First of all, thank you so much for all of your prayers, kind words, emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, and blog comments - especially after my last post, The S Word. Yes, it was probably one of the most transparent blogs I've ever written. I had no idea what to expect when I wrote of the way my husband went to be with the Lord, but I knew I had to write those words regardless of the outcome. It was healing...for me. And, I pray that it was healing...for some of you as well. I know that several asked me via Facebook or Twitter for my email address to be able to communicate a little more at length, and I'm happy for any of you to email me anytime the Lord directs you to: email@example.com. Just remember...I'm still grieving and still healing and still very much hurting. Thank you for all of the precious comments about how much my grief has been ministering to you. Please know I feel your love during these difficult days more than you can imagine.
This past weekend, some very close friends of mine came to town to help with several projects, including fixing my car and helping me clean out the garage in advance of our community yard sale this weekend. Can I tell you that cleaning out the garage was significant? I mean significant!
The garage was always Chris' "chore area" in our home, because most of the things were his gadgets, tools, play toys, and things that I had no idea what to do with. Ever since we moved into this home last Thanksgiving weekend, he's been working on it a little bit at a time. But, honestly, everything that was left seemed like a pile of mysterious "man gadgets". I knew I would have to tackle this eventually and had already asked a couple of Chris' friends if they would be willing to help me with it, because I wouldn't have a clue what to do with some of the stuff. They were more than willing to help, but then I got word that our community was having the big annual yard sale this upcoming Saturday. Even if I wasn't at a place of selling any of Chris' items...I knew the garage had to be cleaned out to make room for all of the other items I had been planning to sell. Either way - it had to be dealt with.
Before Chris died, we agreed that we were going to start getting rid of our "stuff". We have rooms full of "stuff" and we can't take any of it with us anyway. Honestly...I am so sick of excess...and, we have so much of it in this country. I think I was spoiled by going to Africa last summer (I set foot on African soil one year ago today actually).
But, my spoiling was not for more things...my spoiling was for more of Christ with LESS things. You see, I was privileged to witness some of the most authentic worship of our sweet Savior my eyes had ever seen...and to think it was done in one of the most poverty stricken countries in this world. But, it was authentic. They didn't need material things to get closer to God. They didn't need "stuff" for their prayers to be heard. They simply offered all they had, and all they had was enough. Nothing else matters to God. He just wants us...authentic us...all of us.
I digressed a bit, but that leads me back to this upcoming yard sale. In preparing for it, I'm thinking about Africa...I'm thinking about heaven...I'm thinking about my purpose on this earth...and, I'm thinking that NONE of it needs me to have loads of "stuff". It just doesn't. God wants me. All of me. Broken me. Grieving me. Nothing else matters.
So, even as I cleaned out the "stuff" with my friends yesterday, I still found myself getting angry...angry that Chris left me to have to do this, left me with a mess to go through, left me to have "man" the yard sale and answer questions about all the "man toys" that I won't have a clue about. No, I'm not going to sell most of his stuff at this point, but there will be some things in our "piles" that I know will be worth something to somebody. And...as the day went on, the garage got more and more organized, and God diffused my angry spirit, and kept whispering to my heart...
Nothing else matters.
Nothing else matters.
Nothing else matters.
Yes, Lord. I know...I really do know that. I want all of you, so I must give you all of me. Take whatever you want Lord. Continue this refinement, even as I ache. Everything I have...everything I am...everything I desire...it all belongs to you. I live and breathe to serve you. And, if you need to...take it all. Nothing else matters.