Sunday, April 19, 2015

The surprising story of my rejection at the Canada border (Part 2)

Part 2: Practical steps toward leaving

On Saturday, April 19, 2014, one year ago today, I was in the process of transferring up to Canada, and my friend Bethany offered to help me to figure out what to do with the rest of my stuff. We went up to the attic together and started making three piles: Yard sale, Keep in the Attic, and Bring to my Room.

Little by little, we sorted all the stuff into the three piles, and the yard sale pile was the biggest. Reluctantly, I put perfectly good items that I would have liked to use in the future into the yard sale pile, because I didn’t think I would ever have a life that would accommodate the use of those items. My antique chair, my mop bucket, my artist’s easel, more books, more odds and ends. Then with the help of Andrew (the son of the family I live with), we started an assembly line-style brigade to bring all the boxes down from the attic. I took everything down the first flight of stairs, Bethany took it down the second, and Andrew put it into the gym where the family was collecting stuff for a yard sale they were about to have.

We were on the first or second box when John (the father of the family I live with) looked up from working on his car and asked me a question in a mystified tone of voice. “Rebekah, do you have ANY long-term goals for your life?”

That hit me deep. I couldn’t answer, for I was instantly in tears. So far, I had successfully pushed away the hurt of getting rid of all this stuff, but now it descended onto me in an unstoppable flood. To John, whose logical mind processed the facts of what I was doing, but who could not see the spiritual significance of it, my actions would have been incomprehensible. Me getting rid of all this stuff didn’t make any sense. It seemed arbitrary, random. I had been talking about my goal of buying a house, and now I was getting rid of all the stuff I could put in that house. Quitting my job and going up to Canada for a 3-month stint would have seemed like insanity, especially when I had no idea what I would do after that.

I thought back over the large collection of 3-month stints I had spent my life on, and the enemy doubled up his attack in my thoughts, though at the time I didn’t recognize it as an attack. "Long-term goals? You’re not allowed to have any. You tried that. You tried settling down and putting down roots and setting long-term goals, and what good was it? They were there only to get stripped away from you. There is no long-term goal setting for you. You will never have stuff, and you will never have anything nice. Here you are, giving it all away."

I tried to give John an answer, but I didn’t want him to see me crying, and I couldn’t speak without it coming out in sobs, so I just carried the boxes down the stairs with the tears silently coursing down my cheeks. Bethany, who took the boxes from me, was the only one who noticed, and she stood up for me. “Live for Jesus!” she said. “Spend your life for eternal things! Don’t listen to the world’s version of success!” Little by little, the whole big yard sale pile made its way out to the gym, and I went back to my room, still ragged with emotion. I sat down in the corner of my closet and just dissolved into a self-pitying lump of tears. For a while I couldn’t bring myself to do anything, but Bethany came and found me and got me working again, and I made it through some of my stuff, but not all by the end of the day. (Thank the Lord for Bethany! She was a true friend in that whole process.)

To everyone else, it was just stuff, but to me, it was my stuff, and not only that, it was the only stuff I had. So to get rid of it meant stripping myself down to nothing, and that was scary. But I chose to continue walking forward in that direction anyway, trusting that it was the way God was leading me to go, and walking in the light that I had.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting! I love comments! You have just made my day! :-)