My favorite author, Shauna Niequist writes in her book Cold Tangerines, "When I write, about half an hour breezes by usually, and then it all screeches to a halt like cars crashing. I get stuck, convinced it was a bad idea to even start. Start where you're stuck. That's what my (genius) therapist , who is also a writer, told me." And, as I read this I nod, because it's true. I have been stuck since mid summer. I have revisited my blog a couple times to type up a line or two, only to abandon them quickly.
I've been stuck on how this move has affected my kids and me. At first all I could see was all the hard, the ugly, the somber aspects. I'm not going to lie. There is still sadness at times. There is still frustration. There are still hard facets.
God is moving in this place, though.
"God is jealous for your love, Mel." a friend kept saying to me. At first I was really resentful. I didn't want to hear it. "Great, so He keeps yanking everything out from under me? He keeps taking away everything I love?" was all I could think. Every time I thought I was making a new friend something would happen and that friend would either move away right as we were getting to know one another, or we would join different groups causing us to not see one another as often. My friends at home started to form new groups. So many times I've found myself feeling so alone, so absolutely heartbroken.
"My life has not turned out the way I thought it would." I said with wry humor, "I'm starting to think that's true for everyone, though." This was at my weekly bible study yesterday. My remark was met with laughter... from everyone. They totally got it. Everyone there. The women who were in their late seventies, the women in their fifties, and the women in the throes of raising little people.
God doesn't work within the confines of our lists or our plans and it's SO hard to understand. In the moment, it is literally almost impossible to wrap our brains around it. He really wants us to trust Him, to rely on Him, to know that what He has for us is so much better and bigger than what we think we need.
His gifts aren't necessarily neatly wrapped. God doesn't do things the way we do. He uses the bad for good. Sometimes His gifts at first glance look messy and uninviting - but when they're opened... discovered... wow.
Michigan was so easy for me. I had everything I wanted. I didn't need God there.
Is that an awful thing to say? Maybe? Yes. But, the truth is that due to my level of comfort and the ease of my life despite the fact that I professed to love and know God I wasn't actively pursuing Him.
In small ways, baby steps our family is treading closer to God than we ever have before. That's not to say anything bad about where we were living before. But, in my loneliness, in my sadness, in the midst of this God is giving me the greatest gift. He's giving me the gift of teaching my kids scripture passages because we've joined an Awana program, watching them study the Bible because we've become apart of Community Bible Study. He's gifting me with friendships that are stretching me. He's using this discomfort to draw me close.
My life is not how I envisioned it five years ago. Not at all. But, I'm starting to realize that despite the hard days, my life being different is not a bad thing after all.