ee cummings', "(finding and losing and laughing and crying)" has never felt more appropriate.
As some of you may already know, I like words a lot... so much so that I have a list of favorite words which I like to bust into conversation every now and then and knock the veritable socks off of all the people listening to me drop big words like they're hot. Definitely on that list, up high in fact, is the word "discombobulated," and I couldn't feel more so at this current moment.
I am back in Denver, trying to acclimate (another favorite) to regular life again. It is an oddly disconcerting (another) thing to be gone from a place for months at a time - even though lots of things are the same, lots of things are different, too. Like, for example, there are new people who hang around with my old people, there are things like my roomie Susan moving out today and my roomie Becca and friend Colin getting engaged, there are things like having to find a new place to live looming in the not-distant-enough future. The surfacey part of me is adjusting just fine, learning the new things, meeting the new people, saying goodbye to other people and things... and then there is a perhaps bigger part of me that wants to scream (or stay in bed all day, as the case may be) in protest of how different life is than it was in May. How different I am, too.
Just today I was thinking about if I might want to make it back to Wichita before school started and everything, just for a weekend, and I caught myself thinking about how I could do that, because it would be a good chance to see my fam, see Amie and the kids, see Emily and Joel, visit Audrie. It is things like this that make it impossibly hard not to want to rebel against life going on. I want to visit Audrie. And I can't. Acclimating sucks.
So while I am busy trying desperately to resist being Debbie Downer constantly and am trying to resist answering "TERRIBLE" every time someone asks simply how I am, I read about this thing called the gift of the desert road. I am 100% plagiarizing from Stuff Christians Like, which I unabashedly and shamelessly promote at any chance and/or opportunity.
While I protest and rage against God for all of the things in my life that, in my opinion, suck at this current moment, when I wonder why my week at Frontier was so very trying and hard, when I wonder WHY I am not this, that, and the other, when I am confused as to why I am not already a mature, problem-free Christian and also awesome counselor, friend, family member, and general human being, when I wonder why I am not engaged or married or on my way there, at least, essentially when I am just downright unsatisfied with everything, I read this question: "Why do you keep refusing the gift of the desert road?" (a big thank you, Jon Acuff, for asking).
Here's what he writes:
"That's kind of a weird question, but it comes out of some verses I've written about before. In Exodus 13: 17-18, as the Israelites are leaving Egypt, the Bible says:
I love the simplicity of that. God knew that if the Israelites took the short way, if they took what probably seemed like the logical route, they'd face a war they weren't ready for and would probably willingly return to slavery. So out of love, out of a deep, big love for His people, he took them on the desert road."
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.
Hmm. The thing is, I have no idea what the plan is. Based on what I believe about God, I am not the planner. I don't get to choose the timing, I don't get to pick the circumstances, I don't get to always have my way. But also, based on what I believe about God, I believe there are plans. That God's timing is perfect and I don't have to question that. Which is not to say I don't, because I do, but the point is, maybe I am not ready for war just yet. Maybe (probably) I have more to learn before I go through Philistine country because if I don't learn those things, I might duck and run before I get through. Who knows.
"What if God loves you too much to send you to war? What if He loves you too much to throw you into situations you're not ready for? What if that desert road is a gift?"
What if it is, after all, a gift? What if the long way around is the best way, for me? This is life, now. Getting to know the new people, loving the old people, finding a new house, finding (fingers crossed) a JOB for December, waiting for the day when I get to be the one on the receiving end of a perfect proposal, learning to live without my sister, and figuring out how to adequately honor her life with my own. I can stay in bed as long as I want, or I can dive headfirst into what God seems to be trying to teach me. I guess that's my choice.
So even though the desert road seems a little long and a lot sucky, I think I'll try to accept it. Better than changing my name to Debbie (last name Downer) and adding "WAH-WAH" to the end of every sentence, which I'm pretty sure is the only logical alternative.