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Making Room for Great

I stood looking at this carefully curated metal box of treasures.  Each item inspired or had meaning to him...otherwise it wouldn't be in the box.  You see, if it didn't fit in the box, it was given away...because that's how minimalists work.

As he went through the box, he would lay a couple things to the side and remark, "I should give that away to someone".

I'm not sure what won my affection for this box...the actual pieces of inspiration, or the idea of this box.  If it doesn't fit in the box, he gives it or throws it away.

It reminded me of something my mom told us sooo many times, "Get rid of what you don't want, to make room for what you do."  At the time, I took it as the pair of shoes or the skirt that no longer fit.  How could I know she was talking about her version of a metal box?

You see, for the past few months, I've been holding onto things...not shoes or skirts, but ideas, dreams that have long since come and gone, my version of how a story should end, and even a relationship or two.  Some of them were good...but they no longer fit into my life box.  I kept trying to rearrange the different pieces in my life to see how I could make it all fit...but honestly, it just didn't.  I pushed so hard that I started breaking these different dreams and a specific friendship in order to make it fit.

About a month ago, I finally said to myself, "What if you're holding onto 'good enough' so there's no room for 'great'"?  I shushed myself and said I was ridiculous.  But it kept coming back.  What would life be like if I let go of something I really cared about, but knew was just taking up space in my mind and heart...to make room for something real?

Both 'good' baggage and 'bad' baggage have something in common...they're both baggage.  I was holding onto both.  I was holding onto the opinions of myself, my worth because someone a while ago decided my values were dumb.  According to him, I was "too much" of this and "not enough" of that.  I was holding onto a relationship that had started so good...and ended okay...but it wasn't mine to carry anymore and I was trying to.

What if I let go of good to make room for great?

I was sitting at a fireplace recently in Arizona, when this friend of mine shared an experience of letting go and he said, "I could literally go back to that seat in the airport and point to where my baggage would be because I left it there that day." That stuck with me...and a little bit later I said, "Maybe this fireplace, right here, will be where I leave my baggage." I remember just staring ahead and for a moment, I let both the good and bad play out and I thought, I want to leave it here.  Just let it go...right here.

That next morning, I went back to this very spot and I sat down and I prayed...because I knew I didn't have it in me to let it go...but I knew He could take it.  So as I sat there, I let go of this baggage that was taking up so much space in my heart and I felt like I breathed deeper than I had in quite some time.

The truth is, since that day, I've tried to pick it back up...it came in the form of a phone call...and then an Instagram picture.  I surprised myself with how quickly I was running to pick it all back up, and then I remembered the fireplace where my baggage was left...because I'm on this quest to learn what it means to love well.  And in order to love well, I need to let go of the good to make room for the great.

I want to give a proper shoutout to my friend, Ashley who took "my fireplace" :) picture while we were in Arizona...you can see her work (here).  Her work is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth checking out!! Thanks so much Ashley!!


Beverly Huber said...

You have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts with words! I really enjoyed reading this, and I believe we all have some baggage that in our humanness we may like to pick up from time to time. May we all be reminded to leave at the feet of Jesus, and He will faithfully carry us through.

leah said...

this is beautifully written tam. thankful for the obvious work that God is doing in your heart and life as you make room for GREAT! love you and miss you...do i get to see you this weekend??

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