There’s a fine line between interest and obsession. I might have crossed it when it came to furniture in Chengdu (part one here).
Thankfully, The Divine also has a divine sense of humor, timing, and ability to teach. Have seeds, teach a lesson. Heal a man, talk about the deeper meaning. Take an interest obsession and show that idols can come in any form. Some you sit on.
I knew I was on the fast track to miserable-ville if I didn’t give up the desire to control and have the kind furniture I wanted. And so I did. Even though I had written about it to friends, families, and wider audiences asking for prayer, LOTS of prayer for the furniture, I had to come to a point of acceptance. It was slow, but I did.
Can you see then how sweet, how wonderful, how kind and generous and over flowing with furniture love I was when I became the owner of the most perfect Amy couch on the planet. I shared my rejoicing as far and wide as I’d shared my need and the people rejoiced.
The couch wasn’t just a couch. She was a daily reminder of answered prayer, of being given a fish instead of a stone, of being provided for in spite of an obsession.
But the years have gone by and like the Velveteen Rabbit, she has been rubbed real. I’ve mentioned back and neck problems before. The truth is that good furniture is probably more important for my back health than I wish. I’ve known for several years I need a new couch. I’m cheap, but more than that, how does one turn her back on the Prince Charming of Seating?
In the parables, we only hear the first part, the object lesson. What happens when the next crop doesn’t have the same result? Or the man who was healed falls and breaks his ankle? What happens when an answered prayer becomes old wine skin?
A friend left town and offered to give me her couch. Being in better shape than mine and a color that goes with current decorating, I accepted. When my friend was able to make the switch I already had plans (and really I’m a coward, I know her time was over, but I couldn’t face her leaving, my couch that is).
Street furniture is fairly common in China and I had a good idea where my couch would have been taken. On my way home I checked, sure enough, there she was.
When did my life turn into street furniture?
How can I be on a well-known street, yet so disoriented in my own life?
I’ve become mildly obsessed (shocking, I know) with my former couch. I passed her twice on Saturday, once on Sunday, and then twice today. I’ve become the person who explains my behavior to an odd look I received this way, “That used to be my couch. I’m not taking pictures of the people, but of the furniture.” It’s hard to pull off in English, imagine it in Chinese.
I circled in on Saturday, trying to get a better view of the card games going on. Had my answer to prayer become the local gambling spot?!
A friend texted, “I know you’re not really sad about your couch, it’s OK to be sad about your friend leaving. “ True, her departure is hard. But I’m actually sad about my couch too. My dream couch. My answered prayer. So classy, so fashionable, so comfortable. She’s street furniture.
I find myself in the lesson after the lesson.
Some answers are for a season. Some things are not ours to keep. Sometimes we have to let go.
I prefer the happy ending. And the ending was happy! And the living was happy! But the ending wasn’t final. I’m storing up where moth and rust can’t destroy, yet I still wonder when did my life become street furniture?
Karin P says
I ♥ this post so much, Amy. :)
I can completely relate, and it would take me more than a comment to express how much, lol.
And is it okay that I laughed my butt off seeing that first pic of the gambling group sitting on the “street furniture” aka your former sofa? It really just hit a funny bone, probably because I have SO been here. (Heck, I still *am* here, haha!) It’s like dark comedy: you know it is horrible that you are laughing, and yet there ya are, laughing like a madman/woman. *sigh*
I treasure your sofa so much because of those dudes sitting there. How priceless is that?!? I think you should provide a memorial to your sofa: print up the pic of it in your living room and then print up a couple of the ones on the street, too. Frame them. Stick them up somewhere on the wall!! Talk about a conversation piece…
Anyway, I guess the best comment I can come up with could be summed up like this: WORD. *nodding*
Hugs to you, Amy!
Karin — loved the summary of “nodding.” Been there, done that! I treasure my sofa too :) … I’ll leave for the gym soon. Yesterday I forgot to take my camera. I don’t know why it feels imperative that I take photos of her, but it does. So today I’ll take it. Nodding with you! Amy
I love your humor. I always say that our sense of humor is one of the biggest gifts we have received from our Pappa God’s hand! Letting go of the old is never easy. About 8 years ago I fell ill with Fibromyalgia/ME. This illness causes extreme pain and exhaustion and I had to let go of my old active life and learn to life a whole new one. I am so grateful for all the tender love, grace and compassion our Lord has showered upon me to make this transition possible. I would have been a very nice decoration for your old couch for I am now often in on-the-couch mode and yours look sooo…. comfortable and cosy!! I hope you enjoy the new one just as much!
Much love from South Africa
Mia, I love hearing more of your story! I’m sorry it involves physical pain, but as you share, we do not journey alone … and a good dose of humor helps. This is being typed from my new couch, and all is well. She’s deeper so I can cram more books around me :) Amy
I saw the couch on the street the day after your first post and thought, “That looks like the couch from Amy’s blog post,” and kept walking. I laughed when I say your pictures of it the next day! Too funny. :)