It’s been awhile since I used this space to share life. It is not for lack of things to share, quite the opposite actually.
The last time I posted, back in February, was a few days before I got to walk through a beautiful house that I fell in love with and later put an offer in on. I got the contract and jumped through all the hoops to buy the home. However, God has different plans and the week of closing I was offered a job (that I wasn’t looking for) in Nebraska.
I’m not sure whether “whirlwind” or “whiplash” describes it better, but suffice it to say a couple months ago I could never have imagined this is what my life would look like today.
Within the next few days I will finish up my job here in Western New York and within the next couple weeks I WILL be settling into a new house but renting instead of buying and in Seward, NE instead of WNY.
Writing is one of the best ways I process things and I’ve been wanting to write here a lot over the last few months but … well partly it was just too hard. But here we are now, ready or not.
For a few years of my time in Buffalo I lived in a house next door to the church where I work. Next to me lived a teammate and his family who, in those years as neighbors, became my NY family. Five years ago this week, those two house were torn down. We knew before moving into these homes that were owned by the church that they would eventually be leveled to create space for a much-needed parking area and preschool playground.
To see these pictures pop up on Facebook this week hit me in a raw, real, but also helpful way. It was as if I was seeing an actual picture of what life feels like right now.
But it didn’t stay a pile of torn up house pieces. I love to walk through that area each week and see the beautiful playground and spaces where people coming to this building to meet Jesus can park. It’s a reminder of the good that came from the loss of those homes. At the time, we (my neighbors and I) especially felt the loss of not living next door to each other. But with a little intentionality, our relationships have grown even deeper despite the distance. It gives me hope for the new and good God will bring out of the current losses in my life and the lives of people around me. And with a little intentionality, I trust relationships will continue to grow.
Soon after I shared with some kids that are dear to me here that I would be leaving WNY, one of them ended up in tears while looking out the window at their home. Her mom went over and asked what she was upset about and, looking at some construction workers replacing their neighbor’s sidewalk, she cried, “I WANT OUR OLD SIDEWALK BACK! I LIKE OUR SIDEWALK.” We knew, even if she couldn’t name it, she was processing more than just losing the sidewalk.
A few days later, when the work was complete, my five-year old friend proudly told her parents, “Look! The new sidewalk is really good.”
I have cried out in similar ways to God in these last weeks… “I want my old life back! I like my life here in Buffalo!” I look forward to the day when we can all confidently say, “The new sidewalk is really good.”
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” (Revelation 21:5)