I finally finished moving out of my house yesterday. I say "finally" because for whatever reason this move has extended over many weeks. But finally I cleared and cleaned my house for the last time. After every last thing was loaded and the house was sparkly clean, I took a minute to relax in a completely empty house. And a flood of emotions overcame me.
I didn't own the house so I didn't feel a loss in leaving it behind but there was definitely the feeling of a chapter closing in my life. And honestly, one of the more painful chapters of my life. Almost every single thing in my house, I worked hard to buy. And I mean everything. Every piece of furniture, every decorative piece, every utility...even down to the wine opener. I remember the first night I spent in my house - a girlfriend brought a bottle of wine over to celebrate except I didn't have a wine opener. We actually used a power drill to open it - although not ideal, it got the job done.
And with that, I added "wine opener" to the list of things I needed to buy. Each and every little thing I saved money to buy, dollar by dollar, until I had money to build my post-divorce life. The past several years of my life have been dedicated to rebuilding - first rebuilding my emotional self and then rebuilding the "things" in my life. Except things have become so much less important to me. And yesterday was a testament to that fact.
I have always been rather sentimental. I used to keep everything - and I mean everything. Some might argue I had real hoarder potential! (My fiance might argue that I still have a ton of stuff but he has no idea how bad it was!) But I have slowly realized, stuff is just stuff. Our memory doesn't depend on the stuff we keep. Stuff does not make things less painful. And stuff doesn't bring back loved ones. In fact, most of the time, I have found "stuff" gets in the way of life more than anything else. So I am learning to let go. I still have weak moments...like when I really wanted to find a reason to keep two plant pots that my fiance used to make me a television stand. He reminded me, "Ashley, they are plant pots from Lowe's." And I thought to myself, "Got it....they are just stuff." So I gave them to a neighbor to actually use for potted plants. I gave away or sold SO much of the stuff I worked hard to gain. And yet I do not feel a loss. I am gaining so much more in this move than the physical stuff I am technically "losing". I am gaining an amazing husband (to-be), family, new friends, new adventures...I am gaining the stuff that matters in life. And leaving behind stuff that doesn't.
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 treasures is, there your heart will be also.
Wine openers, plant pots and the stuff that matters,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.