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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

Of course I have earthly treasures – like stuff, possessions, tangible things. We all do. It’s our nature.

But when I read this verse, I immediately thought of Clay, my husband.

Right now he’s on a trip to the Congo for two weeks. Part of his time there will be spent with our Bel Air missions team, and after they leave he will spend some time investing in the leaders there, establishing further and building up that partnership God has set up.

When we first got married it was especially difficult to leave this man – or rather, to have him leave me – for such a long time {I know, I know, it could be longer, he could be in the military, etc. etc. but it’s long for me! It’s funny I used to be so independent and live alone and all was well, but after you get married how everything changes…} It was not only the time we would be apart, but also the “where” of where he was going: to remote villages, to places where people don’t necessarily welcome Americans, much less Christian ones…

And here we are a little over a year later, and I won’t lie – it’s still difficult. I love this man. He is truly my treasure. And yet God is working in my heart to transform my mind and shift my perspective to that of eternity and not my today, my here and now, this morning where I sit and type in the emptiness and quiet of our home without my best friend here. And so in that it is getting a little easier.

Yes there are still spotty connections when we are able to talk and times when I wish I wasn’t left to navigate through things without him, but I can feel this “heart shift” happening. This heart shift that tells me that all our lives are a mere missions trip until we get to our true home in Heaven. This heart shift that tells me that until I get there, I am to hold everything with open hands that God use it all – even my treasured husband, nay, especially my treasured husband – for His Kingdom purposes and for His eternal glory.

It’s a scary thing to feel. It’s a scary thing to be learning. It’s an even scarier thing to write.

As a writer, I feel such power in putting words to paper {or fingers to keyboard}. Like there is some permanence to my words, accountability to my thoughts… I have heard more stories than I would have liked to thus far about young wives losing their husbands to global missions. I want to plug my ears and yell “la la la. I can’t hear you!” when someone starts to tell me of one.

And yet…

With God there is always a yet. I am so grateful for that yet. The yet here is that while it may be scary to hold Clay with open hands, the assured Truth is that in God’s hands is a much better place for him to be. A much more effective place for him to be. A much safer place for Him to be. In the hands of His Maker, in the hands of His Creator, in the hands of the Author of not only his story, and mine, but of all of time.

And so this time that he is away? I try to view it from a broader perspective – from that of an eternal mindset. And a funny thing happens when I do: God takes me on a head to heart journey and allows me to take that treasure in my heart, Clay, {along with all the other way more superficial ones}, and lift him up to God. He allows me to surrender my most treasured gift that He has given me right back up to Him. And in the process He fills my heart with an indescribable peace. That “peace so unexplainable I can hardly think.”

In the verses leading up to this one in Matthew, Jesus instructs us to not store up for ourselves treasures on this earth where moths and rust and thieves and dust will destroy, but instead to store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven. Huh. To store up we must give up. To store up we must let go. To store up we must give away our treasures to God.

It seems counterintuitive to everything the world tells us. And yet {there’s that yet again}, the Gospel is such that even when it makes no sense at all, it makes the most sense. It’s like that “uncertain certainty” Henri Nouwen talks about – of how when you follow Jesus it’s the scariest but most assured thing you can do, that there’s a certain certainty in the uncertainty of it all, never knowing where He will take you, how He will call you, but knowing He will carry you through it.

He’s called Clay to this position of global outreach. He’s call me to be Clay’s wife – and to write {a book – the reason I haven’t posted in a while!}, and to accompany him on trips if and when I can, and to pray for him and to hold down the fort when I can’t, and to do so many more things. But of all of them, the most important one I can do is this: surrender. Lift up. Offer up. Let go.

And He will carry me. He will carry Clay.

And so I do. I try to. I remind myself to. Ask Jesus to convince me to even when everything in me wants to tell Clay to quit this job and stay home with me in the safety and comfort of our lives here. I don’t do it ’cause it’s easy. I don’t even do it ’cause I want to – and there are plenty of times I don’t. I do it ’cause it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s the only thing to do.

Because even when it takes some reminding myself of this Truth, this Truth remains: that our lives are an offering to God, we are mere characters in the epic story He is writing {and has been long before we got here and will be long after we leave}, and we can’t take anything here with us when we go – including husbands, most treasured possessions, and that He will hold so much safer these treasures than we ever could in our small and weak hands, no matter how tightly we may grasp to hold them.

The lyrics from Will Reagan’s song play through the corners of my mind – filling the spaces of doubt and fear and sadness and longing with this Truth; with this call:

“I give it all to you, God, trusting that You’ll make something beautiful out of me.”

Out of me. And Clay. And our lives.

And our jobs. And our time together. And our time apart.

And all our stuff. And our home. And our cars. And our ministry.

All of it.

And so, I strive each day to make true of my life and of my deepest love for this most treasured gift that is my husband, as scary as it may feel, the title of this song:

“There’s nothing I hold onto.”

For my treasure – my true treasure, my ultimate treasure, my lasting treasure – is in Heaven. And it is there my heart will be also.

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