If I look hard, I realize that out of the terrible things that have happened to me—the heartbreak, the seemingly unending losses, that something good had come of it for me. When I found myself on my knees, I realized that was where I needed to be. I needed to pray; I needed God in my life. I saw how little control I have over what unfolds in this earthly life and the only solution is for me to build a stronger relationship with God.
For years I have been on a crooked path, but a path that leads me to Him. Today I prayed, “Draw me closer to you. Show me how to live ever closer to your heart.” I prayed to stay on the mountain, for Him to show me how to live in this crazy broken world without losing the sense of being in God’s presence. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me every minute of every day. And as I sat in silence, trying to just feel the Lord's presence, a word floated through my consciousness. I dismissed it. It came back again—detach. And so, detachment it is.
With detachment, come both certainties and questions. I know that to detach means truly forgiving past hurts. (Period—end of sentence.) I know that I have to detach from petty earthly longings like status and beauty and accomplishment. What it means about possessions I need to figure out. I like trinkets—my little collection of Mexican pottery, vintage Indian sari quilts, and those luscious pieces of Native American silver jewelry. I like cashmere and linen and Eileen Fisher clothes. (In defense of myself, I should point out that most of these things have been bought at thrift stores. But feeling defensive also means I have a certain amount of guilt for wanting them and a certain amount of attachment to the trinkets.) Do I thank God for those things and appreciate their beauty, or do I go all Mother Teresa and give them to the poor? I don’t know.
All I do know is that in order to draw closer to God, I need to surrender any illusion that I control my life. He is telling me that I need to detach from earthly things. What that detachment looks like will evolve over time. I’m looking at everything, looking hard. Something good will come of it.