In November of 2006 I moved from Texas to Arizona all by myself. My parents helped me pack, drive, and unload the truck before I delivered them and my last bit of home to the airport. I wanted to share this entry because I know there are many of us who are waiting for a transition to feel “normal.” 7 months into my desert adventure and I was still missing home. I think that’s to be expected. But I also want to remind us all that joy is available, even in the midst of lonely or challenging situations. We simply have to remember where to turn when we feel lost.
I wrote the following post on June 1, 2007.
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The crazy thing is that I’ve spent the last few conversations convincing everyone (including myself) that things couldn’t be peachier out in the desert. And yes, some days I might describe with a peach, however, other days are less like a peach and more like raw hamburger meat. I’m quick to remind myself that no matter my location, my days would be varied.
As the plane left the muggy Houston runway on Tuesday evening I could not get control of my tears. I’m so glad I had the window seat because I’m sure I would have drawn lots of attention from the short woman next to me whose business suit was 4 inches too long at the wrist and ankle hems. Instead I stared out the window at the greenery that is not the desert and reminded myself once again of Abraham’s journey from the land of Ur, a place he had called home for 80 years before he received quite a different calling from the Lord. Surely he had to have had a meat day every once in a while.
(Speaking of meat, I must stop here and say that if I try to actually pay for a trainer…for someone to physically torture me, please fly out here and hit me in the face. I can’t tell you how many times I have said the word OUCH today as a result of a disastrous gym workout two days ago. Just now I nearly passed out from pain as I tried to bring a fork up to my mouth.)
Speaking of pain…this distance from all that is familiar and dear has left me pretty emotional lately. Besides feeling like someone has beat my arm muscles into raw meat, I’ve been feeling slightly less than peachy. It all came to a head as I pulled my car into my apartment complex and a song came on a mixed cd. I lost it. Not just the tears, the deep wrenching sobs. I pulled into my brightly lit spot and prayed my neighbors would not choose that moment to make a trip to Wal-mart. (Also, do not go to Wal-mart at 6:30 pm on a Friday. Bad Choice.) I managed to put the car in park and pull my knees up in front of the steering wheel. It’s not that this is hard; per say…it’s just that being home would be easier. I don’t want to live for easy…but boy doesn’t that sound…well, easier?
I could pack it all up and be home in a week if I wanted. But I don’t really want to do that. Things are just getting interesting, exciting even. There are big transitions coming at work and I truly want to be a part of what is happening here. I’m even going to take my first Seminary class in August. Who would have thought?
So as I sat hugging my knees, the song continued to play and I heard these words over and over:
“You hold my hand, through all of my struggles, you carry me through. You hold my hand; though dark surrounds me…you carry me through. Patience, a thousand years and a day it’s all the same, O to you, the God of Space and Time…I will wait on You. Do not be afraid, for I am your God.” (My God from Freedom Time by Colin Bates)
I let my crying subside before I took a deep breath and popped the trunk. I had groceries to take upstairs. And somehow, even though my arms felt like they were going to rip from their sockets because of the weight of the bags, I knew I wouldn’t be crying anymore tonight. No guarantee for tomorrow…but I’m hopeful.
“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of me on those who take refuge in you.” Psalm 31:19
I want to remember the hard times that eventually became the good times. I need to remember the moments when I thought I was alone, but clearly He was beside me through it all. His good is so, so good.
“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2
Following and learning,