Is This For Real Life?

Everything about this holiday seems surreal to me at the moment. As if my mind just refuses to accept the reality of Husband leaving in a matter of days, or that we’ve somehow managed to escape the city we had grown to resent so much and have been back at our true home for the holiday season.

Last night as I sat in my grandmother’s kitchen occasionally contributing, but mostly listening to the chatter of my relatives as the Charlie Brown Christmas movie played in the background, it didn’t escape me that it was a Thursday night and I was somehow lucky enough to be sitting there taking it all in.

This Christmas has not been what I would define as normal. A random trip across the country right before the holidays and unseasonably warm temperatures highlighted by a rare winter thunderstorm have made it hard to get into the Christmas spirit. Instead of having my presents meticulously wrapped weeks in advance I scurried to wrap them all in one night, sans gift tags (I had to memorize each gift for postponed labeling), plus multiple glasses of wine. Our house is still not in “proper order,” I’ve yet to bake one Christmas cookie, and I sit here now trying to wrap up a few hours of work before I begin cooking for the onslaught of Christmas parties we have to attend that begins at 4:00 today.

I’m not sure where I’m going with all of this exactly. My current state of emotions is so…unorganized, for lack of a better word, that I’m almost having to tell myself how to feel these days. I’m not upset, nor worried anymore. I’ve slowly accepted that our house will sell when it will, South Dakota is indeed where we are meant to be for whatever reason yet unknown to us, and in spite of my every intention I am actually very very excited to move on.

Life opens up opportunities with each passing day. Sometimes it seems they sit there staring you in the face, while other times they slowly bloom and open up to reveal something far greater than you could have painted even in your wildest dreams.

Driving down the road the other day we talked about having been assigned to South Dakota and how we can’t wait to understand why God has led us there. I silently prayed that it was so an assignment overseas would be next, and this was our way of paying our dues in a less desirable station. Yet deep down, I don’t know that that dream will come true. My whole life I’ve spent pointless hours praying and wishing for one thing or another. Sure that I knew my heart’s deepest desires. Almost never have I received those most begged for desires, at least not in the way I had planned. Sure I’ve always been blessed beyond belief and couldn’t have asked for more, it’s just always baffled me how I could be so wrong about what was best for me. I think this is why my emotions are at a loss for who should be playing the starring role at this juncture.

I’ve never known so little about the life ahead of me, or known so much that I’m correct in pursuing it. It’s never been so clear the necessity of venturing into the great unknown with Husband, or the magnitude of what that adventure will mean to our relationship. God drives you to and from people in your life. They flow in and out, ebbing to and fro, and leaving ripples of experiences behind that change you forever. There have been times I couldn’t understand why a friendship went the way it did, but it was always revealed to me the lesson behind the hardship. And with Husband our life together has not been short of trying times, faces red and tear-stained, and situations that seem impossible, but no matter what, God continuously leads us TO each other. He mends our hurt feelings with bonds that carry us farther into the love that was sparked so many years ago. So often in trying to find answers anywhere else, we ultimately end up finding them in each other. That is the beauty of marriage. The welding of two hearts and two lives into one. Ever changing, ever molding, ever compromising and ever loving. Ever working on and discovering the life altering commitment that a few simple words in front of an audience have etched into your soul.

People ask me quite often these days how I’m feeling about the move. When I say that I am excited, it doesn’t just mean that I look forward to seeing this new strange place, or experiencing a real midwestern winter. Those things will be an experience for sure, but what I am most excited about is for once having the chance to explore my relationship with my husband…free of distractions. Free of school, free of exams, and as much as I love them so dearly, free of well-known friends and family. It’s scary to go to a new place alone, but I love to think about the bond that the dependence on each other might produce. A routine uniquely ours, a home we’ve decorated just the two of us, and a life that can be defined however we want it to be. That is the real adventure.

It feels as though this Christmas I’ve already received my gift. One I surely didn’t know to ask for. And once again God knew what was best for me before I even had a clue.

May this Christmas be a blessed one for you and yours!

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