This season of my life has been hard. And when I say “season” I’m not talking about your typical varying months of spring, summer, fall and winter. I’m talking about a soul season that so far, has lasted over three years.
When we moved from our home in central Oklahoma to upstate Washington, where rain is a constant companion, culture and environment are polar opposites and where my faith has been tested to its limits I didn’t think it would take me this long to adjust. After all, prior to our 11 year stint in Oklahoma we lived in Washington. So I was familiar with the weather, culture and vibe.
Returning to the PNW means I’ve been feeling like a fish out of water frantically gasping for water to breathe. I’ve completely struggled to fit in, find friends and build a community. It’s not so easy when the culture here tends to be, as my brother-in-law calls it, “pleasant but aloof.”
Folks generally keep to themselves.
Not an easy temperament to understand for someone like myself who still talks to her childhood friends whose friendship spans 4 decades. The struggle to connect here has lead to a feeling of isolation. A feeling that you don’t quite fit in and no one really cares if you do. Something to do with folks generally being islands unto themselves.
What I do know is that its been very difficult that past three years. We’ve moved from our family home, to a small rental. Sunshine vs. constant rain. A house full of kids to now only seeing our boys on occasion, our financial solvency, gone and my father, who was my symbol of strength has passed away, leaving a void that will never be filled.
Everything that was good and important and right in our worlds a few years ago, is gone. There’s no going back. No turning back the hands of time to the life we were living then, with one or two small exceptions. Our small family is still intact and I still love God.
I’m not sure what He’s up to in our lives. Why He brought us here or where we’ll go from this point forward. But I still believe He loves me and He has a plan for my life.
Which is why coming to terms that God has brought me back to the one place I never wanted to return. Afterall, how does one love God but feel so conflicted with His will? Aren’t they supposed to be the same? Loving God means everything makes sense?
Sometimes maybe. But for me in this situation. Nothing makes sense.
I want to go back to my old life.
My heart grieves..
I grieve for a time and place that can not be recaptured. I grieve over the loss of my father and his stability in my life. I miss heading down to my parents home, sitting on the back deck, talking about life and watching my kids and dogs play.
I grieve over the loss of not having at least 6 teenage boys swimming out back in the pool, running into the kitchen to grab a hot pocket or pizza roll before cannon balling back into the pool, holding their food up high so as to not get it completely chlorine soaked. I grieve over friendly faces and folks holding the door open for one another and asking you how your day is.
I grieve over hot summer days, icy, winds-that’ll-blow-your-head-off-if-you-don’t-hold-onto-it winter days. I miss the conversations with neighbors at dusk while lightening bugs flicker and cicadas sing their evening song.
But this is where God has us.
I still haven’t grasped His plan for our lives. I struggle to understand why. Why take us from a home we loved, filled with happiness and fulfillment? Why bring us to a place so drastically different? Why take our lives, strip us of everything we knew and held dear and then bring us here? Why?
Truth be told, I may never have a single answer to my questions, this side of heaven. I know and accept that. More importantly I know God is good even if I don’t necessarily agree with His will. I trust His plans are good even if what is happening is painful.
I also know it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to question, be angry and frustrated at God and the situation. It’s okay to long for different days in the light of a new life so vastly different from the old.
Questioning gives us a chance to come to the Lord and ask, “why?” and to beg Him for His lead and to wait upon the Lord and to seek His face in the midst of pain. All of which will lend itself to soul growth and a deeper walk with the Lord.
Now more than ever before I recognize just how much I need the Lord. Never in my life have I ever felt so lost. So overwhelmed with a lack of direction, sorrow and confusion. I need Him and I am thankful for His love.
So as I continue to walk this long road, I seek Him.
Yes, there will be moments when I’ll grieve for my father and a life I once knew. But as days pass and God presents Himself in the midst of my pain, a new life filled with new blessings and hope will arise, of this I am certain. For the Lord always keeps His promises.
1 I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. 2 Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!3 Death wrapped its ropes around me; the terrors of the grave[a] overtook me. I saw only trouble and sorrow.4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!”5 How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours!6 The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me.7 Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me.”
My friend, I pray for you. No matter what road you are one, I pray for God’s hand to be upon you. May you know His love and guidance and may you trust in His will for your life. For He alone is good!
Until next time,
Blessings & best wishes,