“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.