As I came home from leave, I expected another quiet summer as always, picking raspberries, sweet tomatoes, zucchinis, and plums with my friend’s children, watching fireworks from my front yard, and if I’m lucky, taking a short road trip somewhere. But within two weeks of being home, out of nowhere, my roommate was given the opportunity to buy a condo not even on the market yet.
Okay, as the biggest move for me in the last couple of years has been moving from the downstairs bedroom to an upstairs bedroom, I guess I was due for some changes in my life—big changes. Unfortunately I have been sorely out of practice. My poor roommate was so worried that she didn’t want to tell me about the condo. But two minutes before she came home and told me, I was in the kitchen pondering about what I needed to do to change. So when she told me about it, it felt immediately right.
That afternoon I went with her and took a tour of the condo. It felt like the right move for her. So what did that mean for me? That meant I was moving too. Just another city nearby, but it feels far enough. Along with this move, every area of my life is also drastically shifting. Yeah, big changes.
During this change so far, I have felt like a tiny boat being tossed about in a great stormy sea. Some days I have felt completely engulfed and submerged in the rains and the floods. Other days I’ve wondered if this small boat would hold or break into pieces against these gigantic waves and the intense winds.
Up to this point, I had been in still waters—resting, healing, and letting go. This place—this old house has been such a refuge for me. I even have one of my best friends living just down the street from me. Having her so near has filled my heart in a way that I never realized that I needed until now. As I reflect on this time, I’m filled with gratitude for such a tender gift in my life.
Of course, I always knew that I couldn’t stay here forever that things would have to change one day. I would have to get on with my life—I would have to leave this place, although it has been exactly what I’ve needed. And coming to this realization now has helped me to trust that it’s also time to leave.
So right now, I’m up to my ears packing, cleaning and throwing out old things. Despite everything that I have no control over, I’ve been trying to focus on the things I can do. I’ve been hiking a lot, meeting people in my new area, and attending more social activities. In addition, I finished rewriting the first chapter of my novel again, and I’m just doing a final grammar edit.
Yes, this storm has been overwhelming, and there have been some really terrifying moments which has dropped me to my knees. But I realize now that only a storm of this magnitude would have the power necessary to move this boat forward. Where this wind is taking me, I’m not exactly sure. Land maybe—a promised land?
Facing storms will always be a natural part of our journey, and maybe we’ll never look out a window and hope for a hurricane. But when we are amid a storm, perhaps we could try to see where these mighty winds are taking us. Whether these storms are within or without, inherent in these great forces of nature is the ability to traverse considerable distances and break through massive barriers.
In this particular storm in my life, as I have held on to this perspective, I’ve been filled with a kind of strength that I haven’t known before. In addition, this whole time I’ve been here resting and healing (from a previous storm by the way), I never realized that I’ve been actually fortifying and preparing myself for the great storm that could carry me to my promised land.
So are you in still waters or a storm right now? Can you see how the still waters are preparing you? Or can you see how the mighty winds are carrying you to a better place? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know.
Not all storms are the same. Please know that I don’t share these things lightly as I know there are some pretty devastating storms that we can face as human beings, and it may be too painful right now to see things from this perspective. If you are in this type of storm, my hope is that you would be kind to yourself. Take time out to grieve, to process and to find people who would uplift you and strengthen you. Look for tender gifts in your life and small moments of joy, for they too have the power to bear you up and carry you.