January 18, 2012

Standing Still

Sometimes I feel like I'm just standing still while watching everyone pass me by. Their lives, their movement, the calls on their life that take them to new places.

I'm left here firmly planted with roots running deep. And though parts of my heart and life move that never moved before, watching others pick up and go leaves me feeling as though I'm never really moving and never really going and maybe I missed something. Suddenly, I begin to feel more stuck than settled.

Several friends have gone. I see their faces and can hear their laughter and remember a hundred memories as I recall who they are and what took them away. Tonight, I say farewell to my cousin. Another friend will be gone by the spring.

Goodbyes are hard. They feel easier somehow when you know they should be leaving and it's good for them to go. But then they feel hardest when you know that maybe you're still supposed to be where you are too - left in the known and the familiar and the same. It's difficult watching others begin a brand new chapter of their life that takes them on a grand adventure outside of the place you've always lived life together. Their adventures take them away from my own familiar way of living and doing. It changes my normal and I'm left in the same place, and then I'm left with less because all I have is the void and the space that only they filled. All of this leaves me disrupted and unsettled as though I was the one packing up and moving away.

It struck me the other day that Todd and I have lived in our house longer than we've lived in any other place together. The carpet is worn and some things look tired and nothing is crispy and fresh anymore. It's home though and I'm happy it's home. Yet part of me wishes it was our turn to be taken somewhere new too. For home to take on a new form.

I've always wondered what it would feel like to be the one that was leaving. I wonder how it would feel for others to be saying goodbye to us. To be the guests at the going away party. To be the one seated in the chair as others prayed over before we headed off into the unknown. Those things feel intangible and hard to imagine.

I'm grateful for home. For permanence, for routine, for family close by, for long Texas summers and the comforts familiarity brings. And I long for more. I long to be moved, to change, to go. I long for newness and the glorious discomforts of being stretched by changing surroundings and circumstances.

Our roots aren't uprooted...they remain. I'm curious what new chapters of life might look like when so much stays the same.


  1. wow, this was so beautifully written. i wish i had words that will comfort you but i don't. i do not enjoy change much so i blossom without it. i just hope that you find the peace that you are seeking. but i will say one thing, sometimes it is a good thing that a great life remains great. nothing wrong with that. :)

  2. Jennifer, I do not believe you are "standing still." You are not stuck...you ARE moving!!!....but right now, you are not moving location, or moving to a new home in a new state.... I believe all of the activity that is happening, is happening on the inside...inside your heart, and inside your spirit, and inside your soul!!! You are MOVING forward, and GROWING in every way!I He is training you for BIG things...I believe the Lord does not give us more than we can handle...it may be God's grace that is allowing you to stay on familiar ground for a bit with a foundation that is familiar, because there IS so much movement going on in your life!.Then, when God sees fit..... watch out!!! God has big plans for you and your sweet family!! He already is and will use you mightily....

  3. I know it is hard to watch the changes that are taking place for others and wondering if it will ever be us..it is hard to think about sometimes...yes they are missed and yes it feels like it should be us that gets to move,etc...I am glad that I get to share life with you here....it is good to see the changes in you and your heart...here is to us and what God has in store for us this year!!

  4. I hate when friends I've made move! They all seem to move so far away too, not somewhere where we can just take a long drive but where I need to take a plane or a REALLY REALLY long drive. But we'll never move away. All our family is here and I can't imagine leaving them all.

  5. I pretty much want to copy and paste this post to my own blog. I SO identify with it, and it makes me a bit sad too. :S