The immediate weeks following our return home to the US of A were, if you don’t mind full disclosure, splattered with heartache, anxiety, and anticipation. And bittersweet-ness.
In other words: not bad, but not entirely enjoyable.
Coming home is hard. I’ve had harder transitions in the past, and I think I was definitely ready to come back, but my heart has been sad lately. No, not despairing. But a genuine heartache. I miss the friends I made. Driving on the tiniest, windy-est roads in the pouring rain. Hearing the most beautiful little girls squealing my name (or their rendition: “BATH! BATH!!”) as I walked home from a long day participating in one of the most treasured events of my life so far.
There’s something intoxicating about having the freedom to explore; to depart from the routine of day-to-day life. It’s an irony. Heart-wrenchingly wonderful. Heart-wrenching because, in most cases, it’s not real life and will come to an end. Wonderful, because it just is. There’s nothing like it.
(My heart. Moments like these are hard to leave behind to the forces of time. I treasure memories, but I also scorn them because they aren’t mine to relive again. I want them back!)
But, life happens. And that’s where the anxiety and anticipation came in. Even though in my heart of hearts I wish we were still frantically scurrying to catch another train in Glasgow or sipping tea with a new ustaaz wa saddiq (teacher and friend) in the Holy Land, I was—and am—so ready to jump into life. Be responsible, have some consistency in my schedule—that kind of stuff.
First, a house. If you are from Santa Barbara, you understand the utter insanity of it all. If not; it’s utterly insane. Application after application. Email after email. I know there are much worse circumstances, and I’m thankful we had a place to live in the interim (thanks mom and dad), but it gets discouraging after the 15th place you’ve applied to has already offered the place to someone. Twenty minutes after it was listed. What the what?!
But God cares about us, and in all of my wasted moments of anxiety, the perfect little home was waiting for us (and its former tenant to vacate). We moved in at the beginning of October. We had prayed, even while we were living in our old place, that our next home would have 1. wood floors; and 2. natural light (somehow every place we’ve lived has given us a good idea of what it’s like to live in an underground cave).
Well, folks, we have both.
Secondly, a job, to pay for the rent of the place we just signed a lease on. Real life, people.
I’ve been working a few hours in the office at my beloved church this past year and watching a baby kid that I adore, and I had hoped for things to work out so I could stay where I was. It became clear that wasn’t going to work out (rent=$$$), and I began looking for anything; full-time, part-time, half-time, all-time.
I finally landed an interview for a full-time job at a (textbook) publishing company. It took them a long time to decide between me and “another candidate,” but I finally received an offer for employment. A real 9 to 5. Editing, researching, and writing, particularly about history. The nerd in me is thrilled.
I’m a week-and-a-half in and so far, the verdict is positive. My official title is Editorial Assistant. So I should be editing this post excellently, but in protest to an editing overload from the last week, I’m only going to make sure there are no glaring mistakes.
Moral of the story: Jesus was right. Who adds any time to their lives by worrying? If He’s taking care of birds and flowers, He is most definitely taking care of me.
Even if you don’t get wood floors and natural light. But—it’s an unexpected treasure when you do.