Packing has begun in semi-earnest here. For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to do 2-3 boxes a day, and it's kind of wearing me down. In past moves I've crammed items into boxes based on what fit instead of type or theme or room. This time I'm being a little more logical about it, and trying to figure out what we can leave in boxes for an extended period of time. Since we're moving to a rental, I don't want to repack everything next year. So it's a big puzzle, and I like puzzles, but this is an intellectually and emotionally draining puzzle. I'd like to be done now.
The brainlessness of packing, for better or worse, allows my mind to wander and so I've been thinking about where I'm at with this move. Where I'm at is ambivalence. I guess this is progress since I've mostly been at sadness. This time around I'm trying to be honest with myself about how I'm feeling rather than pushing it to the side and burying my head in the to-do list. And boy, is there a to-do list. The house repairs are about done, but there's accounts to be closed and opened, services to be cancelled or moved, a ridiculously long road trip to be planned, and we haven't even begun looking at places to rent out there. It's this to-do list that raises my blood pressure, while packing makes me want to lie down and go to sleep. I suppose I should be thankful they cancel each other out.
My parents have moved a lot, and its been helpful to talk through some of this with my mom who has been there, done that. When I was younger I didn't mind all that moving but I now can see that it must have been hard on my folks. And I wanted to avoid that once my kids were born. The idea of living in one place for a long long time is appealing and a big reason why we moved here. Now, with Jon's job as a contractor being a yearly gig, and with the future unclear and uncertain, I need to change my mindset in a big way. Transience may be our future. Pros: adventure! new places! new experiences! new furniture! Cons: lack of long term relationships. renting ad infinitum. shallow roots.
This brings me to the biggest source of my ambivalence about our move. It is so obviously God's will that we go, and yet it goes against everything I know about God. He has moved mountains to get Jon this job and to pave our way to go and to create a timeline for us that is doable and to surround us with the support we need to get through this. Yet, we are leaving all the things that I know He values, like a community we love and can contribute to. And don't even get me started on the family we're leaving behind. I will burst into tears.
Related to this, I also struggle with how to mourn our lost home while at the same time communicating that I have full confidence about our future. As I've said before, this is the first time I don't have clarity about what's next. I can't see how things are going to work and this is very disquieting. Yet, I'm fully confident that we need to move forward. Yet, I don't want to move forward. Yet, I continue to pack boxes and "talk up" Maryland to the kids. Yet, I can't yet fully embrace Maryland without feeling like I'm somehow betraying Colorado. Yet I'm thankful for this opportunity to fully rely on God and His provision; His word has truly become life to Jon and I. Yet, this just sucks so bad. You see how this goes? Back and forth, back and forth.
If nothing else, this experience reminds me of a hymn, "This earth is not my home, I'm just a passing through." It's really true. There is no place that we will arrive at and think, "Ahhh.... now we're really home." If I'm honest with myself, that deep feeling didn't exist here either. Because how can it? This is not a perfect world and we are not perfect people. There will forever be that deep feeling of longing for something more, for something different, for something else that we think will finally provide the peace we want and need. It's not in Colorado or Maryland or even (gasp!) Canada. It exists in the Father, and He gives us tastes of "home" to whet our appetite. My challenge is to be content with His (frankly, amazing) provisions until we're Home for good.