Independence Day

The changes continue. And like many things we tend to got our drawers in a bunch about, this particular change has made a very small ripple.

I have been saying for months that I am not ready to get rid of my husband's clothes, especially the ones hanging in the closet. They were the first things I saw when I walked in there, and I NEEDED them to be there. But when my friend across the street mentioned that the pastors in Uganda could certainly use suits and things, I started thinking about it. So I took the suits and sports coats up to church last week. Since I didn't see them in the back of the closet, it was not a big deal. Sunday, I walked out with our campus pastor, and we spoke very briefly about the rest of the clothes and the priority of donation when I was ready. He in no way pressured me; indeed he specifically told me he was *not* rushing me to get rid of my husband's clothes.

Well, I decided to move his clothes around the corner where I wouldn't see them. That was Sunday. On Tuesday, I realized that it had not affected me not even a little bit to not see those shirts and pants (that's a lot of nots, there!). So I packed up three big bags of shirts, slacks, ties and belts and put them in the back of the car.

Wednesday, one of my pastor friends came over and she helped me go through a lot of the church resources in the spare bedroom. Since the things were purchased with church money, they had to be donated to a church to keep me on the right side of the law. She was very happy to take about a third of what was in that room. I have more, too, but most of that is books and it will take me a little longer to go through them because I am keeping all the Bibles and resource materials.

Thursday, I took all the clothes up to the church and dropped them off. And I realized that I had been making it a really big deal and it wasn't. Now, it's just a matter of seeing what all else the church can use for the Ugandan pastors, and then taking what they don't want to my preferred charity, with any left-overs to Purple Heart or something. My friend says they will take underthings, and recycle them. Oh, I may keep some T-shirts and ask my mom to make a pillow or a throw or something with my favorite ones, or maybe I'll wear them myself. To sleep in, most likely, since they are probably too big for me.

I figured that it would be traumatic in some way for me to let go of all of that stuff, and it wasn't. It was pretty painless, really. If I ever want to use any of the teaching tapes or movies or whatnot, all I have to do is ask. It's not as if it's gone forever; it just has a bigger prospective audience now. And that was its purpose when we got it, to enrich the body of Christ. My husband's clothes will go on to help pastors in Uganda look good while speaking of the Father's love for us, and I can't help but think that my husband would approve. And whatever doesn't go to Uganda, will ultimately be used to help the less fortunate in this community.

So as the fireworks are booming in celebration of our freedoms as a country, I'm celebrating my own independence. Giving all of those things away has freed up not only space in my closet and my spare bedroom, but in my soul. I now understand that I am not dependent on things to define who I am or how I feel. I depend upon God, and He tells me pretty clearly how He thinks about me. It's all in the Book.

And that is more than enough for me.

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