This month, my sister and I began renting an apartment together in Fort Collins, Colorado. Beyond the practical aspects and challenges of moving, we both have learned a great deal from this operation in domestic transition.
How can two people have accumulated this much stuff in just a few short years? Where did all this junk come from? What were we thinking?
While packing and unpacking, I found an array of forgotten memories and lost knick-knacks: So that’s where that other sock was! Oops, I never sent that birthday card. Why do I have so many PEZ dispensers? I was overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of small items I grouped together in boxes, and how quickly the boxes were accumulating. Where am I going to put all this? What am I willing to let go of? What do I really need? HELP!
Ecclesiastes 3, says: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” For Aubrey and me, this past month was “a time to cast away.” It was time for us both to renew our visions for life and dream a little.
As we began to set up our new home, it became apparent that our tastes had changed. Armed with this new revelation, we began relinquishing items we had initially kept when packing but now seemed not to fit the new space. Informed with new perspective, we began to “let go of childish things” (1 Corinthians, 13:11) that were holding us back and step fully into the light of possibility. (Don’t worry, I’m keeping my NINTENDO 64… I’m not a fanatic!)
Here on the cusp of transition, we both stopped to see how much excess there really is in our accumulated belongings. We acknowledged our tendency to find more space to fill with our possessions, instead of letting go of the things that keep us from purposeful living. Slowly but surely, we began to de-clutter and let go, freeing our hands of less needful possessions, and leaving them empty and ready to receive blessings anew.
I believe that often we cling to our identities because we are afraid of losing who we are, but in doing so, we forfeit the opportunity to find out who we can really be. This goes for people individually or people communally. Sometimes we have to learn to let go of our pasts to make room for our futures.
So, if any of this rings true for you, I encourage you this summer to let go of something in your life that no longer serves your growth. It can be a bad habit or influence, donating items you no longer need or use, or releasing negative feelings like shame, doubt, and fear. Then, reflect in this space before filling it again. Really breathe in the freedom it provides and use it to welcome a new beginning.