Tuesday, October 26, 2010

swirls

Sometimes transferring thoughts to page doesn't come easy for me.

This is one of those times. This meaning the last 4 months.

I feel like the big changes that have come over the last few months have made it difficult to write things out. Thoughts on ministry and motherhood and loneliness and friendships are swimming around. For months I've resisted writing about them because the thoughts are just a big swirl-fest in my head. I'm, apparently, not so good with translating swirls! Perhaps you've noticed this.....as my posts the last few months haven't had much meat to them. And this makes me sad and annoyed, 'cause I so enjoy this outlet and want to be honest and share here!

The dust of these new changes hasn't completely settled yet - and it won't for a while, but I'm starting to see things more clearly. Hence this post. This is my attempt at getting the swirls out! If this post seems all over the place, that's because it is. :-)

As most of you know, we moved to Michigan from Wisconsin in July. My hubby is now the pastor at a little church in Itty Bitty Town. We were a bit nervous, but very excited for the new journey God was placing us on! We started to settle in to our new {rented} home. We met oodles of lovely folks at our new church and around town. And then the newness of it all began to wear off....and it hit me that this was it. This place was now home....and while I was happy, a lot of sadness came, too.

Sadness because this move to Michigan took away what was familiar. It took away my comfort zone. My family is now far {but not too far, thankfully!} and friends aren't next door or even across town. No longer can we just blend into the crowd at church. Our home of 5 years is left behind. Even the grocery store set up isn't the same! :-)

One {big} reason for the swirling thoughts is because I've been lonely. Honestly, every single person I've met here has been SO so sweet and welcoming, but I found myself craving friendship. I've missed being 100% myself. I've missed seeing familiar faces. I've missed the ease and comfort that come with chatting with a good friend. I didn't realize it, but I had put up walls because I was feeling lonely and sad....and God is breaking them down by bringing people into my life that offer true friendship....

Slow, but sure, I'm becoming close with a handful of ladies {of all ages} at church. Just this past week, Josh came home one evening and declared "I met your new best friend...at least in this town". And he did {isn't he great?!}! This gal and I hit it off immediately. It felt like we had known each other forever. She, her husband and their young daughters are members of our church {we hadn't crossed paths before} and, get this, they are originally from WI! Also, I recently was blessed to meet Wendi and Rachel - two incredible ladies I had known before only through their blogs {Josiah has lots of new buddies now, too!}, but now they're just a short drive away! And "old" friends and family check in often with e-mails and calls.....an encouragement that always seems to come at just the right time.

So the loneliness is starting to fade....and with that, my outlook in other areas is brightening and my confidence is growing. I'm feeling energized to try new things and rediscover things that make me happy. I feel like I can be a much better mom and wife with this new attitude. What is that saying, "happy wife, happy life"?! :-)

As I was raking leaves the other day with Josiah "helping" beside me, I thought of how this time of my life {and Josh's and Josiah's...but mostly mine} is much like the season of Fall we're in right now. I've shed much of the old life I was used to living. Life now means new experiences, schedules, challenges, and people to know. Thoughts and emotions swirl around as often and as high as the leaves. I'm left bare, without a comfort zone to hide behind. I bend and sway as these new changes stretch me. It can be messy, hard, and time consuming to brush away the old and prepare for the new.

fall 2

So, yep, that's what is happening. I've had to shed much of the old, been left bare, and now I'm learning how to bloom again. I'm learning to embrace this new normal. I'm learning to create a new comfort zone.

I'm discovering that change can be beautiful....

fall 1

I have a little bit of help with this. I know that God is using this time to teach my stubborn heart that change is good. That He knows best. That He is along for the ride...and that, in fact, He's guiding it! That He wants us right here in Michigan to serve Him and our Itty Bitty Town church.

This season of life has brought some tears, but lots of joy, too. It is lonely and overwhelming at times, but the possibilities and blessings are in abundance! I am very, very blessed.

So now that some of the swirls are out, I'm hoping to write much more often {with more honestly and "meat"} in this place. I've missed it....




28 comments:

  1. So good. So honest. I am so glad to know you {for real now...} ;)

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  2. Change is so hard, and especially big life changes like you have gone through. I am glad you are starting to feel more settled. It was so good to meet you...we'll have to get together again soon!

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  3. I call it the "Cheers" factor.
    ...sometimes you wnat to go, where everybody knows your name, and their always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same, you wanna be where everybody knows your name...
    I think it is so easy to stay in our comfort zone: But then what about all the things we'd miss?
    There's this Guy upstairs and he'll ALWAYS know your name :)

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  4. ok please ignore spelling and grammer errors, I was using my mad typing skills. (mad as in rad)

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  5. I'm so glad you are meeting some good friends! I will continue to pray for you...I can't imagine starting fresh like that! But what an adventure too!

