Monday, October 29, 2012

Dear Houston: Another Confession

Dear Houston, 

I owe you an apology. I've been giving you the cold shoulder (no pun intended) but the lack of fall here is disheartening. We've had a couple of cold days recently due to this storm, but why do the trees still have to be green? Why do I get sore looks every time I step outside with mittens? I just want to run up to every person on the street and scream at them, "what? It's almost November, leave me be! Can't you see I'm holding onto an irrational hope here for pumpkin spice lattes and orange leaves on the ground? Can't you see I'm missing a place called home and that I get so hot headed and sincerely angry that some Houstonians don't seem to mind we're getting gypped here?" But instead I smile and jump into my car hoping they see the Virginia license plate. I take a deep breath, close my eyes and grip the steering wheel. I tell myself it's just a season, there's no reason to get all out of wack. But then I check the outside temperature as I'm driving down the road and I secretly (not so secretly) curse out loud. Really, Houston? 

I guess you could say I owe more than an apology. I have been battling discontentment, trying to grasp onto the Word and know that there is more to be thankful for than my little mind can comprehend. And in other areas of my life, I feel that gratitude. Words cannot express how much joy I have when I wake up every day with my husband knowing that I get to write. I get to pursue a dream that most people don't come close to because they have to use that energy to pay the bills. We also found out I'm getting a full refund for the semester withdrawal because of the University's tuition mistake - something that we didn't even ask for. What a blessing! What reassurance that we're doing the right thing! I look at my husband every day and I'm reminded that I am blessed... to have him, to have this house, to have family and friends, and to have a job that is all I want. I have a purpose that allows me to use my gifts. I get to serve God and honor Him through doing what I love. There is much to be thankful for.. and yet it is so hard to feel consistency and call this place home. Having Aaron home for more than a week has been absolutely wonderful, and there are so many things about this place that we love. Houston, you're not all trouble to me, I can tell you that. Being a part of such a fantastic ministry here, and finally finding a church and a community group we can rest in is an answered prayer, all pointing to God's purpose for us here. 

But sometimes it's still hard thinking about Raleigh and the friends we left there. I see pictures of the lush trees, yellow and red littered leaves on the roads and pumpkin carving parties and I see life happening there, just like it is here. And I find myself creeping into this place of wanting my own way, trying to make sense of it in my mind and rationalizing my words. It's easy to tell myself Raleigh is home and nothing else will ever be home. I need to seek forgiveness. Not just an apology for you, Houston. I need to tell my husband I'm sorry I've been (consciously or unconsciously) limiting our life here. I've been neatly folding clothes and other pieces of our lives to move again, ready to leave it behind or invest only a little bit of myself because the pain of leaving myself again is too hard. Writing it all out and seeing it all now for what it is makes my heart hurt, because I know I'm not seeing the big picture of God's sovereignty. I am wanting my own comforts and letting my life grow resentment or bitterness. I need to seek forgiveness from everyone I've met, for smiling and saying I like it here when it is much more complicated than that. I have met some incredible people here, and I don't want to let it all pass me by. 

So on that note, Houston, I decided to stop giving you the silent treatment. Life is too short, and seasons are even shorter. I'll continue to try and make my home here, whether or not you decide to give me some color in those trees. But just so you know, I'm not going to stop wearing my mittens. Do what you will with that information.


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"Pleasant words are [like] honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24