The Move, the Emotions, and the Empathy
I had dragged little people down there at 8pm, with sleeping bags, a paintbrush, and a large cup of coffee in hand.
We made makeshift beds for them on the carpet padding, and then got to work.
Always fighting back panic with song.
But the panic gained ground.
and gave way to panicked pleading.
Please, God, please. Work a miracle in this place and please, please, please let it be ready for us to move in in two weeks!
I swept up a pile of sheetrock and spackle dust. Sending the dust swirling into the air…
and onto anything nearby.
Visions of me endlessly wiping the dusty stuff off our furniture that would have to be moved in to a work zone because our lease had run out, flashed through my mind.
A phone call from our dear ministry partner, Chuck, who lives a few blocks away, led to the discussion of the fact that we had no kitchen counters and no kitchen sink.
“That’s OK” I said, only half believing it, “people all over the world function without kitchen sinks.”
As we hung up the phone, it hit me.
Every emotion I was walking through, with thoughts of moving my kids into an unsafe environment, into a living condition hazardous to human flourishing, and all the tension that comes along with it…
…the inner turmoil that come with instability, without a place to call home and settle down in…
….every extra strain because of financial constrictions that hinder you from being able to just do what you need to do to take care of your family….
….functioning without hot water, electricity, and yes, even kitchen sinks…
is experienced every day
Most women do it without a spouse, and with just as many children as I have, and without a support system praying for them and helping them.
The feelings of being stuck and trapped in circumstances are exactly where God wanted me.
It was an introduction into the neighborhood.
into their emotional world.
And realizing that, helped lift the panic, and submit to the plan, God’s plan, knowing it was all part of His training and preparation for me to be able to love my new neighbors from a place of mutual understanding.
So when, 36 hours before we were had to have every item that 8 people own out of our rental house, right as I finished taping up the last “kitchen” box with everything needed to feed those 8 people, I got a phone call telling me we had failed our electrical inspection and Georgia Power had immediately cut the line to our home, I fully walked in those emotions…
instead of fighting them.
I found myself in more of a place of receiving rather that restricting.
Receiving the education, and the experience the Lord was giving me,
rather that trying to control, constrict and throw a conniption over my frustration.
And from the very beginning of our move, we were forced into a place of receiving…for we had to call on neighbors to run massive extension chords to help light lamps to finish the painting, and the installation of the kitchen sink, and then run a space heater to keep an Iverson crew warm until the power got turned back on Tuesday morning.
We saw God do miracles with changing the hearts of those working on the electrical situation. We saw His provision through our Muslim neighbor who ran the extension chord. We saw His care threw our black neighbor who helped with painting and has become a friend and declared “this is crazy…I’ve never been friends with a white man before”. And we see His faithful steady care as little by little appliances have been provided, work has been done, friends have shown up help with little projects, so that we could start unpacking boxes….and this home, it is becoming a haven.
A haven, not just for us, but for those who for their whole lives, have been walking through the tension and stress that I endured for just a few weeks.
Watch the slideshow to see some of the transformations: