As the dust settles on our new life, I am aching to get back to writing. The move played out to be more of a symbol of change than I first knew.
Yes, there were all the requisite tasks of packing – of purging and cataloguing. And the physical burden of lifting, pushing, reaching, jamming, jostling. The stress of moving day. The miscommunications, anxiety, losing stuff. The niggling things left undone as deadlines drew near.
But I was completely unprepared for what was in store at the other end of this momentous transfer. Something happened, and it’s only now dawning on me that it was something good.
Our move – now two weeks old – marks the fifth in 19 years of marriage. You’d think I’d be good at it by now. But we moved in the middle of a heat wave. Unending, sweltering, oppressive work. So frustrations ran high and emotions raw. Somewhere between the physical exhaustion and feeling spent emotionally, I had finally had enough!
If I were the author of this tale, the epiphany would have come at just this moment, unearthed from the ashes, while my protagonist was drained of all sufficiency. But God knew I needed a couple of weeks to feel sorry for myself before I could sniff out the rest of the story.
It was there all along, though I fought it. I worried and whined. Balled my fists and stomped my feet. Distanced myself. And cried. Two years old and late for my nap.
And then one day I woke up. Perhaps it was the break in the weather. I threw open the windows, and a tantalizing breeze drew me outside. Ginger, our hundred pound bear, took me for a walk down the quiet, tree-lined lane, where I met two new friends in the neighborhood. A new awareness was dawning, and as my steps brought me back to gaze upon the house, I finally saw it.
This was exactly where I was supposed to be! All the bargaining, coercion, entreaties, and tantrums had not given me what I asked for. Four separate properties had slipped through our fingers for months before we took up residence at this address. And here I stood, humbled and grateful that God didn’t give me what I wanted. Let me tell you, it’s a peaceful thing to want what you also need.
The house symbolized the end of my wandering. I wanted what I wanted, and I didn’t want this house. But when I laid down my restless, stiff-necked attitude and chose to accept this new thing, the feelings followed. The fight went out of me, and a sweet rest and joy took its place. I can’t explain the delight I find now in every new discovery – the landscape Ginger and I love to explore, the smart layout with ample wallspace to hang my growing art collection, the sunlight and the quiet and the amount of room for our family.
I wonder what else I’ve pushed away in my lifetime, thinking I knew better, when surrender might have furnished the best outcome?
“Repent and return, therefore, that your sins may be wiped away and that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
Check out Dr. Celeste Owen’s blog – the 40-Day Surrender Fast for more on living a surrendered, joyful life!