What if all this time apart, this distance, this great uprooting of our lives together and all of this change tears us apart instead of bringing our marriage closer together?
What if I'm 'that weird one from Texas' and no one wants to be my friend because I'm too loud, or too southern or too weird or just too much?
The questions often revolve around my fears about what we're doing and how much is changing for us. And this change - the one we have hoped for and prayed about for years - now that it's here and it's happening, it's come with a great measure of uncertainty.
And I'm scared.
What if it's only me and my boys day in and day out every day....and what if I can't handle it?
What if we can't find a place to live? And what if we can't sell our home here?
What if Tommy resents Todd for all that we're doing and changing right now?
With every night that I sit alone in this big house that will soon be packed up and left, I sit there without the security and comfort of my husband beside me, the questions come. Those horrible what-if questions about all of the unknowns before us, before me. The questions about the harder parts of this process.
What if it takes forever until we're able to all move up to North Dakota together and I have to continue like this, alone, for months on end?
What if we move up there sooner rather than later - before I feel ready to say goodbye and leave all of this behind?
What if everyone I know and love here forgets about me?
What if North Dakota never feels like home?
I try to drown them out by the sound of the television or in a book or movie. And soon there will be a baby taking up that space. But they are there. Doubts, fears, questions and this great sadness that comes right alongside this great place of joy for us.
Maybe it's because I know that not all of this is going to be wonderful and easy. I know this will come with it's share of hard places and I am most certain that a move to North Dakota will also mean a season of loneliness for me. I don't know how it couldn't. I'm moving thousands of miles away from the only home I've ever known where the only people familiar to me will be my husband and my boys. And Todd's extended family who I've never even met.
It's not North Dakota's winter that I dread the most (though I am truly dreading that part) - it's the loneliness that is sure to come with this move.
My whole life has felt like this one huge attempt of trying to escape loneliness and not having to feel the weight and the hurt of it. I have felt as though I am merely a product of other's neglect, abandonment, rejection and betrayal of my heart. And while that is where Jesus has met me and healed me and brought me to life, the wounds remain. They are part of my story and who I am. I'm scared that if I leave all that is familiar to me behind, I'll revert to old ways. Because it has been in my loneliness that I've done the greatest damage against my soul, my body, my heart. It's been the place where I most often agree with evil.
What if depression or anxiety or addictions return because of all that is changing?
I think my greatest fear about this change is that I will return to those places. That I haven't healed or grown past what I can do to myself in the midst of loneliness. Perhaps I am most afraid of myself. And that the God that feels so near to me now will disappear as I leave Texas and everything dear to me behind.
I wrote that in the middle of the night this week - in my sleeplessness and loneliness because my body aches and I'm miserable and I desperately miss my husband and just want to feel his arms around me. I'm needing God in ways and in places I never thought I would have to need Him. And while it hurts, I'm grateful for the spaces He has invited me to more with Him too.
As I've sat here in the light of this beautiful Sunday, sun streaming through my window, warming my face, I want to wrap this up neatly and end it with something beautiful or hopeful because there is so much of me that knows and believes in a very good God who is faithful and loving and that this journey will be both amazing and hard. But I can't wrap it up because what I'm feeling is messy and complex. And if I leave it undone and out there and messy, someone will try and wrap up for me. To try and make me feel better or assure me of something, because it's what we do when someone else is feeling something big and we don't have answers. That usually leaves me feeling missed and angry.
In the days, the weeks and months to come, life is going to feel messy and undone. Unsettled and chaotic even. I'm going to want to pack up my feelings as neatly and orderly as my house and I don't really want to do that. And I'm aware where others might want to do that for me and I need to have grace for those as much as I hope others can have grace for me and where I am too.
And so, here I am. Sitting with questions and in goodness and taking all of this as it comes. Writing about this new piece of my story and a new season of life in a place that I have thoughtfully titled Seasons and Stories. I want to tell it and share it - even the undone places that still don't have answers.
To the few and faithful who read....thanks for joining me.