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  6. I have been about to write a post similar to this the last few days. We don't have the same changes, but I feel like the changes in our lives have changed me. I just don't know how to put it in words yet.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. So glad God is showing you the new blessings he has in store for you.
    Hugs,
    Amy

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  7. Life change is hard, and when your walking it out in a new place where your the leadership... it can add even more pressure. Great honest post. Hugs.

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  8. Rachel, this is beautiful. As someone who is experiencing big changes right now, I look to you as inspiration. I love your outlook on life and find it so comforting. You are awesome.

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  9. beautiful post, rachel! change is super hard and not something i'm too fond of. i feel like being a pastor's wife in and of itself is so isolating, and to throw in a move to a new church, albeit in a new state, is rough! you are handling this change with such grace...keep holding on, momma!

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  10. What a wonderful post Rachel! I'm glad to see you back, and I even happier that everything is starting to settle into a good place for you!

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  11. Oh Rachel, it's good to read a meat-y post by you! You always have such a nice way with words and I really love how you compared this time in your life to fall itself. Moving to a new place is SO hard and can be SO lonely at first. I remember when we moved to Seattle 7 years ago and we knew no one. It takes time but I know you and pretty soon you'll have a house full of friends! Sounds like you've already made a good start on that. Yay Josh for *knowing* you so well :)

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  12. When we moved to Seattle 16 months ago I had so many of the same feelings you are sharing. I used to tell Jon when he came home, "The only one I talked to in person all day was you and the lady at Safeway." It was so incredibly hard moving away from family, friends, our church, and my job as a teacher librarian which I loved. I promise it does get better though! Thank goodness for our new church friends that helped make Seattle feel more like home. I pray you find the same in Michigan!

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  13. It is so, so tough to relocate. When we moved from Chicago to St. Louis we made incredible efforts to forge new friendships. And that was without kids! So I can empathize with the loneliness you've felt. I hope that you continue to feel more and more at "home" in your new home!

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  14. This was so great to read, Rachel. Thanks for sharing the "swirls" of your life right now. I can definitely understand your feelings on change, but am glad to hear that things are looking up and you are making more friends. Your attitude is amazing!

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  15. this is a great post! i'm so glad you are able to get some of the swirls out. i know there have been a lot of times lately that i feel the same way with "swirls". i haven't moved to a new town but a lot of new changes are happening and it's putting us on a different path, something that's taken me a while to adjust to. i agree though, change is good. there is always a reason and we may not know what that reason is but trusting that it's god's reason is what helps me. so glad you'll be posting more often and meeting some great new friends! :)

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  16. Great post, Rachel! I can certainly understand why you have the the feelings you do, and am glad that it is getting easier for you. Change is hard, but having a great outlook (and God on your side!) will get you through it.

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  17. I want to give you a huge hug and chat for hours!
    I have so much faith in you to make the best of the situation. It does take time, but like you, I've only lived close to home most of my life. At this point with a child, it's got to be extra challenging.

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  18. Thank you for writing with such honesty. It spoke directly to my heart. Be blessed and may God fill your days with friends overflowing!! :)

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  19. "After the Boxes are Unpacked" by Susan Miller....made a HUGE difference in our last move. I really recommend you get a copy and soak it up. Hope you know so many of us have been right there in your shoes and can now look back and see how God faithfully "kept" us close in His arms. Hang in there lady.

    www.justmoved.org

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  20. Changes and moves are sooo sooo hard. I don't handle them well at all. I am glad that you are starting to make your new home just that - your new home.

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  21. I'm glad you are making new friends in your new community!

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  22. What a great post. I'm so glad you are starting to settle in and have met some friends. It's so hard starting over, and I am always amazed by your positive attitude and outlook. Hang in there:).

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  23. This is a huge transition for all of you and as with any big change, its bound to come with some feelings of loss and loneliness.

    I'm glad you are beginning to find some people who can grow into close friends and that even as you say good-bye to the chapter of your life that has closed you continue to be upbeat and positive about what the future holds.

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  24. I DO love your "meat" but the #1 reason I come here is for Josiah pics and you've been doing that. :) Just kidding...sort of.

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  25. I know how it feels to have lots of deep thoughts swirling yet not be up for sharing it via your favorite outlet (your blog). I'm glad you're feeling a positive sense of change and that you're starting to feel less lonely in your new town. It is SO hard to pick up and move. ((HUGS))

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  26. Change is hard! I went through something similar when I became a SAHM and had to learn to embrace the tiny town without my trips to the city every day for work. Not sure I've ever learned to embrace it, but I've learned to be much more content.

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