Going back and thoughts on community {fsw – chapter 6}

I am writing my first post from the new (old) house!

This mountain climb we’re on is steep friends. There have been tears and heated words (mostly me, sigh) and anxiety and more money spent than we anticipated. There have been demands and unexpected pieces and some blessings thrown in.

A pretty typical moving experience. (and apparently I won’t die from it)

It’s not like I haven’t done this before… a LOT of times!

I come from a family of movers. The combined moves in my family numbers near 100 – yes, you read that right.

I have lived in twelve different towns/cities. That doesn’t include a four month stint in Australia where I didn’t have a fixed address while I traveled there with a team. It also doesn’t include all the moves WITHIN those towns/cities. In one city I have lived in five different residences.

I just broke my longest ever stay in one residence…topping out at 7 1/2 years.

So I recognized and empathized with my eight year old daughter over the emotional upheaval this move is causing her. She was one when we moved out to the farm and now she is 8 1/2. The farm is the only thing she has ever known and she has been content and happy there. She was NOT excited about this move at all.

The other kids have friends they know here because we are moving back into the spiritual family that we have retained for the full course of our married life – 22 years of community. People who know us REALLY well. People who we don’t mask up for because there is no point. People who read our faces like books, who have our kids over, whose kids come here. People who understand our particular brand of crazy.

But she doesn’t know them.

When I was eight we moved across the provincial line. I had to leave behind the community that I loved, felt safe in, my friends, my house, my favorite sledding hill. I went to a farm, a trailer, cousins that I didn’t know, a school in which we were an oddity and no sledding hill in sight. I hated every moment of that move. I don’t remember how I expressed that but I remember the emotions vividly. In Chapter 4 of Finding Spiritual Whitespace Bonnie challenges to not write out pros and cons but let the little person inside you cry out what they really want.

I read that chapter while we were in the middle of discerning what God had for us in this season that we were entering into. My little girl screamed out loudly, “I DON’T WANT TO MOVE!”

I argued and cried. We have family. We have friends. We have a good life. Things are FINE!!!

Except that we are NOT fine.

We need something that God has planned for us that God is asking us to say YES to and even though I don’t have a clear picture of all that His plan entails I can be confident that it will be good even though the labour to enter the rest is really, really hard.

The funny thing is that about a year ago we were back in the city house to fix something or other and I walked through and felt very clearly that I would live in this house again. I didn’t expect it to be so soon. I didn’t expect that a ‘feeling’ would become a reality.

Though I should have known better. That’s happened before.

I remember nursing my first baby in my mother-in-law’s living room on the farm and hearing the Spirit whisper to me that someday her house would be mine. I dismissed it utterly. I was not married to a farmer and never would be. That wasn’t in our plan. Just over ten years later…I sat in that living room that was now mine and remembered that whisper. I was married to a farmer after all.

We built into the community there. Disciplining youth, leading worship, planting crops, loving those that God sent across our paths. We love our sweet country life and that community. We know the path between the city and the country will be well worn.

But here we are, back in the city, back in the bosom of the community that brought us together in the first place. The community that nurtured us through early years of marriage and ministry, infertility, miscarriage, sickness, health, babies, poverty and growing up. They aren’t perfect but we love them.

And that is good, too.

So as we create whitespace for our souls to rest, putting ourselves back together (me, anyway) we have this opportunity to examine pieces and wait for the glue to dry.

My little girl – she needed permission to cry and not be happy about moving. Both of us needed that. And she needed space to be excited about her new room and meeting new friends. So thankful that she has met one old/new friend that lives down the block – that little girl’s mom and dad are part of that community I am talking about and those little girls were born the same weekend – we even shared a hospital room for a day!

Earning her stripes!

Ready for occupation.

So if you see us, my Lizzy and me, and we don’t look so happy OR we’re really excited about moving please don’t take it personally.

And if we all seem really happy to be back in the arms of this community that is a very safe one for us, don’t take that personally either. We need some time to pick up pieces. We’ve come apart a little and need to find ourselves and this is where God is allowing that process to happen.

Our kids need this space right now, too. To learn how to do life somewhere out of their comfort zone. To learn that each other is a good place to hang out.

Going back to the past isn’t always a bad thing. I know we’re not supposed to let it dictate our future and all that but it leaves its mark, good or bad. We’re back in a place that has been hard but good for us in the past and we’re anticipating more of the same. Some hard, some good.

We can’t go back to old roles and have no intention of doing so.

We are going to hang out in our whitespace.

Just as soon as I can get the closet installed…

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Have you read chapter 6 in Finding Spiritual Whitespace? Have you been revisiting some of those childhood places? I would love to hear about them…

*This post is part of a series exploring the book Finding Spiritual Whitespace by Bonnie Gray.

** You can go back to the first post HERE and see what this is all about!

***You can check out the community that has formed at Bonnie’s blog: www.faithbarista.com

****I am linked up with #fmfsnailmail community over HERE

 

 

About Lani

With six kids, a farm, a ministry and dreams poking out in every direction I need plenty of grace to keep all the balls in the air. The sweet thing is that when I drop them, that crazy grace of God is there telling me I'm still okay...and you are, too...welcome to this place of grace.

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