“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:19-21
I’ve felt the tug on my heart to write a longer post for awhile now, yet I’ve been stuck. And since our lives have been massively turned upside down once again, I need a place to not only process what we are going through, but maybe help another while doing so.
Have you ever thought about what your life would be like without “stuff”? It’s pretty difficult to imagine not owning much of anything, until you are truly without it. Most people have an attachment of some kind to at least one thing they own. Can you picture losing nearly everything you have collected over the years to a fire? Or having to flee a war? So it has been, walking this journey with environmental illness. We have been fleeing our own war. And the casualties have been not only our health, but our belongings and home, for a second time.
Our family has been very sick, each member with varying symptoms, but our youngest has suffered the most, lately. After having taken her to just about every specialist known to mankind, visited the emergency room numerous times, had scans, X-rays, MRIs, blood tests and allergy tests done, we realized the environment we were living in was making us ill. We had to leave our home in Alaska in search of cleaner air and a healthier living environment. So, we are on the hunt. It may seem most ridiculous to the average person-chasing clean air, but for us and many others out there suffering from CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, aka Mold Biotoxin Illness) and environmental illness, it’s all too real. Not everyone can tolerate what our toxic planet has become.
And that brings me back to the loss. Because of where we resided and the treacherous weather on the way, the direness of our family’s health, along with other trials that ensued at the last minute, we had to walk away from everything we owned except a small carload. The loss didn’t really hit me until the last couple of days as we sat in our hotel room-days where I’ve tried to remind myself that when we die, we take nothing with us. For our treasures are stored up in heaven. And so that is how I’m trying to approach and deal with these losses, the second time around.
As I question where we will land, I can choose to stress and worry, or make the decision to trust that God will care for all of our needs. And as a brother in Christ reminded me in his blog, I can look at these fiery trials despairingly or as opportunities and lessons God is using to strengthen my faith by teaching us to rely on him more fully. This made me think of a line in Jeremy Camp’s song, “Out of My Hands”, that says “Knowing I can trust You is a treasure.” He is my treasure-not a house, not material possessions, not “stuff”. My treasure is not of this world, because I’m not of this world. The Lord is where my heart will be.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2
**For those of you interested in learning more about Mold Biotoxin Illness/CIRS, I highly recommend the Moldy documentary suggested by our functional medicine doctor. It can be watched for free below. It will open your eyes to a whole new world of chronic illness and suffering. Some of you may finally begin to understand the real cause of your unexplained health issues.
5 thoughts on “Hanging onto Letting Go”
Sister Aimee the trials that you are going through are far beyond what I was thinking of when I wrote my post. My heart truly goes out to you and your family in these desperate days. Be assured of my prayers for you. I am in complete awe of your faith in your circumstances dear sister.
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Thank you, Alan. I SO appreciate your reply and prayers for our family! And thank you for acknowledging what we are going through. Sometimes it can be a lonely road. God is strengthening my faith and I can’t take credit for that. ☺️ God bless!
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“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. -Isaiah 43:2”
I love that the promise (in my favourite passage of scripture) here is for God to walk with us through those trials…we will not be alone
Yes, dear brother Alan writes such uplifting posts! he is a dear brother in Christ, indeed and, thanks to WordPress, one of my now dearest friends!
if it helps, i can identify well with one part of your story.
we prayed for God to teach us faith, which ended up with us selling the home we owned, and living in a caravan for around 6 months with 2 small children (one in nappies and the other potty training!). and, when i say caravan I mean the sort you tow behind your car in the UK…ie it’s not very big!!
but that led us to pursuing our tiny internet business into a high street shop, which ultimately was forced to close despite being profitable, all because of a recession and the majority of banks pulling finance for small businesses…even profitable ones both making money, and growing despite the recession, like ours was
we’ve never owned a house since, and have been renting ever since.
but i definitely recognise sitting in a hotel room wondering about tomorrow: we had sold our home, and put everything in storage, or had given it away. we had a car and no caravan (we had to wait for the money from the house sale) so the first day of our new life was spent in a cheap hotel room, with just a few suitcases and some DVDs…and plenty of fear at what we’d just done and could not undo. but that is the very definition of faith as a Christian
Meanwhile Jo was developing a super bad chill (from being in the storage unit, most of the day hot and sweaty and with there being no heating) and I was wondering if I needed to get her to a hospital because she was shaking so badly…a friend prayed over the phone and God miraculously brought her shaking and sweating down to normal.
God went on to do some amazing things with my little family and, while I can’t comprehend the particular health struggles or reason for your leaving, our very first 2 week holiday apartment (paid for until we could source and buy a caravan) had really bad mould and damp…as an asthmatic we had to make our apologies and quickly leave, with a very angry holiday home owner threatening us with all sorts of things
not a great start. and yet, God has NEVER failed us…not ever, not even for a moment…worth stating this for myself too!
we’re now more than a decade on from that business growing and being killed off, and that amazing caravan experience. we’ve finished paying off all the debt that came out of that business being forced to close (a total miracle and impossible with Jesus by our side!).
and we’re now in our 6th home in a row that we could not, and should not, have been able to live in either because of a lack of money, or competition drowning out our need for a home
i’m simply saying that God has got this…it’s scary, but I can say God has got this for you because it is not in His nature to fail us! what that provision looks like probably won’t be what you think or would prefer however. but the promise still stands
I say this not as some pithy, Christian sentiment, to make you feel good. but because it is true and I am still living a life, in some ways running away – from some very nasty family members on both side of our families – so I do get quite a bit of what you’re feeling and speaking of.
Alan can attest to some of my story, as he knows quite a bit of it
Blessings to you and your family
With God at the centre you’ll have some scary times, and some times you’ll then be able to share with others that speak of God’s goodness and provision when there was none.
Hope this longer reply helps you, in your longer post 🙂
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Thank you, Andy, for taking the time to write all of this and sharing what your family has gone through. It’s encouraging to know how God has used your family and to know we are not alone. God bless!
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You’re very welcome.
Glad our story might help someone else
You are very much not alone
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