Have you ever noticed that we often glamorize things that we once had or don’t currently have access to anymore? Maybe you don’t do this, but I certainly do.
I was reminded of this the other day when I was missing several “things” from my life in St. Louis. As you may or may not know, to come to Ecuador for the year, I either got rid of my “things” or put them in storage. (With the exception of my dog, Hannah, she is on a temporary, extended vacation.) The transition from St. Louis to Ecuador has come to mean that the “things” that I had previously clung onto to help identify myself are currently not a part of my identity. Let me tell you . . . this is an uncomfortable feeling. Not necessarily bad, but uneasy. I know that many of us know that we should not let our “things” identify us. But for me, I don’t know if it is possible not to do this to some extent.
With that being said, the other day I was missing the ease of my “one month ago” life. I started to think back to different components of my life at that point and they all seemed absolutely wonderful. Of course they did, right? But you know what? There was challenge and struggle then too . . . even if it didn’t seem like it as I reflected. Please understand that I am not saying that it was tremendously difficult . . . by no means! However, as I continue to reflect on my life in St. Louis I am able to see that my “things” aren’t what I want to identify me. Even though I often let them – and at times, feel like I want them to – that is not the core of who I am. At least, I don’t want it to be.
For me, I want to be firmly grounded with my faith in Christ and let everything else unfold from there. But, this is so hard for me because other things constantly draw me in. Unfortunately for me, it is too simple to avoid God and miss what He is trying to say because I have other “exciting” things happening in my life. However, now I am noticing that while I am currently not fully at ease without my “things,” I am also able to see the core of who I am a bit more clearly. I am beginning to get a clearer glimpse of my heart without the fog of other “things” in my life. I don’t know exactly what this means for my future, but I hope to continue to have more clarity within myself as the days, weeks, and months go on.
Let me mention one more thing that might tie some of my thinking together – before you think I’ve totally lost it. 🙂 Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit an amazing cathedral in Quito. I saw the church from a distance during my first-week bus tour and was interested to experience the church in closer proximity, even though I didn’t really know what to expect. Maybe I didn’t expect much. I know it is going to sound like I am over-selling the cathedral, but I honestly don’t think I am. The cathedral was gorgeous. It was peaceful and beautiful inside. I loved the sense of tranquility that was present within me and others during the visit. My time at the cathedral let me remember the desire I have to be fully grounded in Christ and that my heart doesn’t want my “things” to identify me.