We moved. We packed up a home God blessed us with and after seven years in that home we moved. Seven. Years. For the record, I have never lived longer than seven years in any place so I knew this year was our last. We found out on April Fool’s Day that our time in Milledgeville was over and as of TODAY (87 days later), we finalized the last thing we HAVE to do there. And now, sitting at a computer two hours away from THERE, I learned some stuff:
1. Moving is hard, lonely, and never goes as planned.
It was by no means as hard as it could have been but a little harder than my naïve self anticipated. I felt alone. A lot of the time. Nathan was there, (except for the three days he was at church camp with C) but I felt isolated and distant from everyone. Who wants to reach out to someone with their foot out the door? I understood, but it made me sad. Once you in are new place… how do you find your new footing? Especially as an introvert… On Monday, after our full morning of school enrollment, I had to explain to Nathan that I could not endure meeting One. More. NEW. Person. He laughed at me.
And…. things never go as planned. In our unplanned category were:
-the AC completely dying and needing replaced
-breaking the trailer we borrowed (and having to fix it)
-having to make three additional trips after the rental of a 26 foot UHaul,
-wrecking my car halfway between Milledgeville and Loganville on the first additional trip.
2. Your stuff follows you.
Can you believe it? Isn’t that point of leaving….. to LEAVE STUFF BEHIND?!!! For instance, I am not proud to stay that ALL of my holiday stuff is now in storage in the basement of my in-laws house. (God BLESS THEM!) And…. somehow, the box of Halloween stuff from 1983, and every portion of a roll-away hamper, except the frame….. that I specifically said, “This does not have to come” ….. are sitting in my garage. BUT….
It is not just the physical that follows you.
Yesterday, Nathan and I had a rough day. Rough, in that, feelings were hurt but no one really wanted to fight because it’s the SAME DISAGREEMENT we KEEP having and there is nothing new to say. So. The day took FOREVER. We muddled through tension, waiting for it to just disappear…. And I realized that in my desperate prayer for God to take us to a new place, with new people, and new opportunities….much to my surprise… I am still the same person. I did not suddenly awake in a new bedroom FULL of grace and humor and magnetic loveliness. And Nathan is still Nathan. And while we BOTH are endeavoring with lots of effort to be BETTER versions of ourselves….. that does not happen overnight.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~II Corinthians 5:17
3. New houses get dirty.
Another shocker. I got up this morning, knowing that Gammy was coming to visit. This means accepting that I’ve been here long enough that the boxes should be gone from the living area and the new house should be neat and clean. (Yes. I have a Southern Matriarch that I strive to impress.) What I forgot, was that I might need to clean windows and glass coffee tables because of tiny sticky fingers and the bedrooms that have been full of laughter and play would need picked up AND that my bathroom sink was disgusting (Don’t.Judge.). It is so easy to forget that new and clean will not stay clean without effort. Right? Do you get the metaphor? I can do the hard work and clean some yuck out of my fridge and my soul, but without daily maintenance the grime takes over before you notice.
4. Moving is good. More importantly, God is good. I’m grateful that that we had this opportunity. I may be singing a different tune when my 45 minute commute starts every morning and C forgets to do his homework, but I would not have learned these things without this experience.
In the loneliness, we were surprised at where our help came from. BIG HELPS. The kind that make you want to cry when you think of how someone else sacrificed their time (and bodies) to make sure we moved. The folks that ended up on our doorstep were special to us to begin with, but not the ones we thought would be there. The friend who had just returned from the hospital…. The one who used his trailer to drive our piano here (two hours, one way) and then turn around and go home, and the friend that I had never met, and Nathan had not seen in essentially 10 years that gave up his entire Saturday to help move us in. And my sweet college friend, (who I hadn’t seen in years) showed up and it was like time had stood still. I was undone by their generosity.
I grew closer to my family. My Mama took the kids to the Farm for a week. After 5 days with Grandma and Pa, my kids played in a creek, fed cows and chickens, rode a mini-bike and matured in way that has made me almost not recognize them. I am so grateful for their time in the mountains. And my in-laws. Oh my goodness. Not enough words here. At nearly thirty years old, I’d be lost without my parents; both sets.
I am convicted. Realizing that my stuff followed me and that I have the potential to have a very cluttered, very dirty new house has made me more intentional. That hoard of boxes in the garage…. I am going through VERY SLOWLY. If it does not add value it will leave. That goes for other things as well. Yesterday, I was chewing nails when I realized the racket were STUCK with for internet usage. I had intended to use Internet for my regular TV viewing. Well, COMCAST is …… not what it should be…… and I will not be using the Internet in the manner I had originally intended. The point is, that while I was grumbling I realized (or perhaps the Holy Spirit said something like, ‘Stop being a brat’) that I shouldn’t be watching all that TV anyway. Without the TV, the kids have been amazing; playing together for hours, USING their imaginations (thus the disastrous bedrooms) and instead of doing something mindless I could be doing something better with my time too…. Like maybe playing with them. OR, reading. I have spent FOUR years bemoaning my inability to read for pleasure because I did not have time due to the textbooks
that robbed my soul… and now…..I HAVE TIME. If an activity, conversation….person…. does not add value I will not let it take up residence. I will take my time in this place to grow. And I will do a better job of recognizing what is sacred and treat it as such.
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” ~Matthew 7:6
And God has proved Himself mighty once again. He was there; offering provision and protection EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. The day we realized we had to repair the trailer we borrowed I found cash in a Christmas card from 3 years ago with the exact amount we needed. As with every
exorbitant unexpected monetary requirement, we have been able to pay. When I was in the car accident, I was alone. The kids were not with me and I was uninjured. I could list hundred things…. But I cannot sing his praises enough.
“Give thanks to the Lord, our God and King; His loves endures forever.” ~Psalms 118: 1
And as we embark on our new chapter, I am hopeful and finding peace in the unknown. I hope you will continue to join me in the journey.
My two favorite places right, now: Our bed now has a quilt on it hand-made by my lovely Granny, and my dining area… SO FULL OF COLOR. This was the first area I made sure was done…. I delighted and found joy in arranging my plates and setting a table to match.
I am Blessed.
12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
~ Jeremiah 29:12-14