For weeks I have been deep cleaning my new home and preparing it for me and my son. I have been bargain shopping for new furniture and carefully walking heel-to-toe measuring out spaces and planning for where everything will be placed. I have cleaned every surface, scrubbed every inch and sanitized everything that will be touched and used by my small family. The hard work has been a labor of love and an exercise in hopefulness…the sowing of the seeds for a new beginning. As the day of my big move to my new home approached, I expected to feel excitement, freedom and liberation. Instead I have been increasingly overwhelmed with fear and agonizing sadness.
Yesterday was supposed to be a day of packing and preparing for my move. Even though it has only been a few weeks since my dear friend opened her home to us when we had nowhere else to go, our belongings have been tucked away and spread around her entire house. What took only four hours to move into her house will take at least two days to gather together and pack up for the move. The truck has been reserved and the muscle has been hired to help – the date of the upcoming move is set and is not negotiable. I have so much to do and so little time to get it done, but yesterday I spent the day in my pajamas and curled up under a blanket. Instead of preparing to embark on the next chapter of my life, I spent the day alone – crying and screaming insanely at the realization that I would never go home…that I was officially taking the final step away from everything I had once held so dear and believed in so fervently.
“I want to go home” I texted to one of my dearest friends. “I want to wake up from this nightmare and find myself in the home I thought I’d never leave and with the family I thought I’d never lose.”
At some point yesterday I finally dropped to my knees in prayer and asked for a peacefulness I can no longer achieve on my own. “Take this pain, God….it’s too much for me to bear. Please give my mind the peace it needs to be focused on what needs to be done. Please give my soul the strength to believe in new beginnings that will bring my family the redemption and purpose that You promise. Please help me. I’m lost again.”
How satisfying it would be to write that my prayer was answered in beautiful clarity and that I was infused with unwavering determination and an enduring joyfulness. How proud I would be to say that I changed out of my pajamas at some point yesterday and spent time being productively engaged in preparing for moving into my new home. How deeply I would like to be able to truthfully report that everything is ready to go and I no longer carry within me the fear and sadness that brought me to my knees yesterday. I would like to say all of these things, but I would be lying. This morning I’m not wearing pajamas and I’ve managed to put a good dent in the task of packing. I’ve found some level of productivity but my mind is still whispering the doubts and my heart is still beating too quickly from fear.
I guess it is true – the true measure of bravery is not the absence of fear and the accurate measure of hope is not taken when circumstances are all well known and the outcome discernable. Today is a new day and tomorrow will bring the unavoidable task of moving into a new home that brings a new set of hopes and dreams…and will never be filled with the same hopes and dreams of my yesterdays. My feet are uncertain and hesitant and my heart is reluctant, but I’m taking the steps forward and away from my past. Sometimes I guess you just have to celebrate every step, even the small ones, and each accomplishment toward moving forward and away from events that shatter and scar you. My steps may be small and tentative…and they may be embarrassing in their clear demonstration of my significantly impaired ability to be independent and strong…but they are steps in the right direction. Upon these baby steps I will strive to build a foundation of believing in myself again…of being a woman who can look back some day in the future and speak of this time with a healed heart and soul.
Baby steps may be the only kind of progress I’m capable of today…but I’m blessed to have found the balance to take them and for my faith in leading me to move away from my past and into the future that has been designed for me. I am humbled…and tomorrow, I will be home.
And for these baby steps, I am grateful.