I removed the last post because I think the point was made...and when I look back through all these post's about our first year, I don't want to be reminded about that women's phone call. SO! moving on.
I had to laugh the other day as John read my post's, because we realized I really have the actual order of events very wrong. I literally cannot remember when things happened, it was all such a blur. But I'm just going to talk about what we went through. Just know its not in the order in which events happened, but in the order I remember them! ha.
It was around this time that I began to really struggle. We had been in Chico for almost five months and I was about to have our third little girl. John wasn't employed at this time, and I really really believe that was God moving for us, because I would've simply fallen to pieces if I would've been alone all those days.
However, if you know John, you know he has an incredible persistence. I cannot remember a day where John just took it easy, where he just lounged. I can't. And its both maddening and so absolutely respectable I can barely stand it.
This post is going to be scattered, there's so much I want to say...just bear with me.
I've begun to realize that all those weaknesses we struggle with in our home church, the ones that don't seem particularly problematic, but persist...those become exaggerated and glaring when you are out on your own. It's like your home church and your family where you are most comfortable, provide this protective cover over you, that keeps you in check and reminds you whats right. And then when you step out of that, its as if suddenly someone has ripped a band-aid off your heart, and suddenly those carefully guarded issues begin to manifest in your life. Its a pain I almost can't bear sometimes.
In McMinnville, I always knew I wasn't a super social person. I had a tendency to not really want to have people over, and I preferred small intimate groups over large loud ones. I knew I was easily overwhelmed, and I hated that about myself. I knew I was a clean freak, and impatient. I knew this, but it had never really been a problem. Until now.
If I was ever overwhelmed in Mac, I was drowning in my anxiety now. Literally, there were times where I felt like I was being yanked at break neck speed, through a pool, and water was rushing into my nose, choking me, I was gasping and flailing and trying to breath, but whoever was pulling that rope attached to my life, wasn't slowing down...and I couldn't catch my breath long enough to scream STOP! I CAN'T KEEP UP AND I'M DROWNING!
I was overwhelmed. I remember the first month we were there, John went back home for the annual harvester's homecoming. I didn't go because it would've been a nine hour drive there, for one day of services, only to drive nine hours right back. And with two toddlers that would've been awful. And to be honest, sometimes I look forward to those weeks or days where John leaves, I miss him, but its nice to have the days stretch out and for me to be the only person who's aware of my home (you know what I mean haha) and so I wasn't worried about him leaving so soon.
But that first night, the girls tucked away in bed and me in my room watching little Reagan hiccup and twirl in my tummy...it hit me. The ONLY other person I know in this entire town, has left. I could go anywhere, any store, any restaurant, and not a single person would even recognize my face. If I suddenly went into labor, or if any of my children got hurt, there was not a soul I could trust, or even name, who would be able to come help me. I was so completely alone. And for some reason, I just wanted my mom. It was so base, such an obvious reversion back to what was comfortable for me. But I remember thinking of how consistent she made life feel and I remember suddenly feeling like all the breath had left my lungs, and I sat up and went and stared out my window into the dark of the town I was so unfamiliar with. I remember watching the branches sway, and the street light change from green to red, hearing the freeway and its constant chatter of engines, staring at the different cars coming and going out and in of our apartment complex...and suddenly there were tears. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed and heaving these great choking sobs. I never cry. never. I always wish I could when I'm feeling strong emotions, but it's always been such a hard thing for me to just be vulnerable with my emotions...but now I couldn't stop. I remember trying to not wake the little monsters asleep just across the living room...but I couldn't calm down...I have never cried so painfully.
It was hitting me. This move was quickly losing its adventurous, spontaneous appeal. The reality of what I had just engaged my life in, was pressing down on my heart, filling my mind with doubt, making my thoughts whirl with so much emotion and the possibility of failure and regret. And I remember crying out to God, "please make this just go away, I just want to go home. please make it possible for us to go home!"
And as I sat there that night, as I waited for the peace of God...a still small voice spoke something to me. Something that has stayed with me, carried me when I was afraid, and carries me still.
That night, when I wanted so badly to return to McMinnville, my home. The voice of God spoke to me.
"McMinnville is not your home. Chico is not your home. There is not a town on this Earth that is your home. You are a sojourner, a pilgrim. And you will never be home until the cares of this world pass away and all things become new. Stop looking back towards McMinnville as your home and resting place. It is not. You are simply not home yet."
I am not home yet.