Where We Are Now

I’m so excited to finally have this blog up and running. Like most things in my life, it was a battle royale with procrastination and perfectionism.  They both sort of got thrown out the window in the last few days.  This week I’m patiently awaiting my husband’s arrival home for the weekend.  We last saw each other a week ago.  And it was glorious.  And we ate out and spent money we don’t have, and I didn’t care.  It’s like forced dating, living apart. What’s that?  Why are we living apart?  Well, it’s a bit of a story.  Simple on the outside, but oh so very complicated for my soul.  Let me rewind a little.  Stay with me?

My husband is the most incredible worker at pretty much any job he’s ever had.  He excels at every opportunity.  It should come as no surprise then, that after being with his company for a year that he would practically be plucked to a new location and given a promotion.  He had to start at the bottom of the food chain, but I have no doubt that should he choose to continue with them indefinitely that he will eventually do very well with the company.  And “eventually” is relative.  I would expect it to happen quickly, honestly.

But this was not the plan.  It was not the plan that right around one year in that he would be plucked.  That he would suddenly be faced with the decision to start a new job 2 weeks from the day to his interview.  That the new job would be two and a half hours from our home.  That there would be no practical way to continue to live together around the clock.  None of it was the plan.

At the start of the year we had both begun to wrestle with restlessness.  The kind of restlessness that stirs so deep inside you that you begin to ache for things you can’t even identify.  I am sure I instigated much of it, but once those feelings surfaced in both of us they became increasingly hard to quell.  We started questioning where we were in those days and where we thought we could go this year.  It started as a discussion about being in our current home for three years and how three years ago we said we hoped we would be gone in three years.  I allowed myself to stew on feelings I’ve had off and on the entire time we’ve lived in our little town.  I’ve still never made a circle of ‘people’ here.  I never want to raise a family here.  We live so close to where I grew up.  This was never the plan.  We got stuck here after cancer– it was a place to recover- it wasn’t supposed to be our lives.  I always pictured our life as a grand adventure.  How did we get here?  How much longer do we have to stay? These are hard thoughts to deal with when they they saturate the every fiber of your days.  Life has not been bad here.  It’s just not been anything we hoped for.  And when I would try to explain these feelings I knew how childish I sounded.  We’re blessed.  We’re in the early years of our marriage.  We have been able to live in a home packed with more room and stuff and love than we need.  My husband is here with me after cancer.  He is well.   A thought we get reminded of each time we go for a checkup.  We do not suffer.  And yet the feelings of want lingered.

We dreamt with fervor.  What is the craziest thing we could do?  What if we walked away from everything?  What if we just left?  What if we sold what we could, gave away some more, and just left?  Where would we go?  What would we do?  What is it like to experience ultimate simplicity? 

We weren’t committed but we planned with abandon.  We would start by selling off the non necessities, pack away the things we truly loved and would want once this chapter was over.  We would pay off debts as we could.  We would sell a vehicle and pay off more.  We would start mapping out the places we wanted to go and the things we wanted to try.  He would work until we felt like we had gotten to a sure place for leaving and I would continue with my business as normal.  I mostly make my own rules with it as is, so that wouldn’t be a huge conflict.  We would list the house and when it sold we would squirrel away the most precious of our earthly things to our families’ homes.  We would decide how we wanted to travel and how we wanted to rest.  Visions of travel trailers and sleeping on couches and seeing life on the road were polluting our days.  We knew how crazy it was.  But when you yearn for things you can’t pinpoint, crazy doesn’t feel crazy.

We would go a couple days in our normal routines and just continue with life and then any night after a particularly unfulfilling day we would snuggle up and pull out our dreams again.  This went on for weeks.  We timidly talked about some of what was on our hearts with a few people around us.  Timid, because we weren’t sure if we’d do it, despite how much part of us wanted to.  And timid because we knew it would probably be scoffed at.  I wonder sometimes if when we (the big We, the collective We) all had dreams and shared them, and the response was pure encouragement and support, how quickly we might all jump to make them happen.

