Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goodbye to the blue chair

Today I said goodbye to a little corner of my apartment that has been a very special place to me for the last nearly 4 years.

The corner with the blue chair...

As I was packing up my things this week and reflecting on what has happened in my life over the last few years, my eyes focused in on that chair. It isn't fancy, or lovely or any work of craftsmanship. It is just an old chair that belongs to my landlord.

But as I stared at that old chair, I was struck by the number of moments contained in a single piece of furniture. That chair has served as my quiet place of refuge.

The chair is a reminder of the journey I've been on with the Lord. The first year in my apartment I cried in that chair on numerous occasions- so overwhelmed and at times wondering, "Lord, what am I doing here?? I want to go home!"

I would fall into that chair upon returning from a trip to the US, call my parents and cry on their distant shoulders, aching with homesickness and wondering if I should have just stayed.

In that chair I have laughed in the company of dear friends as we have chatted about life and love and Jesus.

I have shared my heart from that chair as Bible studies have gathered in my home, or as adoptive families have passed through Kiev and stayed a night or two.

In that chair I have read and prayed and developed a deeper love for God's word. I have also been confused, and perplexed, and challenged. I have asked God many questions from that chair. Pages upon pages in my journal have been scribbled as I've sat with my morning coffee balanced on the arm, cuddled up in a blanket and my feet pressed up against the radiator.

I know it is just a piece of furniture, but I had this tinge of sadness as I walked out of the room today for the last time and glanced at the bright blue chair, now devoid of the welcoming red pillow and fuzzy blanket. I felt silly for being sad, but I think what I realized in that moment was that I was closing the chapter on this little part of my Kiev life and stepping into something new-- and that's a little scary. In some respects it would be easier to just stay curled up in my blue chair, because it is safe there- it has become comfortable and familiar.

But in that moment of being tempted to stay, I was reminded of a section of Isaiah that reads :

“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert...yes, I will make springs in the desert, so that my chosen people can be refreshed." Isaiah 43: 18-20 (NLT)

Yes, God is doing a new thing. I can see that. Letting go of the blue chair is just a tiny tiny step of faith in that direction. Because in reality, a relationship with the Lord can't ever be confined to the corner of any room.

Isn't my moving helper pretty cute?


Natasha said...

Good bye blue furniture and Karen's appartment! We had really enjoyed it for a lot longer to a few days! Thank you so much again, Karen, for letting us stay with you - I had a wonderful time spending time with you! Just can't believe there won't be any more 5 flights of stairs anymore, next time I come! And those blue couches and the chair were VERY comfy, too! Love you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way with goodbyes -I am a very sentimental person. I resigned from my teaching job to spend more time with the kids next year, and three of the kids are changing schools next year, so we have a lot of transitions ahead as well. As I pray for our family and the changes, I will be prompted to pray for you and the changes ahead of you. I'm excited for a new adventure for you in England! It sounds like an amazing opportunity, and I'm glad you're taking advantage of it. We'll be anxious to hear how things go! Blessings!

Heidi and Felix said...

Is it a bad thing to pray for an apartment on the 2nd or maybe 3rd floor? :-)

Just kidding! We so much appreciate your hosptitality over the years!

Твоя Ленка said...

Я благодарна Богу, что у меня была возможность провести с тобой целых 2 года! Видеть тебя в этом кресле и получать некоторое воспитание и примеры от тебя! Я благодарна тебе больше, чем ты знаеш!
Люблю тебя!

Anonymous said...

Я благодарна Богу, что у меня была возможность провести с тобой целых 2 года! Видеть тебя в этом кресле и получать некоторое воспитание и примеры от тебя! Я благодарна тебе больше, чем ты знаеш!
Люблю тебя!

Таоя Ленка

Anonymous said...

В каждый период жизни у тебя будет новое прекрасное кресло! И каждое будет особенным! Бог уже нашол тебе новое! ))))