I’m sitting in my new home in my new town with boxes piled high around me watching my daughter and husband piece together a bookshelf for her room.
I can’t believe I’m here.
Can’t believe I live in a new state where I know exactly ten people, this number includes the lady at the local grocery store who runs the coffee bar and the neighbors who live behind us. That’s an improvement over last week when I only knew one.
My bones are tired. If you didn’t know your bones could be tired then you’ve probably never moved across the country while in menopause.
It wasn’t an easy road to get here and, now that I’m here, I find there is road construction everywhere. I mean that both literally and figuratively.
The day we left our small town and headed to South Carolina the sun was out in full form, the balmy heat caused sweat beads to form on my forehead. But, I wasn’t sweating just because of the heat, I had to say good bye to my Dad.
This is the man who nursed my mother until she took her last breath, had open heart surgery, struggles with diabetes and is living with cancer.
I thought I might swallow my tongue trying not to cry myself into an emotional wreck.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved when it was over. Saying goodbye is so hard.
Then, with sweat running down the back of my neck, we pulled out of the drive way and turned our caravan north.
My husband drove the giant U-Haul pulling a trailer, and I followed close behind in my SUV. I cried when we passed the final interstate exit for what had been our hometown for thirteen years. It was tempting to take the exit and head back to where we came from, but I knew leaving was the right decision.
Moving has proven to be harder than I anticipated.
Oh, I knew I would be sad, but I didn’t expect to keep feeling sad day after day.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like this new place, there’s so much to see and do. But I left behind so many people I love, and it rips at my heart to think about it.
I tried to explain to my husband how it felt, but I’m not sure words can capture the emotions.
It’s kind of like you’re involved in a really good story, you’re the leading role (since it is your life), and suddenly you’re deleted from the plot and left to wonder how it will all play out. Or have you ever watched a movie and it ended before you were ready? Like what happened to the couple who finally declared their love in the last scene? Did they get married? Have kids? Or what about the guy who overcomes a deadly disease? Did he live another twenty years?
Like seeing the whole movie and then cable goes out five minutes before the end.
Add personal emotional investment, and maybe you’ll get an idea of how this feels.
The house we bought is beautiful, the prettiest we’ve ever had. But, it’s just cement and wood, it holds no memories yet. I told you we met our neighbors, and they are so nice, I think we will become good friends…eventually. I’ve eaten at so many good restaurants, such a change from where I came from since we only had about five good choices.
If you’re from the small town that was my home, I’ll let you decide which five restaurants I’m talking about.
And to top it off, the Lord answered my prayers and each of my boys got summer jobs.
Yes, I should be shouting hallelujah, but new jobs mean no time off and that means few, if any, visits to, you guessed it, South Carolina.
It’s Sunday now and a few days have passed since I started this blog. Normally I try to write and finish my thoughts in one sitting. I feel it captures exactly where I am in that moment. But, with all these changes it seems my mind is unable to stay focused for long.
We have worked like dogs unpacking and now a couple of rooms resemble normalcy. When I start to feel overwhelmed with it all, I go and stand in one of those rooms and I feel my blood pressure creep back down to where it should be.
This morning we attended a church that came highly recommended.
When we walked in I was so weary I really didn’t think I would be able to worship. I was still so tired. But, maybe it’s the Bible Belt raisin’ in me, I didn’t want to miss another Sunday. So, I dragged my resistant bones into the sanctuary and sat down, desperate to receive something.
Something more than caffeine and an iced latte could provide.
The music was playing when we took our seats.
It was uplifting and I could feel my emotions respond to the joy ringing through the instruments falling on us like cool spring rain.
It was refreshing and tears began to fall.
Because the lights were dimmed, I allowed them to fall freely.
Salty tears have been a companion these days.
The message was meaningful and challenging and I found myself convicted. I asked God for strength and forgiveness several times, whispering confessions and hopes quietly for only the two of us to hear.
When we rose to sing the final song, I closed my eyes and lifted my hands in worship. It was in that moment I felt the affirmation I needed from the Lord.
I am in the right place.
This new place with all of its uncertainties and loneliness is EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.
“Lord, this is hard, harder than I thought it would be. But, YOU KNEW how I would feel and none of this is going to be wasted. You promise in your word that you use the seasons of my life for my good and your glory.”
This was the prayer pouring from my heart as the lyrics and music washed over my soul.
God is faithful.
By the time you read this I will probably still be on this emotional roller coaster. Happy to be in this new place one minute and miserable and lamenting our decision to move in the next.
But, I will HOLD ON to the TRUTH of his faithfulness to me in these days. I will put my head down and humble myself as he takes me to higher heights and deeper depths.
Several of my friends have encouraged to treat these “new to this community” days like an adventure.
I plan to do that.
Adventures of discovery and recovery.
Literally and figuratively.
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things God has prepared for those who love him—”
1 Corinthians 2:9