I am on my second cup of coffee and my fifth chocolate chip muffin. I always thought that if I were leaving for a deserted island and could only take one thing that it would be caffeine. This season of living the single life has proven to differ. let's just hope that when I join my hubs in Tampa that the only wardrobe shopping will be because I need something new, not a bigger waist line. :)
When I was little I spent most of my days at our family barn. While mom and dad did their thing, us kids put our imagination to good use out in the woods off of a near by horse pasture. What we created was a home. It had floors, a mailbox and even an old, rusty wood stove. I loved it. Leaving was the hardest part and I always begged my parents for just 5 more minutes of play time. I remember that as I got older I played there less and less until we no longer spent much time at the "hide away home." We would drop in every now and then and I would walk back to that section of the woods. Trees had grown through the floor, the wood stove sank more and more into the mud and pretty soon, our "home" had overgrown into a pile of junk. It was sad. And even though my days were spent doing something that I enjoyed better, it was still really hard for me to let go of what was past. I will always have those memories, but watching it change right before my eyes was hard on my heart.
When I was in 8th grade, my parents decided to build a garage on the left side of our house. I was so excited when they told me the news. I had always loved making a home prettier and now we were going to have a real driveway, you know, concrete instead of gravel, that I could ride my bike up and down. Possibly, I could have a basketball goal, even though I never really liked the sport. But why not? We were moving up BIG time. All of this excitement came to a crashing end once I found out that in order to build the garage, we must cut down the weeping willow trees beside our home. How could they do that? Those were the trees that I had spent my childhood days climbing their huge limbs. Each limb had a different view and if you went really high, the long weeping branches would hide you from everyone around you. Their big huge roots that stuck out of the ground were where my dog and I would lay together. His name was Trouble and he was a Lab- St. Bernard mix. He was gigantic but made to look small when nestled comfortably in those willow roots. The roots curved around like a fat snake and they were perfect to wrap your body into. The long branches made awesome fans and feather boas when pretending to be a princess or the Egyptian queen and its leaves were the perfect size to add to my pea soup when cooking from God's nature. How on earth could my parents erase these precious moments with one day of cutting down these monstrous trees that had spent their whole life forming into something so grand? But the trees came down, the garage went up and my childhood kept on moving right along. Pretty soon, I no longer thought about the weeping willows and it was as if the garage had been there all along.
So here we are. Almost 18 years later and I could write countless books of how many changes and turns my life has taken, especially since making the decision to live for Christ. But as I write this, I realize that although I have grown from each milestone, it is still very hard for me to cope with change. I have such strong emotion, such ties to the things, the memories that I love. My oldest daughter is pretty much my clone as I find my own self frustrated in walking her through the absence of 1 out of 100 stuffed animals that went missing a few weeks ago. We just get attached to things.
Now, God has me in the waiting room where things are completely unknown. He is not only asking me to walk away from the things that I love, He is asking me to walk blindly into the things ahead. This is terribly scary for someone like me, but I am realizing that all along He has been preparing me for a time such as this. The hideout and the weeping willows are just two of the thousands that He has reminded me of in the last few days. That when change comes it welcomes excruciating pain within the heart and mind, but it always follows with amazing growth and newness that brings about life to the fullest.
A few weeks ago, I walked through this house and mourned each memory, each mark on the wall and everything I was going to terribly miss. I had spent so much time in the last two years imagining the walls that would come down, the new flooring that would better our space and the new appliances that would make our kitchen a better home. Once we realized we were moving to Tampa, I wanted to take a mental picture of every ding, every footprint on the wall and capture every smell and flaw of this whole house that we have spent the last two years making a home. I cried a lot and Wade was here to endure it. To walk me through the emotion and to encourage me along the way through this enduring process.
But now he is 662.4 miles away and although FaceTime is a vital necessity to our relationship these days, my emotions come way to often to ring Wade's phone off of the hook, therefore I have been forced to rely on comfort solely from the Lord. And it's been good. Hard. But good.
My house has been extra loud at times and believe me when I say that all hell has tried to come against me in the last few days and it has been anything but easy. However, I have had an inner peace that comes only from the Lord. A peace that has allowed me to move forward and push myself to pray more, hand over my feelings in a raw, sometimes un-composed way and spend my quiet time reflecting on how He has been growing me for this very moment all along.
You see, the Lord doesn't just push you out into your destiny without a plan, without preparing you for the journey. That would be like me pushing my child into the deep end of the pool without giving her any prior swimming lessons. I just wouldn't do that and neither would the Great Creator. He has a plan and He has truly gone before us. He is not going to push me out into deep waters without preparing me beforehand. Better yet, He helps me to swim when the deep waves get overwhelming. There are many days that I feel out of control, but I am learning those are the best days. That He is teaching me to let up my need to control and allow me to come to Him with a clear mind and open hands ready to receive the next steps. The true example of living day to day without having the NEED for a long term plan. He is also teaching me to let go.
Over the last few days, I have missed my husband so very much. But at the same time I have seen His provision while being here "alone." I have had dinner brought to me by friends, I have had sleep overs full of staying up way too late and I have received countless texts and calls to make sure I am ok. I am also realizing that with each passing day, the Lord is preparing me to give up the "things" around me and realize that my home is where He leads us. My home is where we are all united together and when we are in His Will, that is where Life is.
That is what I am after. To experience LIFE and life to the fullest. A life that is surrendered and dedicated to my Maker, one that constantly grows, lets go when needed and moves forward until He calls me Home.
My true home.