Moving On: Home At Last

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Hope begins in the dark; the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. – Anne Lamott

Looking at pictures from last summer makes me a little uncomfortable. Underneath my smiles, I can see the soul restlessness and itchiness that started to take hold around this time last year. Suddenly, I wanted things – some easy to articulate, some not – with such intensity that the lack of them sometimes made me feel like I was coming out of my skin. I had a growing awareness that the life I’d lived up to that point couldn’t cut it anymore. The era of quiet contemplation, safety, and solitude was over. I was ready to usher in a new era of excitement and adventure. To get messy and take risks. To be swept away by the unexpected. I was the very personification of a John Green quote. But I wasn’t living in a John Green book, and I didn’t get the plot I was looking for.

By the time fall set in, a few things had changed for the better. But the adrenaline of the summer had altered me, and I knew I was just getting started. I was more and more sure of one thing: I had to move. I wasn’t going to get anything I wanted sitting out in the suburbs. From then on, a part of my consciousness was always pointed toward Midtown, and when I listed my house in February, it pretty much took over. And you know the rest of the story.

I’ve lived in my new Midtown home for about ten days, and friends, life inside the loop is good. So far, it’s everything I hoped for and more. The first stretch was rough: my movers arrived 3.5 hours late and finished moving me around midnight; then, despite careful labeling, I couldn’t find even the most basic things. Including food. But after a real shower and a night in my own bed, I woke up that Saturday morning with a deep sense of peace and lightness I’d honestly forgotten existed. For at least a year, something in my soul had been thrashing around all the time, like a bird throwing itself against the bars of its cage. While I slept well for the first time in my new home, the door opened and the bird flew free. As soon as I opened my eyes, I knew the weight in my chest that had become my normal was gone. Gone. Just like that.

Around 4:00 on my moving afternoon, I was alone at the old house, beginning my long wait for the movers, while my mom went out to get drinks. I noticed an older lady pacing in front of the house, briefly wondered what that was about, then returned to my business. There was a knock at the door. When I opened it, the lady was on the other side. She said, “Hi, I’m Linda. I just bought your house.”

I’ve mentioned before that I thought my buyers were probably going to rent out my house. I have nothing against renters – I planned to rent myself before all this happened. I just wanted someone to personally love the house the way I had, and it seemed doubtful that anyone would. A landlord seemed far more likely to blaze through, rip out my beloved plants, and paint the whole place builder beige. A renter seemed more likely to go, “Eh, this isn’t mine anyway.” I’d accepted this, but it made me sad. It was the only thing I lacked peace about in the move… and then Linda showed up in search of some important mail. I liked her immediately. In one short conversation, I got answers to all the things that hadn’t added up about the sale. I found out she would be living there herself, was very excited about it, that she planned to sew in my sewing room and loves plants. She looked right at me and said, “I don’t want you to worry about your plants.” In that moment, she was God showing up in the flesh, unmistakably holding out His hands and saying, Go in peace. It was the tying up of the last loose end, and the second moment of this year when I knew God loved me, because it was such an obvious and unnecessary blessing.

Right now, everything about my new life is exciting and magical. I’m prancing around and singing the joys of city life like Tracy Turnblad, and my first trip to the Cash Saver felt like going to Disney World. My new home is exactly right for me, and I’m not discouraged by the challenges of downsizing and having a more open floor plan. To people who move a lot or make huge life changes as a matter of course, I probably seem like a crazy person. So you moved across town. Big deal. But this is much bigger than a simple move across town. This is my declaration, my claiming of who and what I am right now, not who I was or who I once hoped to be. This is about a home I chose for myself, free of ghosts. This is about knowing I’m in the right place at the right time, and as a result, feeling actual hope for my near future. In a long half-decade of disappointment, this is the first really big thing that’s gone right. My spiritual eyes have grown accustomed to the dark. Now I’m blinking, disoriented, and don’t quite trust that I’ll be allowed to stay long in the light. But while it lasts, I’m going to enjoy it for all it’s worth.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
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12 Responses to Moving On: Home At Last

  1. eil1een says:

    Congrats on the new house and new chapter! How exciting!

  2. Dania says:

    I’m so happy for you!! I can’t wait to see photos when you get all settled in and unpacked!

  3. You’re such a good writer!!!!!

  4. Melody says:

    I’m so happy for you! I understand finally feeling like you’re where you’re supposed to be, and it’s fantastic! :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Brenda!

  6. Shelley Stewart says:

    This brought tears of joy to my eyes. Something so peaceful about God showing up “in the flesh” at that perfect moment to reassure you. Absolutely amazing!!!!!

  7. Anna says:

    GET IT GIRL.

    I am so proud of you, and so happy for you!!!

  8. I just LOVE your writing, Brenda! Really enjoyed reading that. -Happy and hopeful for you!!!

  9. I am SO glad it’s turned out to be everything you hoped. It’s times like that when we can really see God’s hand in our lives and it is such a huge blessing.

  10. Jenn says:

    So beautifully written!!

  11. Leida says:

    What a happy and triumphant place to be! Love this post and am so happy for you.

    Be blessed and soak it all in!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I love this. And I loved the story of Linda being there and affirming you in a way you weren’t looking for.

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