Sunday, August 4, 2013

Storing Up Treasure

“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, 'Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!'”  
But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”  
—Luke 12:16-21

There is nothing I crave or love more in this world than my sense of security.

I am a creature of comfort. In this world full of uncertainty and change, I long for something to cling to, somewhere I can set down my roots and know that I am safe.

So for me, there really is no place like home.

After graduation two years ago, I found that adjusting to my new life and new job didn't come easily. Anxiety settled in like a smothering blanket. It was up to me to earn my living. The safety net so conveniently placed beneath me through my school years was gone. No pressure, right?

It took time and some bumps and bruises, but adjustment did come in time. I found Brian, we fell in love, and I settled into the comfort of our dating relationship and the years I thought we had before taking the next step together.

Then, he popped the question. In an instant, our lives changed. The watertight, perfect plans I'd so carefully laid were suddenly up in the air.

Not knowing what else to do, I sat in the bagel shop the next morning and cried.

Don't misunderstand. I was thrilled to be embarking on a lifelong journey with the man who had quickly become my best friend. But our engagement introduced a whole new set of questions and anxieties I had told myself were still years away.

We spent a lot of time in prayer over the next few weeks as we considered our options. Do we wait until Brian's graduation to marry to build a stronger financial future, or marry sooner and end our long-distance relationship?

I could tell he wanted to marry. He told me that while it would be difficult, we could make it work.

My brain stopped at "difficult" and didn't want to hear anything else. I told him we'd be so much happier and more stable if we waited. We set a potential date for 3 years out.

But we were both unhappy. It was the new unspoken elephant in the room.

The truth is that I was afraid to leave home. The transition into adulthood has been less than kind to me, and the thought of leaving my job and my family to begin a new life with Brian in New York was terrifying.

Fear ruled me. And it left me with a hole in my heart for something more.

I was that rich man, hoarding my money and my comfort and my control-freak ways inside the little barn of my life. Too scared to venture out, I shut the door on my vocation in the name of security.

Unsurprisingly, I grew to resent it. I was running away from the beautiful life that God is calling us toward all for the influence of a few "what if"s.

Finally, I cracked and told him of my change of heart. We spent a weekend together praying and talking with our parents and couples we trust.

We emerged at the end of it with a new wedding date that is not too far away. It means I will leave home, my job, my friends, everything I've ever known.

You'd think I'd be melting. But actually, I have more peace and joy in my soul than I have in a very long time.

Together, we made a decision to step out of that barn and give freely to each other what God has given to us.

It's time to take that light once hidden under a basket and let the whole world see its radiance.

I can't wait.

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