The weeks passed.  We looked at campers and trailers.  We thought about how we could finance our travels and how long we’d want to go.  We struggled with all our feelings and how to make sense of the crazy in a sensible world.  And we never acted.  We simmered.

On April 28, our pastor, Matt,  wrapped up a series at our church.  It was the closing sermon to a series called Live Here Now.  I resurrected my notes from that day so as to not miss a beat here.  It was the fifth part, called “Let Go.”  It hit us like a brick.  It was about letting go of all the things that get in the way of what God has planned for us.  Letting go of the Fear of Failure.  Letting go of What Others Think.  Letting go of envy.  Letting go of control.

We all have these incredible moments in our lives where we are given a chance to be open to receiving what God puts in front of us, if only we choose to trust him.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”  Luke 5:4-6 NIV

The defining moment from that morning was this was when Matt described how “Simon Peter’s little bitty faith intersected with God’s great faithfulness” and that when you follow Him, he promises to take responsibility for the outcome of the journey.

Y’all.  We struggled after that one.  What started as my wandering heart had become a whole new creature, and now we really looked at it with new eyes.  I think Husband immediately began to feel that there was more at play than our feelings and that it wasn’t just coincidence that we were interested in flipping our lives upside down.  It lit a new fire in him to want these things we had talked about.  What if God had placed these desires on our hearts and we just had to be crazy (faithful) enough to act on them?

You wan to know what’s ironic?  The next week started about waiting for His perfect timing and that waiting produces perseverance and that sometimes He is developing something so important within us that it cannot come quickly, but instead through waiting in patience and faith.  The message with closed with a bit about how sometimes we get tired of waiting and will try to take shortcuts that will only end in regret, disappointment and heartache because we’ll end up somewhere we were never supposed to be.

After hearing that one, I had no idea where we were with things.  I felt so strongly that both of those messages were exactly what I needed to hear but at the same time they seemed so conflicting.  I was back to a place of complacency instead of pursuit because I didn’t know which direction was up.  I couldn’t decipher it.

It was probably two weeks later when Husband was asked to interview for a new job.  He went a week later, and they asked him to start two weeks after that.  Suddenly we didn’t have time to wonder what we were supposed to do or if there would be a grand adventure.  I was blindsided with a new reality that we had never even discussed, let alone had time to prepare for.  Everything on our hearts for the last few months cowered back under the rug amidst our rapid fire discussions about how we’d manage with the impending changes.

It’s been no secret to most around us that I’m not thrilled with this change.  I feel so guilty for not wanting this change.  I thought I would want any change.  But apparently I don’t.  I don’t want to stay here while we decide how and where we’ll live.  I don’t want to only get to see my husband a day or two a week at best.  I don’t want to pack up our home.  I don’t want to let go of the little town I’ve loved to hate because it’s where I’ve spent my entire adult life.  I don’t want to leave because where I’m going doesn’t seem like it holds any potential for our lives.

So now I am drawn back to those sermons again.  That I have to step out in faith and trust that we are again moving into a part of His plan.  And that I may have to wait through it.  And that I may not always like it.  Right now I waver daily between resentfully digging in my heels and trying to embrace the possibilities ahead.  I talk to my husband a few minutes in the morning on his way to work, and usually when he goes on lunch.  I’m living alone in our house and he’s staying with his parents and eight year old sister who happen to live in the same city as his new job.  And really, it’s kind of bullshit.  But we’re doing it.  And that’s as much as I can hope for right this moment.  To just keep doing it, and to know that it isn’t forever, and that it’s okay to hate it sometimes.  Right now, that has to be enough.

Here We Go…

It’s too late and I’ve finally put in a little bit of elbow grease to make things presentable enough that I won’t be embarrassed to point you to this site.  Nevermind the fact that I’ve had the domain for over a month and the inkling in my mind for much longer.  But here I am.  This is the boring introductory post just to say hello and that I hope you’ll stay tuned and that maybe, just maybe you’ll stumble onto something one day that holds a common thread for us both, and in that moment, you too will realize that We Are All Wayfarers.