In three short days, my husband, Scott, and I will be selling our ocean-view condo in Margate, South Jersey. It was something we had talked about for a while, and now our hopes in officially and entirely owning an actual piece of land, closer to family and civilization (Oh, and coincidently including a massive home in desperate need of TLC) is finally coming to fruition.
While Scott is more than ready to be packing up and trading the beach view for a garage and a lot of grass, while saving money on useless overpriced association fees; my feelings in letting go of my little piece of heaven on earth are not quite as enthusiastic. Yet still, I know in my heart that this is the time to do just that.
I have been preparing for this for several months, now. I’ve anticipated this bittersweet exchange in needing to let go before moving on to a “new” chapter in my life. We will soon be homeowners with bedrooms to spare. We will soon be hosting holiday dinners, landscaping, and hopefully opening our doors to family and friends seeking a place of refuge. My heart trusts that God will bring blessings and beautiful opportunities to our front door. And I feel good about this.
However, it has taken several years for me to come to terms with this exchange. I learned the hard way that perhaps it was no longer meant for me to be enslaved by work stress in the required capacity that would offer this “extra” piece of something to our material possessions. It’s funny how we fight so hard against letting go, giving up, or admitting “it’s just too much for me, anymore”. I have a feeling you can relate. I don’t know about you, but I was so afraid to let go. I couldn’t see beyond my circumstances, and it was not until I was physically ill to the point of bed-rest, that I surrendered my faith to just let go and allow God to redirect me to a new chapter, and possibly a better place. And I am so grateful that I was humbled in doing so.
Nevertheless, saying goodbye to my beach-view haven still brings upon a flood of melancholy and nostalgic emotions. It so happens, that this condo (along with the overpriced association fees) had more than just an ocean-view. During the 13 years that I owned it I experienced the most unsettling yet astonishing life-experiences during my 41 years of life.
- It was here that I mourned the fatality of my first marriage.
- It was here that I experienced abandonment, solitude, loneliness, and depression.
- It was here that I sought refuge and searched for meaning and answers in my life.
- It was here that I discovered the ultimate and personal relationship with a God who loves me!
- It was here that I had built beautiful memories with family and friends…. from sipping coffee during the sunrise, to biking on the boardwalk, to gazing at stars over the beach.
- It was here that by God’s grace, I met my 2nd husband, the love of my life.
- It was here that I would come to terms with painful realities such as not being well enough to maintain an amazing career opportunity to accepting that I may not ever conceive the child I had always longed for.
- It was here that I could turn the busy, chaotic, confusion of the world and lay still and feel an overwhelming sense of peace and joy.
- It was here that my husband and I experienced our first (and probably only) winter on a beach.
- It was here that I truly experienced God’s presence…in the beauty of the ocean waters, the comfort of a gentle sea-breeze, the spectacle of glistening waters during sunrise, the sound of crashing waves, seagulls, and laughter; the smell of the salt air, and that contagious feeling of joy upon people watching…moms with strollers, dogs on leashes, kids with kites, couples on boats, teenagers on bicycles and everyone eating ice-cream cones.
Oh, it is not easy to close this chapter. And only God knows what the next one will really be like. But, my heart chooses to pack up and bring along these beautiful memories and have the faith in the same God that provided this little piece of heaven on earth with more blessings to come. I have that faith. And, I am ready for this bittersweet exchange.
Is it time for you to make a similar exchange? Is there something in your life that you can trade in or modify in order to move towards a new chapter? It’s never too late for a change. Ask God to give you the time to reflect, and more importantly the wisdom and courage to stay put or perhaps move on.