When I wrote this post in July of 2014, in the midst of our move from one chapter to another, I had no idea what was ahead. However, God knew, and, in His mercy, taught me some lessons on rest and recovery that have become sustaining rhythms in my life. I light-heartedly wrote about silent rest this past Sunday (September 15, 2019), but make no mistake, rest is an essential part of life in this next chapter.
So, what does this rest, this being still, look like? I have no idea.
Right now we are 48 hours from the arrival of the moving truck, surrounded by boxes (both full and empty) with a to-do list that is slowly dwindling down. In addition to moving ourselves to Ann Arbor, we are also preparing to move our youngest daughter from St. Louis to Ann Arbor to Washington, DC all within the next three weeks. After that, we will move our oldest daughter from Chicago to Ann Arbor to Philadelphia by the beginning of September.
All this talk of being still is really just talk for now. In the next 48 hours we will close up shop in St. Louis, allow the movers to pack our lives into a truck, and begin our drive to Ann Arbor. The truck will meet us, and we will unpack our possessions and rearrange them in a different, smaller space.
We aren’t just relocating; we are also becoming empty nesters! For the first time in almost 22 years, we will be a couple living alone (with a dog, of course). And, we will be living alone together after living apart for eleven months! It’s almost like getting married all over again! He has adapted to life in Ann Arbor and his new, very demanding, position there. I have adapted to life without him in St. Louis.
We are changing from a large, three-level home in the city to a small, one-level home on a college campus. (Yes, on a college campus. I can see a dorm from my dining room window!) We have been separated by 500 miles for the past year; we will now rarely be separated by more than several hundred feet! (He walks three minutes down a sidewalk to get to work!)
If I were to do what is comfortable for me, I would already have a job lined up. I would have a start date, and tasks to complete before that start date. I would zoom into Ann Arbor, get the place set up, and rush into a routine that would leave little time for interaction with my husband, let alone the emotional processing that comes with relocating, sending your baby off to college, and leaving a career and friends after ten years!
My diagnosis has given me an excuse to be still. However, it’s not difficult to see God’s hand in the re-setting of my mind that has come as a result of my diagnosis. He’s been trying to get me to re-set for quite some time, I think. I have just stubbornly forged onward, ignoring my feelings, ignoring my heart, even ignoring the people who are closest to me.
I’ve seen Jesus’ words in Matthew many times, but recently they’ve been speaking straight to my heart, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I am not sure at all what several months of resting looks like, or if I will be able to fully settle in. But, the glimpse I have had over the summer — the ability to hear, to feel, and to think more clearly and calmly — inspires me to give it my best shot.
I am trusting that his “yoke is easy, and [his] burden is light” and that I “will find rest for [my] soul.”