Reflections on Abiding

On August 15th the moving van rolled up and everything I owned went from one duplex to a (new-to-me) house (okay, to be technical I had moved some small things myself before the big day). But as I started to unpack and to recreate my home I realized that even in the last year I had changed so fundamentally that I didn’t want to decorate the same old way.

I must admit that I own a lot of stuff. Stuff that has slowly been going into boxes in closets over the last few years. Stuff that lost its importance to me as I became “ME.” As I became comfortable in my skin, I no longer needed so much stuff. As I began to love me and stand up for me, I was no longer defined by what I owned, but by who I was, specifically who I was in Christ. I’m not defined by owning hundreds of Precious Moments (yes, I do own that many) but by the fact that I have a Savior that loves me and defines me. I’m not broken when I abide in Him.

As I unwrapped pictures today I realized that it was time to put away the pictures of my husband. He has been dead 5 years last week and I have finally said all my good-byes. Would you believe I even carried a Precious Moments Bible with our names engraved in it down the aisle? Well, I did. And it was time to let go. Of it all.  It was also time to put away pictures of me when I was beautiful. I am beautiful in His eyes and I don’t need a picture on my mantle of me. I need pictures of people I love, not of myself. I have nothing to prove any longer.

I didn’t hang all my decorative plates up in the kitchen or dining room. Somehow I didn’t want or need to. I don’t need to be surrounded by things to be at home. I am at home. Where I am – with God’s blessing and direction – is home. Home is not defined by the things I own, but by God and me.

I did hang a few pictures. I mean I do want feng shui. I want my surroundings to be aesthetically pleasing. But there is a lot of wall left. There are tons of pictures in the closet. I don’t need them. They don’t define me.

As I said earlier, Joe died 5 years ago. I still cry sometimes when I think of him. I even talked to him today and assured him that even though I was putting away his pictures, our marriage led to many of the good things in my life. The last five years have been the best years of my life. I deepened my relationship with Jesus. I went to school and got my degree. I got clean. I began to be emotionally healthy. God is a healer if you will abide in Him. He has healed me in so many ways. And now, I finally have come home. I have come full-circle (I hate to say that because it sounds like it’s finished and growth is never finifh, but in some ways I have come full-circle). The song, Abide With Me gave me comfort when Joe died. Now it just teaches me how to live. Abide. Home. Jesus. Love.

About michellerap

Today I find my identity in God. I use to find my identity in externals, like motherhood, being a lawyer, etc. But that's not who I am. I am redeemed and wholly loved and precious in His sight. First and foremost, this is who I am. The other things are part of me, but they do not define me. God does. My job as a Christian is not to judge people but to show them the heart and hands of Christ. I am to show mercy and grace. And someday, when I am an attorney, I hope I can help those God puts in my path to find justice. I am a mother of four and a grandmother of nine. I am proud of each of them. I also have three dogs. I am lawyer who loves what I do. I am also Gluten-Free and any recipe I publish is GF. It's the only way I cook.
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2 Responses to Reflections on Abiding

  1. Nancy says:

    our scripture reading this morning was John 15….abiding in the vine….there is no life when we are separated from the vine whose roots are carrying the life-sustaining flow of water and nutrients.

    what a life-changing time these past 5 years must have been.

  2. torybabe44 says:

    Very nice Michelle. My husband has been gone 8 years and my dad 6. Hard to believe and it hurts a lot sometimes. So blessed to be a child of the King. Only way to survive this hard world.

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