru nursing school, I would go wherever he led me, doing whatever he asked of me. It was an unconditional promise on my part.
In the past I have rushed ahead into what I thought were wise decisions that didn’t pan out. Whose fault is that? *hand-waving-wildly-in-the-air* Yeah, that would be me. My fault. Why? Because I was impatient. I wanted things to happen on MY timetable, the way I wanted.
I’ve been through some tough times. I’ve been through some ugly circumstances. I’ve wondered how I was going to make it through some of these times. I’ve had to lean on friends for support. Was all of the bad my fault? Nope. Some of it, yeah . . . all of it, no.
I hear people ask frequently, “If God is so good, why does he allow bad things to happen to people?” The Bible points out that those that follow God will have trials and tribulations in this world (John 16:33). Faith and Christianity, nor any organized religion, do not offer a “skate thru life with no problems-get-out-of-jail” Monopoly™ type card.
I have seen people hold onto possessions, people, relationships, homes, jobs and cars because the discomfort of giving those things up was more daunting than the excitement of letting go. I have seen people who have wrecked cars, or traded them in for something newer, go back and purchase the same model car because they owned it during a good or memorable time in their life — in an effort to recapture that time. It doesn’t work. That time has passed and the memories will live on. Let that make/model car go.
I have seen people pass up promotions, jobs and opportunities because they were so fearful of leaving the home they’d lived in for years. Or (one of my favorites) because it was the home where their (now grown) children grew up and spent their younger years. It’s a brick, wood, mortar, drywall building. Home is created by the memories and the people inside the building.
I lament the friends and co-workers I have left behind. I had hopes and dreams for the house I left behind. I miss seeing my grown children and grandchildren frequently. I especially miss the everydayness of living with my younger children: hearing about their days, seeing the homework, reading the bedtime stories, sporting events and practices, hearing them raid the refrigerator after school or with their friends.
I have to be optimistic. Their dad and I were divorced when they were young, 2 & 4, and they have always lived with me with ample visitation with their dad. He’s never had full and complete responsibility for raising them. They are now 14 and almost 12. They are old enough now to (sort of) fend for themselves and know right from wrong. Perhaps they need this opportunity for some long-term time with him. I once said, after my son died, “Do not hold too tightly to your children. They are not yours. They are loaners for the length of time God determines. Dedicate them to Him, and hold onto them loosely for when it’s time to let them go, it really hurts when God is prying your fingers off.”
It has been six months since I started the move between Missouri and Alabama. Two months since I was able to get my van running and actually move furniture here. In that six months I have learned that many of the “things” I thought were necessary in my life, simply aren’t. Most of it was just that — “things” that took up space and were barely used and definitely not needed.
(That does not include the Keurig. Although barring that, I do have a french press.)
There you have it, my rambling thoughts on how to view this move and be at peace.