The New and Messy

We are coming to month number 6 of being city dwellers.  Typing that seems so crazy!  These last six months have flown by and as I sit at my neighborhood coffee shop to type it feels so much like home.  The day we moved in was Savanah's first day of school at Urban Christian Academy.  So needless to say, change was just a hurricane on our family.  New home, new school, new house, new neighborhood, new sounds, new sights, new people....new, new, new.  
We were also so obviously new in our hood.
Yet new does not mean wrong.  
It means feeling vulnerable.
It means feeling risky.
It means feeling scared.
It means feeling excited.
And sometimes when I am feeling all of those emotions my controlling Suzanne begins to take action.  She wants to minimize the feeling of new and make it normal as quickly as possible.  Thinking that I am smart enough to completely bypass feeling new.  Feeling vulnerable or afraid.  But normal is something that cannot be created or contrived.  It is something that has to happen through the process of feeling vulnerable, and afraid, and unsure, and excited.  Holding those out and letting your days start to reveal to you the new.  And the days when we thought, this isn't where we should be....this feels like the wrong decision....this is hard....we knew.....this was so right.

As our days and time in the city have unfolded we have learned so much.  For instance, the roads may be two way, but seriously, you can pass anyone at anytime as if they were four lanes.  And honestly, do not wait for the bus to start back up again on the road.  Just go around him as if the bus is not there.  The bus driver does not think you are being nice when you smile and give him a little wave as if to say, "after you kind sir"....no...he is annoyed by you....he needs you to just continue with your day.  So, go, kind waving and smiling white girl.  

The days have revealed that relationships take time.  That maybe I had expectations of others or situations or of God that I didn't know were lying in my heart.....until they became unmet.  And in the unmeeting, it begins to feel messy.

Yet (thanks to a dear friends reminder), messy does not mean wrong.
It means feeling vulnerable.
It means feeling scared.
It means feeling lonely.
It means feeling sad.
But it is not wrong.  When you begin to lean into the spaces that God is inviting you, mess is inevitably going to be there.  And to be honest....I didn't have a whole lot of mess one year ago.  Things were pretty tidy and predictable.  We were finally a family of five and I was doing my day to day.  But it has been in these messy places that my dependency on the Lord has grown because I know that He needs to clean up those messy things about me.  Where I am in constant need of Him to refine me and remind me that I am His.  

Our days have also revealed how simple answers do not solve complicated problems.  Solving for x around here is not simple.  Just like dividing 37 by 5 gives you a remainder of 2 (y'all, I'm a homeschool teacher now!), so do the problems of most of our new friends.  Once you think the problem might have a solution, there is always something remaining to work through.  And learning that messy isn't wrong has served us very well in this part of our move.  Because there are many people who desperately need someone to say you will be willing to enter into the messiness of their lives.  That despite all of the remaining factors they might have, that doesn't matter to you.  It can't matter....because the truth is, I have a lot of remaining factors too.  And it has revealed to me that people aren't equations to be solved.  Especially "poor people" or "under privileged" people.  And I am not the ultimate genius because I am a middle class white girl educated in the Blue Valley School District here to bring order to the chaos......I might have thought that about myself.....but that girl didn't last out very long.  The only one who came to bring order to chaos was Jesus.  And He came to the chaos of my life and desired to reconcile me back to Himself.  He didn't do that by swooping in and solving all of the yuck that was in me.....he did it by inviting me into a relationship with himself.  And He commissioned me....and you to do the same.  To be a friend.  To walk alongside.  For the long haul.  Solving equations are quick.  It is measurable.  You can make it fit into a compartment that you choose to open and close when it's convenient.  But convenient is not something that describes our days anymore.  And I am conveniently beginning to appreciate this new normal.  This mess.  My days and weeks that are unpredictable.  The tears shed with people who seem to have so many remaining factors and yet feel hope when you wonder where that hope could possibly be.  And, thankfully, I am also just swerving right on by the bus without a wave or a smile. 
I think I'm gonna like it here.
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1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love your heart and your courage to be vulnerable. What an amazing example you're setting for your children. I hope as you settle into your new hood and home, that you continue to see the fruit of your vulnerability.