I thought it would hit me the on my last day of work when I handed in my badge and left the parking garage, but it didn’t. I thought, perhaps, packing my life up into two very small suitcases (well, they look small compared to all that I want to take) would set me over the edge, but it didn’t. It happened the other night while pumping gas. I lost it.

Full.on.ugly.cry at pump #5.

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(Sorry Kim K., but I was NOT going to post a pic of my ugly cry)

These were not tears of sadness that come from pulling away from relationships or a job that offered me safety and security. They were tears of joy and thankfulness.

If I could give you a taste of what the last two weeks of life have been like, it looks something like this:

chronic headaches, fatigue, anxiety, heart palpitations, awkward conversations about my leaving, random freak-outs about not getting a paycheck every other week, an unexpectedly high quote on international medical insurance coverage, check engine light = on, my brother’s planned surgery a week after I leave, my uncle’s unplanned surgery as I type this blog, and about half dozen new mosquito bites every day (seriously, where are these mosquitos coming from?!).

This was not the plan.

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I knew leaving home would be hard, but I didn’t expected to get hit with so many difficult emotions during my last few weeks here. And, to do it alone is a little more than I can handle.  A few times I’ve caught myself saying, God, you got the wrong girl. I’m not qualified for this.

You see I have no people that I’m responsible for, like kids or a husband who can see my daily or sometimes minute-ly roller coaster of emotions and offer words of encouragement, support, and love.  Kids and husbands do that sort of thing, right?

My people, instead are a people quilted together from life’s experiences. The cashier at my Fry’s knows every detail of my life over the past 15 years. She hugs me, asks me open-ended questions, and leaves a smiley face on my receipt. My people are former coworkers who have become the dearest and sweetest of friends, my mechanic of 12+ years who changes my oil and talks about Moses and the Exodus. My people are new friends who have old souls that compliment mine, friends who stop, drop, and pray, and old friends who keep me accountable and true to myself.  Some of my people are committed to meeting everything Thursday evening to eat, pray, laugh, and cry together.  My people are prayer groups in a mobile home park whose hearts’ ache over the abandoned children in Honduras and ceaselessly pray over every pain and praise in our church.  If you are reading this, chances are you are my people.

God is good. And sometimes, when the world gets the best of me, this becomes rhetoric. Sometimes believing in God’s goodness is hoping for a great rescue to restore and redeem right away. I forget that God’s goodness is also in his creation. He purposed us to beat suffering and hardships.  He created us to be in relationship, to balance out the fruits of the Spirit. What I lack, can most definitely be filled through the goodness of God by words from loving friends.

These people, my people, have spoken the truest of words to me that sooth every raw emotion I’ve encountered over the past few weeks. They remind me to be thankful in ALL situations. Why? Because, everything is redeemable. Everything is worthy of prayer, the good, the bad, the hard, the tragic, the littlest of things.

I will thank Him for the heart palpitations, because it’s a reminder to surrender every part of me, especially the parts I have no control over. I will thank Him for ridiculously high medical insurance premiums, because it means there are no exclusions to my coverage.  I’ll thank Him for meeting every.single.raw emotion with grace, love, and forgiveness. And, I will thank Him for the overcome-able-ness (yes, I said that) of headaches, anxiety, and even mosquito bites.

So, am I ready? No. Absolutely not. But, I sure am willing.

 

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