As some of you may or may not know, we are moving to Columbus, Ohio this summer. We will be moving into a rental for a few months as we are building and our home won’t be finished until November 2015. We are so excited to be doing this and daily I find myself whispering prayers of thankfulness. So thankful that our family is taking this step. So thankful that we are able to do this. We are building our dream home. We are moving our family to follow our heart’s dream. We are trusting what God is whispering to us… “I have plans for you. I have things I am going to do in you and through you because of this leap.” It’s exciting, but overwhelming at times and definitely busy. So much unknown. So much. There is a LOT involved in making a move like this with a family. School enrollment, building meetings, packing, purging, many choices… many, many choices. Some of which you aren’t exactly sure of and so tons of faith and trust along the way.
As we wade the waters of transition, life feels chaotic at times. It’s easy to shut down and remain so laser-focused on the tasks at hand that everything else gets a fierce “no.” And in a lot of ways, that’s the safest and easiest route, right? Don’t get me wrong… there is definitely wisdom in knowing what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Tons of wisdom. But, sometimes, it’s a safety mechanism, isn’t it? We tell ourselves we’re saying “no” for the right reasons when in reality, perhaps we’re just attempting to keep ourselves safe. Safe from feeling hard feelings. Safe from grieving. Safe from your heart ripping over what you will miss in your here and now. What you will miss in what is known and what you love and where you’ve chosen to dwell for over the past 9 years of your life. Safe from tears over old friends, family, new friends and the shared experiences you have with all of them. Safe from embracing the fact that even though you are 100% confident that you’re making the right decision, it’s still difficult and there are still so many gray areas. And it’s in these gray areas that we are vulnerable. It’s in these gray areas, where you have a choice. The choice is this: I will drown in the chaos and uncertainty of my soul by staying safe and alone, or I will open up and invite you in.
My husband has a work colleague-friend in town this week from Canada. They are working together on a joint project and his family is here with him. The 5 of them (6 counting babe on the way) 🙂 have made the trek down to be together in a new place. I often get anxious over situations like this. What is expected of me? What can I do to help them feel comfortable here? To make their stay in a new city fun and worthwhile? And my perfectionist tendencies blaze fiercely. I don’t just want to welcome them and host well. I want to host perfectly. I want the house to be spotless. The time together to be great. The meal to be delicious and fitting for everyone’s dietary needs, etc… And then I start to spin. How can I do this? I don’t feel capable! And before I know it, I’ve often talked myself out of even making the invite. And THAT is the loss. A big one. For me. One that I’m not willing to lose any more.
So I sent this message:
If you guys are feeling up for it, we will be around tomorrow evening. If it works, maybe you could swing by after an early dinner? Or you guys could eat at our house and we could all just pick up our own carryout food? Dinner time is often a little crazy at our house with the girls. BUT… We don’t mind inviting you into the chaos. Ha ha ha…
And there it is. The invite to come in. In the midst of chaos. In the midst of the gray and unknown. And the gift always comes after the invite. Because, I don’t know about you, but I always want to be invited in, regardless of what’s on the other side. There’s something beautiful about choosing your people and inviting them in. Whether it’s for a simple carry out dinner or tears of grief over what you’re about to leave.
Don’t. Shut. Down. Don’t do this alone. Find your people. Choose them wisely. And then… invite them in. Those moments of what may feel chaotic are actually some of the most beautiful you’ll ever experience. Sweet moments that you’ll fondly remember years from now. A conversation that occurred. Tears shared. Bursts of laughter. Quiet times just being together. OK… usually not quiet in this house, but being together? Most definitely.
So it goes. There will always be a reason to say no. There will always be a reason to postpone. You can convince yourself of it for a lifetime. Or, you can open the door and invite your people in. And I promise, chaos and all, as you wisely lead others in, you will be changed for the better. You will love and be loved. As for the chaos? Ya. It kinda fades. It actually becomes sacred and sorta beautiful. Ya. Extremely beautiful.