Sometimes, I wish I was somebody else.
Somebody with a normal life.
Somebody who lives in the same house for more than a year at a time.
Somebody who has a regular, stable income.
Somebody whose hair doesn't start to change color in their 20's.
Somebody who has a predictable, mundane life.
All of my life I had envisioned this picture perfect life - nice home, money in the bank, steady job. I never wanted luxury, just enough to meet our needs and have a little in the bank. I didn't imagine a big fancy home, just something we could call home and that could be a peaceful, restful place. My desire was not for much, just for enough.
Seven moves, five years...
Four different jobs...
Six different houses...
With all of the twists and turns of this life, sometimes I have struggled with the fact that nothing about my life looks the way I wanted it to. It's just not "normal".
Just recently I learned that next year we will be doing move #7 and #8. There was that little twinge of wishing for stable, but honestly, I had accepted both of those moves, especially since they were largely anticipated. It was only when I learned that there was the possibility of a move #9 that I started to panic a bit. THREE moves in one year? What was God thinking?
When I mentioned the moves to my mom-in-law, she said to me, "That's y'all's life." And I know that. But I still wanted to throw myself on the floor and kick and scream like a toddler, "no, no, no!!" I wanted to say, "It's not the life I wanted." I wanted God to give me something else.
But there's no return policy on life.
There are no exchanges.
There is no picture perfect.
There is joy - fulfilling, abounding joy - joy that gets me through all of the unknown. As I walk through a very different season of my life right now, I cling to the knowledge that my hope and my joy can rest in One who has made Himself known to me. He alone can fill my heart with joy no matter the circumstances that surround me.
There is stability. That might be an oxymoron considering what I just wrote, but the truth is, my life is stable in its instability. I know that just about every year, and sometimes more than once a year, we're moving. I know that God takes us through seasons of no income at all, and times of good income. I know that just when I start to get comfortable, he takes me to a place that is out of my comfort zone. I know that He will put me in situations where He is my only constant, and I have to cling to Him.
It teaches me faith. I wish I could express to you just how weak I am in this area - how many times I wonder and question and ask "God, how?" In the times when there has been no money in the bank and no clue how the bills will be paid, it is hard - so very, very hard - to raise my eyes heavenward and trust in my Father's provision. If I have shown even the smallest glimmer of faith in these times, it is a tribute to my God and His work in me.
Right now, I am learning faith in letting go of my husband and entrusting him into God's care. I can't protect him, but He can. I cling to that truth. I am also learning to trust my Father when I can't see where He's leading me. The unknown is a scary place to be, especially when this A-type planner doesn't have a checklist for where we're heading next.
So no, God hasn't given me a picture-perfect life complete with a white picket fence and lovely flowers growing everywhere. He hasn't given me a "forever home." I don't have a clue where we're moving next year, and I don't know where our income is coming from. I don't know what job we're supposed to do next or what our life will look like in six months or a year. All I know is that He has promised to be with us through it all.