ch-ch-ch-changes, turn the page

Posted: August 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Someone I love is going through a “starting all over from scratch” passage of his life (actually, this is true of more than one of the someones whom I love) this week and we have been talking about life, loss, lessons, and many other things.  I have noticed that there are people out there who seem to be what I THOUGHT I would be “when I grew up”…all linear and predictable  People who pick a path early in life and then just follow it, with no “do overs,” no complete turnarounds, no utter losses for what is next, no unexpected turns in the road.

That’s who I thought I would be when I was growing up.  I thought I’d get married and have the same husband, house, job, etc for the rest of my life.  I remember reading predictions that the world was changing and the average person would change “life careers” something like 3 times in their life; I was sure I would not be one of them.  It wasn’t so much a wish or a hope or a dream…it was just the way I presumed my life would be.

But that’s not at all how my life has turned out.  Since I got to a really serious and intimate place with the Lord amidst my divorce somewhere around 1999, my life has been a series of “do overs,” complete turnarounds, utter losses for what is next, and unexpected turns in the road. I feel like the Lord keeps ripping up my life manuscript and creating it anew.  And I’m not gonna lie:  I find, despite the sometimes discomfort and occasional fear and frequent apparent total lack of security and near constant appearance (to some) of being a complete whack job that I LIKE IT this way.  At this point I am happy embrace my non-linear life and consider it to be the Series of Very Fortunate Events that God uses to pound me on the anvil of life.

Some of us just need to be hammered a lot, it seems.

So now I am exactly two weeks from another such Great Shifting in my life; I will leave my living dream/answered prayer/beautiful adventure that is JPUSA and head back to Rock Island to resume my former position at the best place I ever worked with the best boss I ever had.  Such a strange and unexpected shift.  Happily for me, the Lord has been faithful to talk, talk, talk to me in a multitude of ways and places, keeping me sure that all is well.  Because of this I rejoice at what is next, even as I grieve what I am leaving (don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on this blog, but I term this my “biopolar passage” as it contains such extremes of joy and grief, happily coexisting within my life along with that awesome biblically-referenced “peace that passeth understanding.”)

Moving day is August 20th:  two weeks from today, I will be carrying boxes down the elevator for the journey.  Two weeks.  I’m old enough to know that is like the blink of an eye, like the drawing of a breath.  It will go away quickly.  Somewhere around the first of August, without planning or meaning to, I started counting how many I had left of things here.  Only three more lunches with Leah, only three more supper Bible studies with the ladies, only three more Tuesday nights in the skate shop, only three more times of senior serving…etc.  I try to squeeze in one more bit of fun and my mental calculator rings up only fifteen more days to squeeze that in before I even know I was counting.  There are many wonderful things to count; I rejoice today that I do so with extravagant gratitude and joy.  Leaving is hard, but it is not stealing the wonder and fun of sucking the last bit of goodie out of what is left here for me at this time.

Meanwhile my heart dances about what is ahead.  The details of how I’m already being welcomed home are mind-blowing.  God is so good and has filled my life with people who know how to love and how to give good gifts.  I leave here with basically nothing, yet I return to a life that lacks basically nothing.  I sit here this morning as a person who would be measured by many standards as one in poverty.  I have WAY less than $100 left in the bank, no car, and my assets all fit in a tiny dorm-type room, squeezed in with all the assets of another person like me.  There is nothing stored anywhere else at all, other than a box of important papers I left in my daughter’s basement when I moved here.  This is a life I chose, rejoicing as I gave all my stuff away to come here, unafraid as others worried that I had just ruined my life and removed my ability to choose a different life later

But you know, God is so good and following where I have believed He was leading has been utterly worth it.  In a stroke of what I find to be unreasonable, ridiculous, overwhelming generosity, He has chosen to replace what I gleefully surrendered in His name.  So this week, my dad is test driving cars for me and my home bank has easily agreed to the financing when the right one is found.  An apartment waits for me at the other end.  A BEAUTIFUL apartment, with even an extra bedroom for guests.  It has all the furniture I need and everything else, down to wall hangings and dishes and small details even beyond that.  I can carry my suitcases in and just live there until I find my “permanent” place (“permanent” has become a bit of a joke-word to me…but anyway a place where I will settle for as long as God wants me there.)  I DID NOTHING to arrange for this apartment or any of its contents except to say “yes” and “thank you.”  NOTHING.

And how will I get from here to there, you ask?  Oh!  I think I mentioned it was the best place I ever worked and the best boss I ever had.  Yeah, they are coming to get me.  FOR REALZ.

The tale goes on and on, and I’ll spare you every tiny detail, though I WILL say it’s been fun watching how even the problem of not having a single item of business clothing left in my wardrobe also was solved like it wasn’t even a problem at all.

I’ve done the kind of starting over in the past that was a consequence of my bad judgment and poor choices.  I’ve survived the kind of new beginning that comes from being in the line of fire of another’s judgment and choices.  I’ve gone through the passages where it was all hard and I could find no one to blame at all…just had to trust God was there with me.  This round of Everything Changing Again has a different feel.  It’s round 2 of that feel; round 1 was when I came here.  I can only say that letting go and trusting God is a whole other realm than muddling through and doing things my way.

My plan, my hope, and my prayer is that I will stay in the place of letting go and following where He leads even when hardship comes my way…and I don’t pretend to myself for even a moment that it won’t.  Such is life.  But I can hold onto Him and trust Him when it comes, or pout and struggle and grow bitter or fearful.  May the things I know of Him now carry with me into those dark places that surely lie somewhere ahead on the path.

And of course while I pray it for me, I pray it for you.

in a non-linear fashion but with much love,



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