I’ve been married a year. I’ve lived in my cute little newly remodeled home for a year.
And my heart hasn’t settled in yet.
As I prepared for the transition, everyone gave me the typical warnings about how hard settling in to having a new roommate would be. I spent that time mentally and emotionally preparing myself to live with this man to whom I was about to commit my life. I came into marriage willing to be caught off guard, to struggle, to work through annoyances and differences that come from two different families combining. I was preparing myself to have times of completely losing it.
What I discovered was not what I expected. Sure we have our expectations and make adjustments for each other, but overall combining our lives has happened with a smooth, subtle flow. We’re both laid back, give the benefit of the doubt, and are committed to being team. I’ve coursed through the past year feeling the seeming ease of this transition.
Newness in the majority of my life became the norm. I had a new house, a new roommate, new responsibilities. A few months into marriage I transferred to a different branch at work. I stopped thinking about the weight of change. I had my moments, but I took it all in stride.
And then a switch flipped.
Earlier this year, my parents’ made the decision to sell their house. It was a small thing. Or so I thought. Yes, I recognized that it is the only house I remember growing up in. It is where I learned, played, loved and dreamed.
But life shifts. I grew up and forged out into the world. I became independent and found new things in life. I have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. I have reached out to people and things that scared me to death. I’ve fought through pain, disappointment, anxiety, depression, and loneliness on my way to be fully myself in the life the Lord has determined for me.
This past month it all came crashing down on me. I started having the worst bouts of anxiety, panic, and depression I’ve ever experienced. I felt like I was going insane. Why can’t I get a grip? It was as though I’d lost my foundational ability to function in the community of life. And I had. Lost my foundation, that is.
Realization crashed into my heart as I said goodbye to the house that used to be home. I have mentally prepared myself to never go back. But emotionally? That’s a whole other story. I have learned more than I expected in this ‘honeymoon’ phase. But one thing I did not do was learn how to bring my foundational sense of safety and familiarity with me.
So now I’m left trying to find ways to create that familiarity and stability in my beautiful, new house. Moving in, decorating, making a space organized and beautiful, does not make a home. It makes it a nice place to do life. It’s the times when you go out of your way to create a moment, a memory, that builds the familiarity, that feeling of belonging. It’s writing emotions and experiences in invisible ink on the walls of the rooms, giving the scene life through laughter or crying, that truly makes a lifeless building more.
As of today, my childhood home belongs to another family. They will go through the same feelings I am. They will take the steps to create memories and familiarity in the house I know by heart. And maybe someday they will know it by heart. Someday they may feel the same connection I feel. But I will be here in my home building my own fortress of safety for my family. What’s new will become familiar. Memories take time. So I’m going to give them that time.
Goodbye house. I never knew how much I cared til I was losing you. Thanks for holding so many moments in my life. Take care of your new family.
This post is brought to you by the Weekly Song!
This week I am featuring The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert
Maybe someday I’ll go back to my childhood home. Either way, I’ll always have my memories.