Dec 08, 2020 • Written by Nicki Behnke
Downsizing to a New Way
I am in the process of getting rid of roughly half of what I own.
Half of our furniture has been sold. Half of the kid’s toys have been given away. Our storage bins of household decor have been trimmed down to one. I’ve let go of old letters, broken Barbie dolls from my childhood, and my bulky assortment of bridesmaid dresses tucked in the back corner of my closet.
I’ve laughed in the process, reminisced, and even shed a tear or two along the way. I have always claimed that “things” do not define me- that I am not attached and they don’t play a defining role in my happiness. That mindset works until the spot where the trampoline sat for summers on end is now an empty space in the back corner of the yard, or that hand-built family piece pulls away in the back of a truck.
When push comes to shove, maybe there is more to this attachment of things than I am willing to admit. Perhaps the grip I have had on things has only tightened over the years.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things, do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert streams in the wasteland.”
God has called our family to a unique season of ministry in Clarkston, Georgia where we will be working with refugee youth. Along with this calling has come the opportunity to downsize from our 2,200 plus square foot house to an apartment half that size just outside of Atlanta.
Knowing that God has called us to something new is the only way letting go of what we have here has felt possible.
While God may not be calling you to downsize your things, He may be asking you to re-evaluate your heart as this year has continued on at an unfamiliar pace. What have you allowed in during 2020?....Fear? Bitterness? Anger? Resentment? A loss of purpose? A lack of joy? Exhaustion?
What have you allowed in that has brought life this year? A slower schedule? Moments of quiet? Renewed family relationships? A deepening with Jesus? Home cooked meals? A longing for community?
Life right now may feel more like a desert, but I’d challenge you to look around and recognize the streams of fresh water God has placed around you. This next season of life will present a chance to re-evaluate the past and all that we have collected. We can choose to let go of some of the things that have slipped in and started to define us and clutter our lives. We can downsize- pulling out all the extra to reveal the good.