my place in this world

well we drove across the plains and now the future feels like one, all flat and brown and seamless from start to finish. overwhelming in its possibilities, i want to curl up and go to sleep, to burrow into a mountain with grass as silky like velvet, to sleep in this world.

but instead i am very much alive, no burrowing allowed, already feeling forgotten in this jam-packed urban space, the world around disorienting in every way.

we made it to the exotic midwest. the apartment set out for us is not . . . available yet. we are hoping it will be by the end of the month. as for now, we are living in a very nice condo supplied by friends of our organization. it is all so nice, but it is so disappointing to continue to live out of suitcases, to not have a spot to make my own. i never knew i was that kind of girl, but it seems to be a desire that grows with my age. when i was young, in YWAM, longing to change the world, i read a book by Loren Cunningham (the founder of YWAM) where he talked about how his wife Darlene could make any place a home with the simplest of touches–a beautiful single flower in a vase, books arranged artfully on a bedside table. I read that so many years ago and scoffed, thinking how archaic, how gender-based this longing for home seemed to be.

now, i crave that skill. but i am still myself, tending towards messy bohemia (o, let me drown in books and throw pillows and quirky art). but this summer of simplifying, of giving most of it away, of living out of a couple of car’s worth of stuff has taken its toll. i want a place. i want a place for me and my heart, early in the mornings. i want a place for my baby, to grow and learn and feel safe, a place where she can cry and be comforted, make a mess and help clean up. i want a place to have people over to, for coffee and english lessons and dinner and games and conversations and prayer, prayer into the hours of the night when it becomes the watchful period, where we pray for our dreams to become real. and this desire, my urge to put a flower or two in a vase, doesn’t seem so silly anymore. it seems darn right spiritual.

but for now, we wait. we are slowly taking in this new city, and i am having a hard time describing how different it is. maybe the words will come to me, later. all i can say now is this: the majority of people in this neighborhood are so different from me that it strikes fear in my heart. for a truth of human nature is that we gravitate towards people who are just like us, who make us feel good about our decisions and thought processes and life paths. i get the sense that when you choose to live and work with people who are different from you in nearly every way, that loneliness is a very real and ever=present companion.

instead of running from these times (disorientation, grief at saying goodbye to friends/family/church, loneliness, fear), i am taking advice from a friend (the ever wise and lovely Kelley) and i am trying to not busy up my time in order to not feel these things. we are taking some time for the sadness, over here. we are trying to come to terms with our companions, the ones in our hearts and our minds, always calling us away from kingdom-living.

 

it has only been a couple of days, and we don’t know when it will feel like home. but we watch, and we wait. and we pray.

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14 thoughts on “my place in this world

  1. Caris Adel says:

    I’m sorry about all the flat brownness. It’s our drought. It’s usually so green and beautiful. I don’t know where you are, but I’m guessing in the middle of corn or wheat heaven and even though it’s long and flat, it can be gorgeous. If you have trees, soon they will be ablaze in color and that will make up for all the brown.

    “i get the sense that when you choose to live and work with people who are different from you in nearly every way, that loneliness is a very real and ever=present companion.”

    Somehow I think you’re right….that’s kind of a freeing thing, actually, when I apply it to my life.

  2. Loneliness in the desert path is surely no time wasted.

  3. J.R. Goudeau says:

    The music running through my head on this post made it extra special. Thanks for sharing so honestly in this season, my friend. Hope it feels easier soon.

  4. I have always found these times of transition the toughest because you need to let go of what you love and are left, for a time at least, with nothing in your hands. Our hands must be empty in order to receive something new, but it’s certainly tough to wait with empty hands when you know that they were wonderfully full not too long ago.

  5. krispinm says:

    I was thinking about this, this morning:

    “[the hummingbird’s wings] moved so fast you couldn’t see them
    with resentment for the tortoise / which was clear by his expression
    but the tortoise turned and smiled / with a peacefulness which proved
    that there’s a movement in our stillness
    and however much we move / we’re bound to stand completely still
    come tortoise, standing still / go hummingbird, my will
    come tortoise, stumbling blind / go hummingbird, my eyes
    come tortoise, empty hand / go hummingbird, my plan”
    -Mewithoutyou, “Goodbye, I!”

  6. S.Trussell says:

    I know exactly what you mean- longing to unpack, decorate and feel settled. It’s been 2 months here in Bogota, and we are still slowly becoming adjusted. Praying as you make this transition! And know you are not alone 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    honey, I remember having that same response to that passage in the Loren cunningham book back in 2003!

    I’ve been thinking of you a lot these days.

    At least you can always know that friends are friends forever, if the lord’s the lord of them.

  8. Anette says:

    Love you! As always, thanks for sharing and painting a picture so that the rest of us can, at least in a teeny, tiny part, join in on this journey you are on. I know that soon enough, when the first of friends visit, you will be excited to take them/us/ME to some quirky little coffee shop/bakery/restaurant that you have fallen in love with. Maybe for the food, or maybe not…but for the people you meet inside of it. Ramona is your blessing to open doors that you and Krispin alone could never get through. God is with you in 1,001 ways and reminding you (AND me) that our comfort is not in our surroundings, but in knowing we are His…and He is with us.

    Text me so we can set a time for us talk pray over the phone THIS weekend!

    Love ya…
    Ramona’s #1 Groupie 🙂

  9. Tara says:

    “for a truth of human nature is that we gravitate towards people who are just like us, who make us feel good about our decisions and thought processes and life paths. i get the sense that when you choose to live and work with people who are different from you in nearly every way, that loneliness is a very real and ever=present companion.”

    what you said … true story.

    We left where you are now to come where we are … and ever since then I also feel kind of out of place no matter where I am (there here or anywhere in between) and a certain amount of loneliness as a result.

    Prayers for you as you find your feet. Be kind to you, it takes time.

thoughts?

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