That has been my answer to anyone who has asked how I’m doing for the last month. Marriage is weird but good. Life in Raleigh is weird but good. I’m weird but good. Time to fess up- I really have no idea how I’m doing so I started using “weird but good” because I know I can’t get away with, “I’m fine!”
It just is all a bit daunting ya know? I spent two months overseas where I felt more fully human than any other time prior to that doing incredibly intense (physically, mentally, spiritually) work, got married a little less than 3 weeks later, went on a honeymoon, and drove home to a new city with a new husband. How exactly does one process that? How do you figure out how you’re doing after that?
On the way back from our honeymoon Jason asked me what was on my “list” for the week.
T:”Oh, just unpacking, moving everything in, getting settled.”
J:”You don’t expect to have everything unpacked and settled in the first week do you?”
T: “week? I was thinking it would only take us a day, maybe two. sheepishly, “oh no of course not” clearly lying .
J: knowing that I’m lying “Give us some time, it will probably take a month to really get everything unpacked and to feel more settled.”
We got back to the box filled apartment and I was ready to go. Who cares if we really both needed a nap and some food? I wanted to power through unpack everything, and go from there. Ultimately, I sided with reason and laid down for a bit (anxiously scrolling through apartment organization articles online).
Jason was right. We’ve been in the apartment about a month now and we are almost unpacked and somewhat settled. We took our time, took breaks for naps and food, and came out on the other side with fewer wounds than my method would have inflicted on both our bodies and our marriage.
There are layers on layers on layers to unpack. It takes TIME to dig into that. And, similarly to my feelings about the boxes in our apartment, I either want everything unpacked and figured out all in one go.
Life was moving at a breakneck pace then suddenly standstill.
If I tried to unpack everything from this summer all in one go I would end up completely paralyzed by the weight.
My other temptation is to just not touch it at all. Black box it off and never look back. Refuse to weave my thread into this tapestry (like I have that kind of power) in the hopes I spare myself some unpleasant feelings. Not only is that disobedient to the Lord and robbing myself of the things He has for me, it’s selfish. By refusing to unpack I leave the Lord’s treasures unpacked in sealed cardboard boxes instead of proudly displayed for all to take in and be changed by.
*I don’t mean that in an arrogant way, like I have something special and you need me to unpack it so you can must visit my house and look at it a it will change your life, we all have these things, treasure troves hidden away in unpacked boxes. Each one unique and life altering to all who see it.
*Furthermore, I want to clarify life changing. I don’t mean the gasp, I’ll never be the same again, 180 turn, slain by the spirit changed. Take this for example: When you see the Lincoln monument you are changed. You’re brain has now seen this large stone man in a large stone chair and has created new neural pathways in your brain. You are changed. For person A that might simply be a “oh, thats cool” while person B may love it so much its the number one things they want to do during their bachelorette party. Either way- changed.
I’m trying learn how to unpack slowly. Thankfully, literally every person has been quick to remind my perfectionist self that I need to give myself grace. I have a husband (still weird to type that) who listens to my untimely and seemingly unrelated rants, patiently helps me find words for my jumbled feelings, reminds me Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and forces me to watch a funny show and not take everything so seriously. It still feels overwhelming, but I’m also kind of excited? Like I get to go on an adventure with the adventure.
P.S. I just got off the couch to take the picture at the top of the post. See what I mean- mostly settled but also, not finished 🙂