I’m good at keeping stuff in boxes.
Good at squishing and cramming things in flimsy cardboard rectangles that get shoved into cement storage units housed on some street you can’t pronounce.
We’re all trying to live in the moment, right? So I quickly pack the boxes and rush on to stay up with the pace of life. Life, I’m here! Don’t let me miss anything, OK!
But when I keep shoving that pain in boxes, moving it around from one place to the next, pushing it under my bed and into the corners of the closet where dust sleeps in think layers and sun’s rays don’t spy… I create a mountain.
It’s Mount St. Helens, more or less. Building layers upon layers upon layers…
At one point, the pressure is going to blow the top. All those boxes, so expertly avoided, will need to be unpacked.
It won’t knock nicely on your door. More like cracking open a can of soda that someone shook up without you knowing, an acidic geyser gushing in your face.
This last week, every material thing from my life -and also my mom’s life, my dad’s life and their parents’ things that they saved- was placed in one room.
The JOY of moving into a new home -my first place on my own- was still strong, but the view overlooking my beautiful city was a little hard to make out over the tops of all those stinkin’ boxes.
People have been so gracious to help me unpack. I appreciate their offers more than they will ever know. But in the end, it comes down to me having to finally deal with my stuff.
Deal with my stuff.
Get in the past. Hold objects that have somehow become embedded with memories. Tell myself that my parents aren’t in an old clock or a Christmas ornament, even a photo or old yearbook.
It’s just stuff. Stuff that we cart around our whole lives.
And we can’t take it with us when we’re called to heaven. None of it will matter and yet, it’s so hard to let go sometimes.
Because all I want to do is shove. Ignore the past. Keeping moving forward and get back to it some other time.
That time is now, though. I couldn’t keep running forever.
But there is an after this. It will come. I know it. But I need to unpack after all these years. No one else can do it for me.
It’s time to own up. it’s time to let it pour out. To hold and toss and lift up my hands and ask “Why, Lord? Why?”
Time to release. To release myself from the boxes. To grow and learn that He’s got me covered. That none of the material will ever represent the love and grace He has for me.