I really do apologize for my silence lately. The last few weeks have been quite a crazy adventure of packing up my apartment and moving across the country to begin a new life in the great state of Indiana. The boxes are getting to be fewer and fewer in number as I sort through things in my new apartment.
When I first knew that this would be the path I would take, the chorus from this hymn came to mind and it has so far proven to be true: “If Jesus goes with me, I’ll go anywhere!” It seemed mind boggling to leave all that I knew, all that was familiar to go to a completely new place. Before last Friday night, I’d never set foot in the state of Indiana or really anywhere up north for that matter. Yet, God gave me strength and made me ready when the time was right. At the beginning of the summer as I began packing boxes, I didn’t know how I was going to leave. I love my family, my church, and my friends in Texas. How could I leave? I knew I wasn’t ready just yet.
About a week before the move, I was walking in to my last day of work at the restaurant where I had my summer job and met one of my coworker friends coming out. He gave me a hug and asked me if I was ready to move. Before I could open my mouth to answer he said with a smile: “Of course you are! You’re ready to begin a new life using that brain of yours!” I got a little choked up as he said that because right then I knew that I was ready to do this.
Was it hard to drive away from my parents’ house and my hometown not knowing when I’d be back? Indeed it was. Tears ran down my face, and I got a lump in my throat as mom looked at me and smiled that knowing smile which essentially said she knew I could do this. The last morning my parents and younger brother were here in Indiana after having helped me move in, we four hugged each other in a group hug all of us choked up as Dad prayed for God to protect me and to be with all of us as I began this new life. It was hard to drive away as they prepared to make the long trip back to Texas. It was also weird not going back with them, but I knew this is where I am supposed to be.
This is home now.
A friend of mine as she was saying goodbye a few days before I moved told me that to be joyful is a choice. She told me that some days coffee just won’t cut it, and it will seem so hard to be joyful, but that we have to choose how we will react to our circumstances. Monday morning was tough, but I had to choose to be joyful in the heart even through the tears because I knew God would be with me and would make this my new home.
What have I experienced so far?
Well, in the last few days I’ve located Comcast, Walmart, Target, the bank, and Starbucks without getting lost. That’s saying a lot seeing how easy it is for me to lose my way before I’ve learned a place well. I don’t really get what is up with installing so many roundabouts in the area either. It’s nearly like it’s not already confusing enough to find one’s way around, one must throw in one of those to keep you second guessing yourself if you just missed your turn or who’s yielding to who and “Oh, wait! THAT was my turn!” There’s my venting session about the roads around here.
I’ve also experienced my first out of the blue Indiana rain with one of my windshield wipers trying to fly off and escape back to Texas… literally. That’s enough to make one’s heart skip a beat while sitting at a red light! As a result, I was frantically trying to find the switch to turn off the windshield wipers to keep my wiper from flying off and hitting another car (Can you imagine that insurance damage report!?) while trying to find a place to pull over. Instead I turned it on a higher speed causing the loose windshield wiper to start making an even louder screeching noise on my windshield. Sounds like the start of a Pixar short….
Thankfully, I got it turned off and found somewhere to pull in to look it over while standing in the rain. So, my dad the fix-it man got a call before he was more than five hours down the road heading back to Texas with a plea for advice on how to tighten a cantankerous rebel windshield wiper into submission. With his help I was able to pull some pliers out of my toolbox to get it fixed, I hope. I have to say though there’s nothing like some car trouble like that in the rain to really make you feel lonely in a new place. So, yes, I had a nice cry back to the apartment and then was fine again. Quite pitiful indeed, but it’s all part of adjusting, so I’m okay with it. I just took it easy that night and worked on some crocheting to relax. Things will get better the longer I’m here and the more I get used to this new life and new home. Plus, I’m never truly alone, you know. Jesus is with me!
Plenty of stories and adventures to come, I’m sure!