I'll pick you up this afternoon and we'll head to a cute and new-to-me coffee shop downtown. I smile to myself the whole way there knowing that we get to do this anytime we want now that we finally live in the same city. After ordering our drinks, plain latte for you, caramel latte for me, we find a table outside. The weather feels delicious today. It's a perfect Colorado summer day, the southern humidity I'm used to is nowhere to be found, and my prone-to-friziness hair is relieved.
You ask how I'm doing with this big move and transition to a new state and a new job. You already know how this past month has gone, but being the friend you are, you know I need to verbally process it. I'll tell you about work; how I'm slowly learning what my job looks like and figuring out the different personalities of my new coworkers. It's been so fun getting to work around some of my old camp friends, and it brings back all kinds of memories from my days at Eagle Lake.
This move was much harder for me than I expected. From the crazy weather we experienced during the first days here, to telling my mom goodbye at the airport, to starting a new job, to living with a new family...it was all a bit more overwhelming that I had anticipated. I planned on being here for a few weeks before any homesickness appeared. I thought I'd feel like I was on vacation for a while before the homesickness snuck in, but no, I was immediately homesick for my home, my family, and my friends.
I'll tell you how often I cry openly in public these days. Out of no where a deep sadness or heartache will hit me and tears will uncontrollably stream down my face. I'll tell you that for the first couple of weeks, I cried every time I hung up the phone with my family. You'll smile that gentle smile of yours because you remember when I pulled up to your house with waterfalls cascading down my face after a simple phone call with my dad. You just hugged me there on the sidewalk and told me it was okay. Those tears are the result of grief over leaving the place I call home, and the transition is named that for a reason. It is a process.
I'll tell you that I had to fight back tears in church on Sunday when they announced their youth group was heading to Chattanooga for a summer missions trip. Any mention of the south or my home makes my heart ache and chokes me up a bit. I think it may always be that way.
You tell me that I'm not crazy for crying all the time, for not always feeling happy, for being confused, overwhelmed, or even frustrated. You say it's all a part of this transition and it is normal to feel all the things I'm feeling. You remind me of the process and the prayer it took for me to move here, and you'll tell me Jesus is not surprised by any of this. He brought me here for a purpose, and he is revealing that day by day.
Although the move was hard, I can't help but smile when I say I live here. I've wanted to say that for so long, and it feels a little surreal now that it's actually happened. I'm amazed by this place every time I leave the house for work, I marvel at snow-covered Pikes Peak, and I'm in love with the way the afternoon light spills over Garden of the Gods and the ranges behind. I hope to never lose the sense of wonder I feel when I see those sights.
I remember a quote I wanted to tell you about from Shauna Niequist that says "There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming." Those are words I have been pondering for the past week, and I think they were the perfect ones for me to hear. This season is not wild and crazy, but it is also not calm and settled. This season for me is about learning my purpose here, where I need to invest my time, what my community looks like, and who I am becoming in Jesus as I live my life in a new home.
I drop you off at your house, and as I walk back to my car, with the sun shining down on me, I smile to myself because toady I felt more at home here than I ever have.