Losing it all. . .but gaining more (Part I)

This past year has been an interesting adventure in our house.  Our lives have been turned upside down in so many ways--new jobs, new home, new responsibilities.  All of those transitions took away a lot of my comfort zone and it really took its toll on our family.  If I had known a year ago where I would be now, I would have looked at things so differently.

Because this was the year we lost familiarity.  

Photography by the lovely Lauren Thorn

We no longer live in a home that is ours.  Please understand that I adore living in this place--there is nothing better than waking up to the river in the morning.  And having people on our property this summer (and on weekends) is really fun.  But it's not our home and because of that I still feel like I'm on some sort of weird extended vacation.  There are things that we are still getting used to in this home.  We are still trying our best to make it feel like home, but for now it still seems like a house we keep our things in.  And that's ok.  It may never really feel like home for us.  I've heard a lot of ministry wives speak of it in a similar way about their parsonages.

Chris and I both changed jobs and with that comes the loss of former co-workers.  I greatly miss some of the people that I used to work with, and I know that he does as well.  And I miss his co-workers and their wives (and the ones that left before we did).  I am fortunate to have many great people at my new job, but there is still that element of getting to know people, seeing them for who and what they really are, and wishing that you could pile up all of your co-workers (past and present) into one dream working environment.

I've lost my ability to write on a regular basis.  I crave writing like some folks need to paint or garden or cook or exercise.  I often want nothing more than to sit in front of my computer with my coffee and journal and Word and blog my brain away.  I find that when I do have time now that I get completely overwhelmed and I have so much to say that I shut down and have to leave posts unfinished.  I still dream about the day I write (and sell) a wonderful book about who knows what and can make enough to retire and put my kids through college.

We left the familiarity of working at a church.  We have not been at our home church in about 3 months.  It's hard not to see our old friends and families that we served and worshipped with for so many years.  It's been especially hard on Molly.  But we felt like it was time for us to step back and attend somewhere where we could just be a family that attends and serves in a church.  It would have been easy to stay at our old church--but it just became too complicated for a lot of reasons.  Maybe I'll expand on that in another post. . . maybe not.  But it's weird to be at a church and not be on the worship team or in the children's ministry.  It's strange to not know everyone's face and their families.  However, it's very refreshing to be a regular person.  Very few people outside of the ministry understand the burden the congregations can place on their ministry families.  I don't regret our decision, but I do miss our relationships at CC.

I've said good-bye to some old issues and struggles.  God has allowed me to walk through some serious and tough stuff this year.  He's let me recognize how very, very small I am and how much I have depended on myself--rather than allowing Him to take care of my needs.  I recognized how self-sufficient I had become, and I went through a time where I felt I needed to essentially say goodbye to myself.  I very much needed this experience, but it was incredibly difficult.  You've got to climb the mountain to appreciate the view.

We've lost other things, too--but I'm starting to see that we're replacing our losses with some very significant gains.  I have the promise that good things are in our future and I'm already seeing some of the fruits from this pruning season.  I'm glad I didn't know the things that were ahead of me last October.  It would have scared me on so many levels.   I'm glad that I was able to walk through this past year, and I wear the scars to prove it.  Yes, we lost a lot of familiarity, but sometimes it takes getting out of your comfort zone to learn what life is really about.

And I am confident that life must become one continuous lesson.  

Because when we are stagnant, we miss the life happening all around us.  

To be continued. . . 

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