It’s just a cabinet.
That’s what I keep telling myself. Just furniture. Just wood and glass and tiny pieces of metal.
It’s just stuff.
But no matter how many times I say it, it still stings.
Yesterday, we sold our first piece of real furniture. We’ve been paring down and selling/donating/trashing our (surprisingly numerous) possessions for months as we get ready to move to Florida, but it’s all been inconspicuous stuff. Papers and glassware and endtables. That kind of thing.
But this cabinet? I love(d) it.
It was one of those little winks from God that says, “I know you.” I’m one of those people who likes to see their stuff, but I also need things arranged neatly. I’ve always wanted glass-front cabinets. Yet I never bought any because—I don’t know if you know this, but—antiques are expensive. So when my friend gave us this beautiful piece that fit perfectly into our home (and lives—I used it as a standing desk for six months), it was truly a thoughtful gift from my heavenly dad.
And if we weren’t getting ready to pack up everything we own in the smallest possible U-Haul and move two thousand miles south, we would have kept it forever.
But we are.
So we can’t.
It’s just not practical. It’s fragile. It’s heavy. It doesn’t actually hold that much stuff. And there are other much more important things that need its spot in the truck. My ten boxes of books, for example.
So away it went. Off to a sweet hipster couple who will probably paint it chalk white and put books in it that they’ll never read.
The reason this is even worth writing about is that it makes the whole “sell everything you own and move to Florida to start a church” thing a hell of a lot more real.
All the stuff we’ve purged up until now is stuff we should have gotten rid of anyway. Random things hidden in closets or mementos of past lives long outgrown.
Letting go of this piece that nestled so sweetly in my heart, this piece that would have become a family heirloom, reminded me that the sacrifices we’re called to make on this grand adventure aren’t superficial. This was just the sale of some boards hammered together—we’re leaving behind a community of family and friends, the fabric of our daughter’s universe, and a history of transformation and salvation.
This cabinet is just furniture. There will be more, even if it’s milk crates for a while (again—ah, college).
But it’s also a reminder that, the old has to go in order to make room for the new; that God promises double restoration to those who suffer in pursuit of his kingdom. It’s a reminder not to be too attached to the things of this world, for they’re passing away. That there’s more to this life and the next than what I think I need to be happy.
It’s just stuff. But it’s more than that, too.