One month ago … my favorite car I’ve ever had was stolen. It was the weirdest experience to walk out of a quick mall trip and not be able to find my car. I’m not one who “loses” my car in a parking lot, but I thought I had lost my mind as I wondered that parking lot for 30 minutes thinking “I know I parked right here”.
As I’ve been frustrated, mad, sad and a whole other range of emotions about it I began to realize, I feel like this was the ending of 2 years ago when I felt like my life was stolen out from under me. (2012, 2013) At the end of the day it is just a car. But, I’ve always said I would drive that car until the wheels fell off! I had 140,000 miles of memories in that car and for the better part of two years have hauled my life from one location to another, traveling, working, living, visiting friends, seeing family and finally settling into one place again. It’s taken me a long time to work through these 2 years and am just feeling like I am getting settled this Spring in my “new life” … moved, finally have all my stuff in one place and trying to adjust to living in a new location.
So, what is it about something tangible being stolen vs intangible? The intangible cuts a lot deeper, takes longer to heal from and changes everything within you. I couldn’t wait to get all my stuff in one place and quit living out of a suitcase and temporary living situations. But, I worked, traveled, ate, did errands and lived with people day in and day out for these last 2 years, and I miss that community. My new place doesn’t seem quite mine, there are things I love about it, but I don’t love it like I did my old place. We are made to be in community and despite being a couple of the toughest years of my life; I was surrounded by community that I miss.
I’m in a new town, where I have best friends, but am also 30 miles from other best friends and what was familiar to me for 15 years. There are conveniences I miss, they require more effort/scheduling now, effort I’m willing to make, but element of last minute and spontaneous, which I thrive on, isn’t as readily available. It’s an adjustment, one I’m not quite settled into.
There have also been changes in relationships and friendships. Some that I never thought would be different are now very different due to time/distance. I have made new friends at my new job and from life on the road that are the sweetest gift of these two years. And, the friends who stand the test of time, no matter the distance, time apart or other life circumstances…we make effort to keep in touch, see each other when we can and for those people I am very grateful. They have at times carried me through this season.
I didn’t really realize the magnitude of adjustment. I moved, worked to unpack, started a new semester teaching new classes and went right into a busy season of Rodeo and then my car was stolen. Sitting with an empty garage and trying to figure out what next, I felt like time stopped, and realization set in this is reality. What does it look like for me!? Why is there a struggle?
I believe being aware of my weakness, asking for help in those times and realizing it can’t be done on my own has been the hardest. Change isn’t typically difficult for me, in fact I usually embrace it. Ultimately my faith has been stretched and my dependence on Jesus has been increased. It doesn’t matter that my place doesn’t feel like home yet, or that my new car doesn’t feel like mine yet….at the end of the day things (both tangible and intangible where we falsely place security) are temporary. They can be stolen at any time and the One who sustains us remains faithful.
I can remember my Mom sending me a verse at the beginning of these 2 years…it has stuck with me, despite not thinking I could ever see the end as better, but ultimately coming to realize the end can be better.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride”.
No new beginning can start without something else ending, even when you think it was the best before it ended. I know my pride put security in those things and patience has taught me to wait for that which is best. Over, and over again, to wait, but still believing that wait is purposeful.
Anticipating new beginnings,