Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two Suitcases

{The first post in a series of...well...I don't know how many...}

*Let it be known, I have had this post sitting in my drafts for quite some time now, attempting to "polish" it. But tonight I realized, this is a post that is not meant to be polished. It is real and raw and extremely honest. Even more so than my usual posts. And the real, raw, honest truth is that I have yet to come to a place where I can express what I am thinking and feeling on this matter. I am still there. But I also feel very passionately that I should share it as is...because all I can do is share my journey, and I always want to share it as it unfolds. And besides, since I prefaced by saying this would be a "series" of sorts, I figure that here (as unpolished as it may be) is a good place to begin. *

2 Suitcases.


100 pounds.

That is all I can take with me.

Well. Two suitcases and Lincoln.

Actually. I am sacrificing my third small carry on suitcase so that Lincoln can come along. Gladly.

I cannot tell you how many times I have repeated this little phrase in my head the past few weeks. It is pulsing through my thoughts in everything that I do.

When I go to Target, when I lay in bed at night looking around my room, even when I get dressed every morning....I am constantly thinking about what will and won't make the cut.

The purge seems overwhelming.

How in the world do I fit everything that's necessary for moving to a foreign country in TWO SUITCASES. And even more than do I make sure that it only weighs 100 pounds!?

But that's the thing. What is "necessary?" What does everything consist of anyways?

Clothes. Shoes. Books. Lincoln things. Teaching materials. Toiletries. Etc.

These are things we tell ourselves are "necessary." That I tell myself are essential.
How can I move to a foreign country with so little? Certainly I will need more than that in starting my new life in a new country....right?

Sadly, this way of thinking I believe is a product of my cultural surroundings and upbringing. Of course I can't help but think this way when I have spent 26 years immersed in a culture where I am never lacking for anything...necessities OR wants. Not only is there a limitless and always accessible supply of life essentials like food and water and shelter, there is also unlimited access to anything I could ever want and almost always there is  a way to get it. And not only have I never been in need of anything, I've also never lacked a place to keep all of it. I have always had roots, a shelter that is mine, a place to keep the things I need and the things I just wanted. And somewhere along the line in this life of mine, I lost track of which things I actually needed, and which ones I just wanted. I also stopped being able to tell the difference and to figure out if I am attached to the things because I actually need them, or simply because they are my things.

And this is why I find myself at this mental/spiritual/emotional roadblock on my journey in moving to Mexico...

Every day when I get dressed, I look in the mirror a little longer. I think about whether or not what I put on is practical for teaching preschool in Mexico and walking to and from school. I consider whether I like it enough to put it on my mental list to make it into one of my suitcases. And then I remind myself once more...


And I go on with my day.

Every night as I lay in bed thinking and reflecting before falling asleep, I mentally scan my bookshelf. Which books have had monumental impact on my life... so much so that I feel they have earned space in my limited baggage? Should I take any at all or just my Nook and a notebook filled with my favorite quotes?

Every time I go to any store and see a new shirt I like or a dish or something for my new home, I run my fingers over it and walk away... unless it is small enough and light enough to fit in between my rolled up clothes when I pack up and move to Mexico.

And I am sad.
For a couple of reasons.
First of all, because I can only take two suitcases to Mexico. My entire life has to fit into that space and I somehow have to determine what's most important to me in the world...what should move forward with me and what I should leave behind. I get sad because I am a sentimental person and I am having to think so practically.
And secondly, because I am this sad about THINGS. That's all they are. Clothes, books, little nicknacks....things that are not essential to life but that I have somehow decided are. Things that sadly have the potential to hold me back, weigh me down, slow my pace, limit my adventures, simply because I am convinced these things are "necessary."

I WANT to just let it all go. Get rid of it all...move forward with two suitcases and leave nothing behind...because somehow I know that will come with so much freedom and a feeling of lightness that can only be known after the letting go....

I am scared though, because I know that letting go of stuff entails letting go of so much more than just stuff. Letting go of my stuff means letting go of control, my plans, my ideas of how things should go.... it means finally going all out and being sold out for the call and cause of Jesus and actually stepping into the life He has been preparing me for. Stuff brings with it the illusion of security and safety and stability. Life with only two suitcases forces me to come face to face with the idea of starting from scratch. I will only have what I could fit in those two bags. And it forces me to finally face the question, "Can this be enough?"

If I move forward with nothing but two suitcases and Lincoln and the call of Jesus on my life, can that be enough...? Will I let that be enough?

In theory I tell myself it will be. I even practice saying it and writing it..."Jesus, You are more than enough for me." Because in the end, if I am really going to live out this faith that I claim to base my life on, it has to be enough.

What if they lose my luggage?

What if I had to leave Lincoln behind?

What if all I have left in this world is Jesus and His call on my life....could that be enough?

Moving to Mexico with only two suitcases is forcing me to face all of those deeper, harder questions.

Moving to Mexico is not at all what I had in mind. Moving to Mexico in less than four months from now is even less so what I had imagined. Moving to Mexico in three months from now with only two bags and my dog....I don't even know how to begin processing that...

I want to do it...I want to let go. I want to not be attached to things and stuff. I want to really, truly believe that Jesus is enough...feel it in the deepest parts of me and really live it out. I am not there.
I don't know when I will be....
But I have this feeling that as I daily face the question and the packing task at hand, and as I continue to figure out how to condense my life into two suitcases, I am going to go a little deeper and find a few more answers to some really important questions of life and faith and be a little bit closer to Jesus and His heart in the end.

Would you pray with me as I walk this part of my journey? Pray that I would learn daily to let go. Pray that I would understand more with each passing moment that Jesus always has been and always will be more than enough. Pray more than anything that He will be more than enough for me and that my life will be lived and led by a deep passion to serve Him and love Him and obey Him at all costs.

And please share your stories! I am so encouraged by the faith and passion of others to live out their salvation and their love for Christ! What a blessing it would be for me to see how this has played out in your lives!

And you know what...maybe you aren't moving to Mexico or to Africa or even to another house down the street. But it's a question we all need to face at some point and we all need to dig down deep and find a way to answer it.

You get two suitcases. 


100 Pounds. 

And Jesus. 

Is that enough? Will you let that be enough?

1 comment:

  1. You are so lucky you get to take your dog. I had to leave ours behind. Ask about what is on the other side - can you buy basic clothes, school supplies, shampoo, etc? Leave all of the replaceable things behind but take a bar of your favorite chocolate or nuts or notebook. Little by little you'll get other things to replace what you left here. Leave the things that don't fit in a place where others can access them: if someone is coming your way, have them pack a favorite pair of trousers or a scarf or a set of artist paints (or whatever!) in their suitcase and be delighted to see them - the people and the little comfort item - again. Have fun. It's a grand adventure