It has been far too long since I’ve posted, a result of our life “derailing” from normal after selling our house two months ago. Since then our family of five has moved three times, lived in a friend’s basement and then a home we rented, and finally in to our new home three weeks ago.
All this was planned, thought out, and expected (although much of the process had unexpected twists), so it surprised me how challenging it was for me personally to “get through” these past few months with a positive attitude.
During this interim time our family of five lived out of seven blue tubs we had packed with clothes and personal items. We existed on dinners of Chipotle and Kraft Mac and Cheese because of limited kitchen space and and stretched thin mom who wouldn’t love cooking even in ideal conditions. Our family felt disjointed not having our “normal” routines and space, and the rainy cold spring added to the unrest. Our dogs found their own form of crazy (one of them peeing indoors and barking neurotically, challenging at one’s own house but really fun when it’s at your best friend’s house).
For a while I thought I was struggling to stay positive because there was no end in sight–we were having an extremely difficult time finding a new house after we sold ours. But then, we found a great house, and had a closing date and everything, but my restlessness grew as our familiar “more comfortable” life seemed just a reach away.
Why was it so important for me to find normal again?
I asked myself many times, “Why is this so difficult? God has blessed us with wonderful friends to house us temporarily, we know we will find a home eventually, our kids are healthy and handling this transition better that expected. So why the discomfort?
The answer came to me once again, as it has over and over in all the unknowns over the last year with our moving story.
Our strengthening comes in the discomfort.
This time has felt like “how to keep a positive attitude boot camp,” and I know that like the true military boot camp, with the purpose of strengthening physical muscles and endurance, this time for me has been an emotional and spiritual strengthening.
I have been forced to release my grip on managing everything the way I want it to go. I have had to let go of normal, which involves me having a lot of control over my life.
And that is good.
God is stretching and teaching me to let go, to again, trust him. To again, remember that the little daily comforts and order I am used to need not to be taken for granted. To believe that he has a purpose for every difficult time we go through–to decrease our self-sufficiency and increase our God-sufficiency.
One of the largest parts of “me” that I have had to release in the past couple of months is writing this blog. I think about it every day, but feel like I have been in survival mode for so long that it takes sitting in a hotel room with my family sleeping to find head and heart space to finally write.
We did move into our new house three weeks ago and it is so very good. I am so grateful for the little things like a desk to work at and some of the homey decorations we had packed away. And the big things, like our family re-connecting and bonding over settling into our new space.
But normal is still to come. In a few hours our family is about to get on a plane to Haiti to serve with a Healing Haiti team in the poorest part of the world. Here is an excerpt from a woman who returned a few months ago from this trip as she relays vignettes of people she met:
Hello. My name is Mardy. I am 23 years old. I’ve been living in front of the hospital for a while. A few months ago I got raped and now I am pregnant. I’ve had a stroke and I am in the hospital now. I can’t move my left arm but that’s not the worse part. I am all alone; with no one to help me. I don’t know how I will take care of my baby once it’s born and where I’ll go and how we will survive.
This experience we are about to have, the conditions and desperation we are about to encounter will feel as far from normal as we have probably ever known.
But we can’t wait. If there is anything I have learned recently is that God shows up when I feel helpless and out of control. It is during these times I have eyes that more clearly see Him at work. I have a heart open to what he needs to speak into it.
So I ask you, where is your normal being challenged?
Where can you find God’s hand in your story right now?
What is he teaching you?
Whether your lack of “normal” was a choice (like ours) or unexpectedly happened to you, I hope that you can find some peace as you wrestle through this time. Whether it is temporary or permanent, I pray that you will see God’s handiwork in the plan of changing your heart to rely more on Him and less on you. These are certainly the lessons He has taught me.
God bless you,