As I pulled out of the church parking lot I was also talking on the speaker phone to a friend. I was halfway to Portland, Oregon, to our former home, before I realized that my mind, in auto pilot mode and distracted with the phone call, had headed home. The only problem was, home was in Vancouver, Washington now.
We've had some sort of renovation going on since our move. We've replaced old, outdated lights with new ones. Old vinyl and carpet has been pulled up and new hardwoods are replacing them. Old appliances are being replaced with new stainless steel ones. The house is full of construction materials and dust and furniture crowded into rooms where it doesn't belong so flooring can be laid.
Our friends from church have helped us with all of the projects around the house. An electrician, an engineer, a construction worker, and other able bodied volunteers. They've put in hours and hours and hours of free labor, making all of this renovation and updating possible. They are happy to have us living closer to the church, and have proven it with huge sacrifices of time and effort. I'm overwhelmed at all that they've done for us and feel helpless to adequately thank them.
Discombobulated is the best word to describe my life these last three months. Normal routine flew out the window the minute our former house sold in July and we began to pack our belongings up in boxes. I've been confused, befuddled and disoriented ever since. I've never loved moving and all of the chaos that goes with it, but this move has been especially hard, long, and drawn out. There's no doubt in my mind that God foresaw all of this when He began showing me halfway through 2014 that my word for 2015 was to be endurance.
Some Holy Spirit insight into my soul reveals that the reason I feel so discombobulated is a matter of control. The one thing you can't control is other people. Being in the ministry is being in the full time business of dealing with people. My outer world feels out of control much of the time because of this. Home is the one place that I could control. My number one goal has always been to have a home that exuded peace. People often commented that our former home looked and felt peaceful. My response to outside stress was to make our home a little fortress of peace. That hasn't happened here, in our new to us home, yet. I think God has had me endure four months of upheaval to show me that my fortress of peace should have been Him all along, not my surroundings, not my home, not my family. It's Him and Him alone.
Even this feeling of being indebted to people in a way that I know I can never repay is an issue of control. As a pastor's wife, I'm usually on the giving end of the equation. Being on the receiving end of so much has me feeling undone. I can't write enough thank you cards or make enough meals or bake enough goodies to make the equation come out even. I'm not in control of all this grace we've received.
The major part of the renovations will be done before Thanksgiving. I'll be able to clean up the construction dust, put the furniture back in place, unpack the remaining boxes, and make our new to us house feel like home, soon. But, the truth is, home is a Person, not a place. Peace is a Person, not the condition of my surroundings. I'm tired of feeling discombobulated. I want to my mind and heart to be at peace, no matter what my outward surroundings look like.