In 3 weeks, my husband and I will be moving to Belize. I write these words, and they still don’t feel real. Even the goodbyes don’t feel completely real. Just today, we hugged my sister-in-law and our nephews “so long” as they passed through Harrisburg. A few days ago, we had a goodbye breakfast with a dear friend who is flying off to Scotland and will just miss us on her return.
We are going through our stuff- every box, large and small- everything from Josh’s old baby clothes to my high school yearbooks to our kitchen cupboards. It is amazing how much we have accumulated in our two years in this house. It can be hard, painful, sometimes overwhelming work to sift through it all.
But there are also blessings. We are lucky to have the time to go through everything, reminiscing as we go. We have read each other old letters and shared artifacts from our lives that we had never shared before. I have particularly had a sense of how supported and encouraged I have been throughout my life, as I read through notes and messages from friends from birth to present. I have been reminded of old friends who I haven’t talked to in ages, but who played an important role in my life at a certain time. Though some of these friends are not in my present life, I feel affirmed, supported, and very lucky.
Getting rid of things can be therapeutic as well. It is not as hard as I thought it would be to part with most of my stuff. I find pleasure in giving things away that I have enjoyed to a friend who I know will also enjoy it. The girls from the middle school group (a.k.a. “Girls on Fire”) that meets at my house weekly walked away with most of my purses and scarves and old jewelry today- and they looked better than I did in these accessories! Some of my community members are now used to getting knocks on the door and piles of new stuff that I have marked just for them- whether they want it or not. Amanda gets all my community and advocacy papers and books, my house décor. Heather gets my papers on youth development, seed packets, and yoga CDs. Desiree gets certain clothes, furniture, and house goods as she gets ready for her upcoming marriage!
As Desiree wrote in an email upon agreeing to take some of furniture: “ I would also like to point out that I love how your “burden” is our “blessing”, and by sharing it, you’re blessed — does this feel like the Kingdom to you? Joy.”
This is the way God’s kingdom is supposed to work, right? We give or loan out that for which we have no present need. We are blessed, and others are blessed in turn. We trust that our needs will be met in the future. We hold our material goods lightly, because we cannot take them with us.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Mark 6: 19-21