This morning I sorted through a couple of file holders that have sat on my desk for the past 5 years. I threw out stacks of papers--old syllabi from master's classes, notes from conferences--the kind of stuff that hoarders hang on to until they are forced to give it up.
Cards and notes from my daughters went back in the file. They are too precious to throw.
Sorting is my life right now. Clothes, books, dishes, personal care items...you name it. I'm sorting it. Keep? Give? Sell? Take? The questions keep coming. They tire my brain. Every day something in my house is sorted. My bedroom has a pile of bedding to sell. I've given away another half the pile. Three grocery sacks sit in my hallway full of hats, scarves and mittens ready to go to a village for some child to use next winter.
This isn't the first time I've done this. In fact, this is the 8th time in 11 years that I've sorted, packed, sold and given away my household goods to prepare for a move. I think about several of my siblings who have lived in the same house for years--actually raising their kids in one home and still living there. The idea is novel to me--and inviting.
Over the past few months I've done a few different types of temperament tests--DISC, Meyers-Briggs and others. These are not all-knowing, perfect tests, but they do give an idea of who I am. They are tools to help me understand myself and how I relate to the world around me. I've learned I'm not a person who likes change. I crave stablity.
At one point early in ministry I told Andy that I didn't want to be a pastor's wife that moved all the time. Couldn't we settle into a pastorate and stay there? Then God called me to missions, and I answered. God took me away from a life of stability to help me grow. He moves me beyond my comfort zone to stretch and strengthen me. When we do strength training for our muscles we push the muscle fibers to limits to break them. The muscle then becomes stronger. God is stretching me and making me stronger.
I've learned a lot in the past eleven years of moves. I know that He is my source. He is faithful. He is sufficient. He is enough. It isn't about my house or the things in it. It isn't about my sense of comfort or my sense of stability but knowing that "His grace is sufficient for me because His power is made perfect in my weakness."
As I sort through the things that have been part of our lives since moving to Moldova, I'm thankful for God's sufficiency. I'm thankful that He has been my stability in a life of instability. And I'm thankful that He sees me through.