Today, it was the dog. You see, bulldogs don’t thrive in heat. And, last time I checked, sub-Saharan Africa is hot. We can’t take our Lucy- our beloved dog who brings us heaps of laughter and joy and who is really quite possibly the best dog in the world- with us when we move.
They talk about “counting the cost,” but sometimes it’s just too hard.
I’ve had a number of those “too hard” days lately. Those lump-in-the-throat, what-are-we-even-doing days. Those “okay, Matt, look in my eyes and remind me that Jesus is worth it” days. “Okay, now tell me again. And again.”
I suppose that’s just how it goes when you start to unravel everything you’ve built, done, collected, and possessed. When you look down upon the unraveled threads that lay bare on the ground and you know many, many more are to come.
The other day, it was a conversation at work. “Catherine. You know, you really need to start telling your patients that you’re moving.” “But I don’t want to,” I countered. “I love those people. It’s too hard.”
I made it through two patients, maybe three.
And our stuff. We’re beginning to sell our way-too-many possessions. Right now, it’s the easy stuff. Books, toys, unused home decor. But the harder is coming. Like our house. This home we purchased with every intention to finally, at long last, plant ourselves for good. To stay and to raise our family, to see our kids morph into teenagers in these very rooms.
Who knew our lives were so tightly wound up? Who knew we were so enmeshed to this earth right here? Who knew there was so much tying us down and knitting us tight to a kingdom that simply does not last? I’m now convinced that there’s no way to know until you start unraveling the threads and seeing with you own eyes. Your own heart.
It’s really easy to talk a big talk about this life being finite and how living for eternity is better, but if I’m being real honest…. these beginning days of letting go have been a challenge. And no need to remind me that it’s only going to get harder from here. I’m acutely aware.
But for today, it’s the dog. And my friendships and family and this dang, stupid house that I love more than I should.
Unraveling is hard.
But as I’ve been reminded- and will need to be reminded of many times over- Jesus is better.