*I wrote this 2 months ago, but I think I’m finally ready to share.
I have a confession to make. We’ve been thinking about moving.
It’s a topic that has slowly made it’s way into our discussions the past few months. Brad and I both felt these inklings individually and then at some point expressed them to each other.
In the beginning we talked very casually about the prospect of moving, generally only bringing it up after a beer or two.
It has become much more acceptable the past few weeks to talk about it. To talk about what the future may hold for us and where we could end up.
All of this talk is fun and frustrating wrapped up in one. It’s hard to know what the right choice is and where the Lord’s path will lead us. We certainly do not want to stray from his desires for us but we also know that sometimes God changes our lives suddenly and in big ways, especially when we least expect it.
We have been enjoying our life here this spring and summer with our gardens and our rabbits and our new desire for urban homesteading and the “simple” life, but there’s been a hidden layer of anxiety underneath it all.
Brad and I are both prone to anxiety but nearly everyday for the past few months at least one, if not both of us have experienced it. Some days it is debilitating, some days it’s just hanging out causing our stomachs to twist a little.
I suppose there’s no shortage of reasons for our anxiety. A couple of months ago a man was murdered two houses behind us, everyday we sit on our porch and witness drug deals and kids turn from children to gangsters, and I can’t even guess how many times we’ve called 911 to report gunshots in the area.
As immune as we’ve become to these things and as much as we realize they are a part of life in our neighborhood, I’ve also begun to realize how much these incidents have been affecting me this year .
I’ve told Brad so many times that I just can’t do this anymore. And I kind of don’t want to do this anymore. Our lives have been great this year, we’ve been doing so many things that we desire like gardening, hanging out with neighbors and opening up our house to community but there is still an underlying feeling of discontent and misunderstanding of the happenings here.
So, we’ve talked a lot the past few weeks about moving and how it might be coming but we’re just not sure. The Lord keeps telling me to be patient and to take things one step at a time.
Last Wednesday Brad was making dinner and I was roaming around doing stuff. Brad told Theo he could go out on the porch and pick basil with him in a few minutes but Theo disappeared to his room and Brad quickly grabbed some basil off the porch so he could keep cooking. A few minutes later I was in the dining room and heard the front door close.
I looked in the kitchen and saw that Brad hadn’t moved and I asked him if he heard the door. I then went to the front door, opened it and yelled for Theo. He peeked his head around the porch and I felt sick to my stomach.
After telling him to get inside right away and putting him in a time out for going outside by himself (he’s been told that this is unacceptable) I stood and processed what had just happened.
It probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but to think that my baby boy was outside by himself exposed to the elements of our community was too much for me. I felt scared for what could have happened. I also realized that I don’t know if I will ever feel comfortable leaving him play outside by himself. Even at 15 I would worry about him and worry that he is hanging out with the wrong people. And then I thought about Theo in just two or three years and how he would want to play with the kids that are always running around and how I can’t imagine feeling like I could ever let him freely do that without constant supervision.
I don’t want to be a mother hen. I want Theo and Ira to feel freedom in their play and interactions with others. I want them to run free and play in the open and not have me hovering over making sure nothing bad is happening to them.
At that moment I knew it is time for us to move on. There was a peace in my heart that told me our Harvard Avenue days are coming to a close.
I feel like God has a place planned for us that is better suited to our needs and desires as a family and I’m thankful that he has been listening to our prayers and petitions the past four years.
After Theo’s three minutes were up I went to talk to him. He had been crying, though not the sobbing tantrum cries he normally exhibits, his faced showed that he truly was scared and felt remorse for what he had done. I realized he had heard the door from Brad’s basil run and wanted to join his Papa on the porch. The whole thing just broke my heart but I was thankful for his safety and the sign for a new path.
I have to keep telling myself that we are not giving up on this neighborhood and that God doesn’t “need” us to make it better, he will fill it up with his love regardless of whether or not we are here. We have been an instrument of his peace and goodwill for 4 years here and I am grateful for the lessons, trials and tribulations we have endured here. I am not even close to the same person I was 4 years ago, pregnant and unsure about moving into a boarded up dining room with my my best friend.
Well, my best friend and I have made it this far, and we’ve filled up this house with love and repairs and boys. We’ve been stretched to our limits and have expanded our patience. We’ve seen sadness and joy and have had many hopes and dreams.
So…what now? We are exploring our options and have an idea of where we’re headed but are not sure enough to talk to people other than close friends and family. Please pray for us and our patience and understanding in this transitional period.
And since there always seems to be a song defining time periods in my life, here’s this one: