Simply, moving a sizable distance from anyone and anything of familiarity is both great and terrible. Exciting and heartbreaking. It's a lot like choosing to move away for college. Or committing to a summer at Pine Cove without knowing a soul. For me, those kind of decisions have always been easy make (yes, let's go and let's do) and heart-wrenching to carry-out. And they've always been for the very best.
The problem with the excitement and heartbreak is that you never know which one is going to strike you and when. I've noticed its the small things. I feel a rush of comfort when we're getting in the car and waving to all of our neighbors who happened to be outside at the same time: Reverend Doug and Mrs. Gloria who have lived across the street for over thirty years and our quirky and talkative next door neighbor, Ramsey, who still says, "Hi Dustin and Rachel!" when he sees us. Still. Or sometimes its the feeling of the cool Carolina mornings or driving over big hills or authentically connecting with people as we visit churches. Its raising the screen on the back bedroom window and kissing D while he's working in the backyard [praise Jesus for Saturdays]. And its especially the closeness it brings to our relationship as we share those excitements and the tough parts too.
The tough parts? Missing people. And meeting new ones. And not having a church home. Also wishing that Sister from Where the Heart Is would drive up in her pick-up turned covered wagon and hand me a welcome basket. She'd especially be able to tell that I'm new if she saw me in the grocery store. I'd be staring at all the aisle markers with one of those "I don't know where anything is in the store" face.
Through it all, I'm learning to not live for the normalcy that I just love to cling to. Or believing that life is only truly happy in those picture-worthy moments: the family in front of the perfectly decorated Christmas tree or the arrival of new babies or fiftieth anniversaries. Though it may not be true, the pictures that you choose to frame usually give the illusion that everything has a time and a place and a routine making this transition time seem, well, not-so-picturesque. But I know my attitude towards the hours spent filling our front porch with to-be-recycled packing paper will matter more than how I respond when we hang the last painting or finally buy a sofa or actually have friends over for dinner. Maybe instead of wedding pictures, I'll fill our walls with an 8x10 of cardboard boxes. Or us eating on the floor while watching TV [which was also on the floor]. Or even a nice shot of air mattresses. Here's to embracing transition.