Sunday, June 24, 2012

In transition

I'm about to head out the door, for a second drive up to Waukegan with a car full of boxes. Having just barely made the rent an deposit, I became depressed and didn't pack as much as necessary this last week. So we did a lot of it today, and yesterday. The furniture will be moved on Tuesday. Everything else will trickle up there in the car, box by box, bag by bag, until this apartment is empty and the new one is full and waiting to be transformed into "home."

The process has been painful. The anxiety I thought I could leave behind for the summer practically flung itself back upon me. It's been hard to sleep an hard to eat and therefore also hard to stay awake when I have things to do that require... well, awakeness, and energy. Four separate times we found a place to live and began the process and then the plan got shot down. We wasted a whole month, getting run around in circles by a little old lady with an apartment on her property. And we looked at a place with bugs in it on the third floor of a creepy building, with rickety stairs. We looked at two places with a potential roommate, and then that also fell through. (It wasn't an upsetting experience, and there are no hard feelings, but it did mean we had to start over.) My trust in God has been such a rollercoaster over the last few months. We found something good and then it was taken away, and that happened FOUR times in less than two months.

You always know that if God takes something away, he has something better in mind in the future. But God also lets people become homeless. He lets their spouses die. Bad things happen to good people, bad things happen to those whom God loves. That was my fear: that God wanted to teach me something through loss, and that's why we couldn't find a place to live.

Thankfully, that isn't how it happened. Instead, I had to let go of some pride, as did my husband, and we had to ask for help from friends. Like knowing that God has a plan, you also know that God gives you friends for a reason. Not just because they're fun to be around, not just because they give us joy, but because sometimes they actually represent God's provision and grace in a tangible way.

The car is almost full. I have to carry down my picnic basket full of tea things. After dropping this stuff off at the apartment we're going to get some last-minute anniversary things, and tomorrow I will have been married for a whole year. Insert mushy comments here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Soon I'll be a stranger in a strange new place

Less than three weeks from today I will be living in a new apartment, in a new city, with new bills to pay and new people to meet. Strange as it may seem, this is as close to the real world as I have ever gotten. Living on Trinity's campus isn't exactly like living in a safe bubble--not nearly as much as people think, especially if you rent an apartment. But, it's all I've known. I have always lived with my parents or on campus. This is the first time I'm living somewhere that isn't either of those things.

It's a rattling feeling. I'm excited, but I'm also a little scared. I can't wait to move all of our stuff out of here and into the new place, and at the same time I am avoiding packing. I don't know what to pack first. I'm afraid I'll put something at the bottom of a box and I'll need it tomorrow. I'm afraid I'll put something fragile in a box, and that one box will somehow manage to fall apart and break everything inside. Also.... I really just don't know where to start.

When I sat down today and realized for the billionth time since we got approved yesterday that yes, we are moving, a song came to mind. 'Anatevka' from Fiddler on the Roof. It decently sums up my feelings at the moment. I am happy to be leaving, happy about the situation, but living on campus has been wonderful. I have loved being close to all my friends that are still on campus, and have loved going to classes. Now that I'm leaving, and I'll be student teaching this fall, everything will be different. It's just a little bittersweet..

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
A pot, a pan, a broom, a hat.

Someone should have set a match to this place years ago.
A bench, a tree.
So, what's a stove? Or a house?
People who pass through Anatevka don't even know they've been here.
A stick of wood. A piece of cloth.

What do we leave? Nothing much.
Only Anatevka.

Anatevka, Anatevka.
Underfed, overworked Anatevka.
Where else could Sabbath be so sweet?
Anatevka, Anatevka.
Intimate, obstinate Anatevka,
Where I know everyone I meet.

Soon I'll be a stranger in a strange new place,
Searching for an old familiar face
From Anatevka.

I belong in Anatevka,
Tumble-down, work-a-day Anatevka.
Dear little village, little town of mine