We sat on the hitch of the moving truck, the four of us. He and I, with friends we’d known since highschool. The friends who went through engagements and weddings a month apart from us. The friends we had in the city with us for 5 years. We sat on the hitch of the truck, with everything we owned packed inside. We reminisced about the last time they helped us move, nearly 5 years ago.
There’s something sweet about friends that weather all seasons of life with you. Friends that move you from one place to the next, all the while knowing that wherever you go, you’ll never be too far.
It was then on the truck bumper, it finally hit me: this season of life was really over. In the months leading up to that day, I slowly let go of my commitments in the city. One by one, I watched the threads of my old life unravel. Once the last of it was packed, I stood there in the barren apartment, feeling completely empty handed.
I could still remember women giggling as they bustled through my front door in the dead middle of winter. Coffee brewing, snacks on the table, blankets and boots piled around. Sub-zero temperatures never kept them from entering into God’s presence.
I could still hear a chorus of prayers, rising from the walls of the room. I could hear hearts spilled out and courage found in the words “me too.” I could hear redemption’s anthem, boldly declared over one another. I remember their faces, every single one. I remember their stories and how they changed me.
Night after night, after coffee cups piled high in the sink and papers strewn about from study, I would leave everything as it was. I would sit in the silence most nights, and cry. The kind of cry that only gets interrupted by its own joyful smile. Because crying was the only offering I had. Words didn’t seem fit for how tenderly God was loving on me through those women.
I stood in the empty apartment feeling completely poured out. I gave God every bit of myself in that season. I was ready for the next.
In august of 2015 we moved from big city, to small country - a welcomed respite from the bustle of city living. I was ready for change. Ready to step out into the unknown and welcome what God had. I felt firm and grounded. But in that moment, I knew not what I was actually standing on.
We arrived in our new town, full of hope planning our new life. But what we came to, was quite the opposite of what we came from.
I went from working full-time in a busy office, to part time at home.
From an apartment we loved, to an apartment that was our very last and only option. Where smoke smells from neighbors hovered in the hall, and the previous owner’s pet smell seemingly permanent in the carpet.
From a multitude of social engagements, to none.
From serving weekly at prison, to having not one volunteer organization return any calls or emails.
From having friends within a two minute drive, to knowing not a soul in town.
From leading a small group, to not being able to find one to attend.
From discussions about having children, to discussious about infertility options.
From a church we loved, to visiting churches we really didn’t like at all.
From my husband being part time finishing up one job, to working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to prove he was worth keeping at his new job.
From dreaming of planting a church, to watching it all come crumbling down.
From thinking about house plans, to keeping our boxes packed.
From thinking we were going to start putting down roots, only to be told we’d be leaving the following year.
From never questioning our marriage a day in my life, to thinking it was going to go up in flames – and I was going to be the one to light it ablaze.
From thinking his job was a sure thing, to accepting the fact it was never really ever ours in the first place.
From emails back and forth to a beloved mentor, to burying his body in the ground.
From rhythms that made sense, to chaos in my soul.
All of this, and we’d only been there four months. All of the sudden, the reality of my life hit me. It was as if I hadn’t really understood the weight of all that was happening, until it already had. In an instant, I found my entire world upside down, and my soul went entirely with it. Right from wrong, lie from truth, dark from light – everything was a blurry haze. Nothing in my world felt fair, or balanced. I started to feel like everything I stood on, was ripped from under me.
In the mess, I started to realize… I had been standing on my gifts, instead of the giver.
Confident in what he had given me, but not confident in how he created me.
Confident in my gifts, but not confident that His plan would ever use them again.
I found myself asking God – Would you really, honestly and truly do ALL of that, just to send us out of here so soon? Would you really make me fall apart, for nothing?
And right back to my weary soul he spoke “It’s all for something. I spare nothing, in order to take you deeper.”
And so I went. Deep into the caverns of my own messy soul, I faced the ugliness of my brokenness. I arrived in this new town feeling empty, so that what could be poured back in would change every piece of me.
Instead of hurrying up to fix myself, I let it burn. I let it fall. I let it all go, and things got dark. Some days, I hardly wanted to get out of bed. Some days, I dont think I ever did. My spirit felt wrecked.
The enemy had determined to wage war in my soul. Like he knew, who I would be on the other side of this, would threaten the very kingdom of darkness. And while the gifts felt far, my giver was closer still.
And so I pressed inward and onward. Clinging to bits of truth and hope, that this too, shall pass. Day by day, the load got lighter. The days brighter and the vision clearer. What seemed to be a dark heavy cloud all around, finally started streaming light.
In a few months, we leave this place. We pack it all up, and move somewhere new. But who we are now, is not who we were when we arrived. No. There’s no going back now. We burned the ships that brought us here.
Leaving this place I stand taller in who God created me to be, unapologetically. Unstoppable, as I follow the call of God. Undefeatable, because no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Unstuck, moving gracefully from one season to the next. Undaunted, by the challenges of life. Uncommon, chasing a life countercultural to those around me. Unleashed, and not held captive by my past. *
When everything goes upside down, let it come undone.
Come undone, and watch yourself become untamable for the kingdom.
*Exerpt from the Propel woman