It was not for lack of content, I can tell you that. My year was insane - I moved states, faced horrible home-sickness, was placed out of my comfort zone, and was forced to make friends with strangers (gasp!) - some of whom I'd only met through a friend-of-a-friend on the internet (which for my introverted personality was super uncomfortable at first). Then around August, there was this shift and I found myself loving my new city and my new friends, and actually feeling settled in my new life. And THEN. A career refocus for my husband, a sooner-than-expected pregnancy, and a move back from whence we had come (barely a year after moving away). My life and emotions in 2013 were topsy-turvy and back again. Lots of trials and lessons learned and beauty to write about. Content, content, content.
And yet. Writer's paralysis clung to me because I had such an overwhelming amount of content. Really painful, messy, don't-really-want-to-process-it-in-public kind of content. Usually writing is therapeutic for me and helps me work through my thoughts and emotions. Flannery O'Conner said, "I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." That's me.
But these things? They were things I felt so deeply, but I didn't understand. Bitter, ugly things, and conflicting, confusing things. Emotions and doubts that were unflattering to me and potentially hurtful to those I loved if expressed publicly. So my ramblings were kept in the safe privacy of my journal and my prayers. Which is probably right where they were meant to be kept. At least for now. At least until the bigger picture of who-knows-what God has been doing with my life these past couple of years becomes clearer.
I've seen healthy growth and little glimpses of what these years of change have brought about in my life - some good, some necessary, and some I'd like not to repeat. I don't understand (or like) a lot of it, but I do see purpose in much of the pain and confusion. And for now, that's just enough to keep me holding on and moving forward into whatever it is God has for us in our new (again) city and our life as a family of (soon-to-be) five.
Some good things that have come out of the difficult:
- There were many times I had no one to share my heart with except Devin. While we have always been close, we were brought closer as he helped me struggle through the mess of emotions I normally would have poured out to my closest girlfriends. But with their absence in my daily life, I had no choice but to turn to my husband for comfort, sympathy, and advice. It was a hard-at-times, but good thing.
- There were times however that the things in my heart were too difficult to share with even Devin, and I was instead driven to share my thoughts and emotions with God. Again - a relationship strengthen because of the relational void I was experiencing in other areas of my life.
- With few family members (and no friends) in town, we had the time and motivation to invest in relationships within our church and our community early-on. This was a part of our lives we didn't realize was lacking during our years in Arizona, but now that we've experienced it, we see the importance of leaving room for community relationships amidst the time we spend with our extended families.
- I learned to step out of my comfort zone, show up to a room full of strangers, and make friends. And even though making an effort to start those friendships was difficult for me, it's those sweet friends who I shed many tears over leaving.
- And most of all, I've learned (or am at least forcing myself to acknowledge - which, believe it or not, is a big step) that change is a part of life. And as much as I hate it sometimes, fighting it will only make it more difficult. I ran across a quote shortly before we moved back to Arizona, and it was a turning point for me as I worked towards accepting some of the changes coursing through our lives right now:
"Faced with inevitable change, the choice was mine. I could fight until my spirit was weary, or I could release all resistance and create something new in my changed world." - Dean Jackson
So that's what I'm trying to do. Because my soul has become weary from fighting and it's time to try and make something beautiful in my changed world.