Jen’s Gem: God’s vision for your life does not move.
As I write my final blog for 2019, I am surrounded by cardboard boxes, plastic bins, and sticky notes. My children and I, along with the help of my good friends, have been in power packing mode. In about two weeks, we will be moving into our new home and starting a whole new chapter.
This chapter began about five years ago when I declared that I wanted to move in 2020. I felt the need to downsize and simplify my life. To kick things off, I refinanced my mortgage. I went full Monty with decluttering. I walked my house regularly removing things that did not bring joy or have a purpose.
Today as walk through each room, I see the fruits of my labor as there are only handfuls of boxes. Clearly the movers will be shocked that an entire house has been packed up with so few containers.
Recently I’ve joked with friends saying all I need in my new home are my Bible, my coffee maker, and my toothbrush. My attachment to the various possessions that have surrounded me for decades is nil. Even as I cleaned out my attic and came across the many work awards, degrees, and certifications, I felt nothing. Do I really need to keep a wooden plaque noting my “Best Communicator” award from more than thirty years ago? While it felt odd tossing it in the trash, I did it without too much hesitation.
Performance reviews, scrapbook contents, and even some photos landed in the same destination.
While I took a few moments to review each item to confirm its worthiness to travel to my new home, after a few hours, my entire life was reduced to a half dozen plastic bins. One day, I suspect my children will go through these and wonder why I kept such things. Like me, they may choose to toss it all as its meaning to them will also be nil.
At first I thought there was something wrong with me because I felt nothing towards the many belongings and paraphernalia I’ve collected. How is it that I can walk away from it all so easily? Have I become so cold-hearted that I feel nothing for the items that my blood, sweat, and tears worked so hard to attain? Or is it something more?
For many years, more than I’d like to count sadly, these possessions defined me. The awards and achievements, proudly displayed in my home office, proved my expertise. The furnishings and accessories in my home, selected by an interior designer, illustrated how “put together” I was. All of these items, as treasured as they once were, painted a picture of who I was on the outside – of who I wanted the world to see me as. Educated. Accomplished. Successful.
The hot mess that was going on inside was a stark contrast to the pretty picture the world saw every day. It’s taken every nanosecond of this past decade to clean up that mess. However, as I look back over the 2010’s, I’m grateful. Beyond grateful actually, because that mess has made me who I am today.
That mess has enabled me to see that there’s more to life than degrees and titles and prized possessions. The things I treasure today have nothing to do with trinkets and baubles. They are focused first and foremost on my faith in God, my relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus, and the people in my life who bring me joy and have loved and supported me through this roller coaster ride.
My 2020 vision to move is minutes from manifesting. As I leave behind my home and my mess of the last decade, I look forward to the new vision God will reveal for me. I imagine it will be quite different than what I envisioned years ago as I sat in my corporate cubicle pondering the purpose of my life.
Here’s what I do know. Whatever is up God’s sleeve is a k-billion times better than anything I could ever dream of. Whatever it is, it will utilize the gifts, talents, and skills that He’s blessed me with. Whatever it is, it will fulfill His original purpose for me when He “knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
As we approach a new year as well as a new decade, what do you need to leave behind? What do you need to take with you? What are the things – physical or intangible – that need their purpose re-evaluated in your life so that you can become all God intended you to be?
This week, I’d like to encourage you to spend some time preparing for your next move. It may not be a physical move like me, but perhaps it will be a mental shift or change of heart. Whatever it is, I recommend you pray about it and then write it down.
“Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV)
Write down your 2020 vision and together, let’s make this next decade the best ever!