I’ve caught myself wishing for things to be different. I’ve looked for places to live online in San Diego, Miami, Charleston and Galveston, Texas. Seriously, I’ve wasted precious nap-time hours on zillow or trulia for a peek into a hypothetical new life for us.
Because, if I had a washer and dryer and more windows in my home, wouldn’t my life be better? It makes sense, it really does. If I had a bedroom for the baby, would my sleep problems disappear? If I could have a new climate and not wear hoodies in June, maybe I would be happier.
What am I looking for? Honestly– and I’m just realizing this as I type– I’m looking for the things that are troublesome to go away. For problems to cease.
Life is bumpy right now. Every time my husband has an interview, I check my phone 1,000 times to see how it went. We wait to hear back, and then we wait and wait some more while our lives stay in limbo.
Of course, tragedy comes in threes, as they say. So every other thing that comes feels needling, more frustrating than it should. A head cold, a poor night’s sleep, a broken light, a bill, a constipated baby all the sudden feel too heavy to bear.
So then my instincts are to run. I want to move far away from the things that are poking us. Maybe if I had a kitchen with windows? I could have a better life. Or a linen closet! Then I would feel at peace. A place for my sheets, a place for my troubled thoughts, a place for everything– I could finally be that person I imagined I would be. If I could just live near the ocean, then life’s thorns couldn’t and wouldn’t reach me.
This is the thing: my life would be happier with these things. It would be easier, at least. But what if there NEVER IS a house in a beach town with a room for me to sew and write and a secure job for Dan and a washer/dryer and a place for everything? That’s hard. That’s hard because I see on Instagram that some people have it. Maybe not that exactly, but they things that I feel would make my life easier and better and happier.
What if a new zip code or even a new apartment isn’t crucial to my joy? What if I’m supposed to stay and embrace it all. The cold, the uncertainty, the inconvenience, the questions– all of it.
I’ve spent so much of my life dreaming of when things are problem-free. Then, from my small, dark kitchen, I hear Dan making Bera laugh uncontrollably by pretending to eat out of her armpits and I know I have to stop.
A new environment won’t fix the ache. There will be different problems and pain will follow us. So rather than running, I know I am to let my heart hurt and be restless. Instead of distracting myself with apartment hunting and saying “one day…” maybe I need to stay in all the unpleasantness and maybe in the sitting He will show me how to be content where I am.
Oh! to somehow trust that He does have something beautiful to build in the midst of a messy life– more beautiful than a pain free life with built-in bookshelves by the sea.