moments salvaged for writing are non existent right now. i can’t believe i’m finding myself downtown. i sit here at a coffee shop tightly fit in a meticulous space underneath a canopy of tall buildings. and i’m hardly here. my brain is still at home wondering about all the baby needs. the meals, snacks, and diapers. the laundry and the kitchen. the disciplining and hugging. and the cleaning up of toys. the bills, meals, and groceries. and the planning. the barren walls beckoning to be hung with things that make a house a home and not an empty space. i’m fighting desperately against thoughts that pop like popcorn all around my head.
moving to the thrity-somethings east of troost has been so challenging. not because its the ghetto. but because the shuffle from the move, the transferring of boxes, and all the unsettled organizational dust, is just too much for my ADD brain. i wish i could say i’ve handled it with grace and endurance. and that i’m an organizational guru who unpacks my house in 24 hours but i am most certainly not. i haven’t been able to bear the weight of it and have relied heavily on my mother, my husband, family, and my community.
and jesus has carried me. even when i’ve emotionally flat-lined. he has carried me. he always has.
i’m trusting that his grace is made perfect in my weakness and that he is calling me out by names of which i cannot currently identify myself with. names like “competent one” and “believing one” and “courageous one”…believing in me when i can’t believe in myself. calling me into an identity he gave me before his Spirit hovered over the face of the deep.
i wish i could say my courage has come from managing my family in a “not-so-safe-neighborhood” with “not-so-safe-neighbors”. but that is a lie. brooklyn is filled with beautiful people who have loved and welcomed us and made us feel like we belong. great grandmas with more life experience in their pinky than i in my whole being, watch the street from the swings on their porches like watchmen. a little girl next door plays with emri all around the house and sometimes stays for dinner. holding hands with us as we pray asking me to teach her how. a momma comes to show us her new tiny baby. the most beautiful tiny baby boy i may have ever seen. the most perfect features. my kids huddle around this new life and we celebrate with our new friends. our new neighbors.
this doesn’t feel like a poor neighborhood. i feel poor next to them with my lack of awareness and the lack of diversity i have in my own life. my neighbors have stories that are not the ones we have heard on the news growing up in the suburbs. i feel privileged to be near them. i feel privileged to see emri holding hands with a little girl whose hands are a different skin color than her own.
no, the challenges of the move are not due to the beautiful people east of troost. the challenge is with my own brain managing all the dust of my own life. and in all the mess, and progress i have these 3 remarkable, small human beings in my life that bring me so much delight even in the hardness of this season.
this summer ben and i have also been leading our college interns for LTP. we’ve had the joy of teaching young twenty somethings the lessons we have learned along the way and all the lessons we are still learning. i don’t know of many things greater than watching young adults start to believe who they are and who Jesus is. and how that changes everything about the way they live. to see people who have been isolated for so long, learning to live in community with one another. learning to pray, interpret the word of God and to speak truth over one another and to love the world around them. i’m fascinated with them and all that i’ve seen blossom in them even just over the last two months. we love our interns and you would too.
and with all that is going on in our lives, and with all that is going on in yours. as we carry the load, we are being carried. and most certainly, i believe that the highs do not stand without the lows. as CS lewis writes in his beloved book the four loves- those nearest to God come to him in all seasons. that’s the way God has it. we come, in the rejoicing and in the transition, and in all the weight of which we carry. we come to him, all who are weary laden and heavy burdened, we come…and he gives rest to our souls.