Thursday, October 6, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go of Who You Thought You Were



The night that I cried over this move I was sitting right here on my couch feeling all conflicted and constricted and overwrought. Cory looked down from his end and said something to the effect of, "I was thinking about you today and how it might be really hard for you to leave this place. I know how much you love living in the country." And I lost it. I went right into full-on tears. I got one of those spontaneous ugly-cry headaches. Somewhere in my sniffly, mumbly, snotty crying jag the truth came out. "This place made me who I am."

Jeez Louise, it's embarrassing to admit that.

But now I've stopped crying and I've thought a lot about it and I think this is what I would have said had I not been so emotive: "I discovered my truest joy here."

It may have been the timing, the stage of my life. But what if it really was the chippy barn siding or the soybean/field-corn rotation?

I sank my toes into this particular dirt four years ago and my life started to make more sense.

And now I have to wonder, can I take it with me? Does sense travel past town limits?

Tomorrow is our last night here. The following morning, we will drive 1.5 miles down the road to a 1960's-throwback rental house, where we will live for the next eight months.

Somewhere around June, we'll drive in the opposite direction to the next town over. A bigger town. We'll be moving into a "declining neighborhood". It's declining because most of the houses there are currently vacant. They're vacant because they have windows busted out and ivy growing in the dining rooms.

One by one, the houses will be demolished and rebuilt.

So this girl who swore she would never leave is leaving. The girl who vowed that even if she struck it rich she would never live in a new house will soon be living in a new house. The girl who caught some of her shiniest glimpses of the infinite love of Jesus in the face of a hollyhock and the twist of barbed-wire fence will find a way to bloom on a postage stamp lawn.

If you dropped me off in our new neighborhood even one year ago, I might have slashed your tires. Granted, that would not have been the best response since you were my only way out, but I think you see what I'm trying to say. It took me a while to get on board with this plan. Like, over a year.

I whined and complained for eighteen months that our house wasn't selling right away, but if it had I wouldn't have been ready for this.

So why do we doubt God's timing?

And how did we know exactly where God was leading us?

I can't wait to tell you all about it.


*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.

44 comments:

  1. oh girl. what a journey. amazing. cannot wait to hear more.

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  2. Looking forward to going with you on this adventure. My husband has been contemplating moving us again (that would make 4 cross country moves in one year), and as much as I want to say "no way Jose", the truth is, God will lead us wherever He sees fit. I am strictly on autopilot, going where He leads me.

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  3. Oh how this speaks to my heart! In my experience, when I have let go, God has asked me to so He could put something else in my hand. Even better, it turns out than what I was holding on to.

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  4. Oh sister, I *know* the ache, pain, and inner turmoil this season brings with it. We women don't just do a move, we *feel* it, don't we? Praying for you and yours right now...

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  5. Things happen in our lives at just the precise time for a reason. We may not always see the reason right away but it always becomes clear, doesn't it.

    Enjoy your last night in your country house. It's wonderful you've documented much of your country living here, on your blog. And I know you'll soon be experiencing even more excitement and creating new and different memories with your family in your new diggs :)

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  6. I am excited for you.
    And praying. Always praying.

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  7. Tears welling up with the lump in my throat. Your words give me courage. For the last two-ish years we have tried to sell our house (off the market now), knocked on various doors of opportunity (only to have them close- even ones that seemed like out of the blue answers to prayer), and currently are "poor-er" than ever.
    I am believing that God has a plan for my family that we just aren't ready for yet AND also that God's plan includes for us to be right where we are at this moment. I hope I didn't ramble too much, just appreciate so much what you shared tonight. Blessings.

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  8. I was thinking of you today as I drove back from Goshen.......wondered if you were busy packin away! So, you leave Saturday a.m.? Just like Cory, I've thought the same thing about you - I hope you're able to grieve your loss because it was and is a place that God provided for you and many memories were created there. At some point in the future, you will look back and reflect on the place and those special memories, but you'll be making new ones in whatever spot the Lord places you! I just hope that I have the privilege to continue watching and witnessing God's mission being completed through all of you ;) xoxo

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  9. can't wait to see how God led you and what's in store! praying for y'all!

    xox

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  10. This sounds like an amazing journey....I absolutely cannot wait to read and learn more. I hope your story inspires us all to follow God's will for our lives...even if we don't see it right now.
    I hope your last night in your home is wonderful one!

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  11. Oh my goodness. Enjoy tomorrow! I can't even begin to tell you how much you remind me of me a year and half ago. The whole experience made me realize it's not where you are, it's who you're with! And word on the street is that you have some pretty cute peeps to hang with in your new pad!

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  12. I wrote about God's timing today, too. It's perfect. It's not our timing, though. He runs on a different clock and sees different things, and His ways are not ours. I love that you guys are really seeking Him out: that You're in hot pursuit. I think you're standing on the brink of His majesty and mystery. Glad to be along for the ride. Glad I'm not driving (since you're inclined to take out your meanness on a person's tires). If you have a Swiss Army knife, I think you should bury it near the farmhouse.

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  13. i had some of those same thoughts moving from the city to the country. I know you'll find your peace on a postage stamp. it'll be the prettiest stamp of lawn ever. soon your new life will fit you like a stripey sock. xoxo

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  14. not to sound all shallow, but i can't wait to see pictures of this redevelopment project. sounds like a great way to save part of a city. and throwback is the new modern, right? : )

    i'm thrilled to watch you walk this journey.

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  15. Shanny,I too have been praying for you and Cor. But I feel an expectancy brewing. What will our great Lord do next. I have seen all five of you grow and bloom on the old farm. But He is writing a book called the,"The Martin's Great Adventure in Following Me".
    Now for the next chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. Can't wait to hear. Please, I'm dying here!

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  17. Praying for you and your family during this transition!! "This God—his way is perfect;* the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him."

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  18. I'm dying to know where this journey is taking you! And I hope you're staying in the grand Hoosier state. :)

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  19. God's timing is SO the best timing! Good luck on your journey, friend!

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  20. this is bringing back so much, shan...so many memories and feelings...

    I have nothing to say other than a quiet and heartfelt..."I know..." on all accounts...he wants us here, in this place of need...so that we'll ask him to take us by the hand and lead us into the next season.

    it's okay to be sad, but know that it won't last...joy really does come in the morning.

    love you, friend.

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  21. I'm really proud of you! I seriously admire you...really I do!

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  22. I haven't been commenting much recently but I have been reading. My heart is breaking for you. I feel your pain. I am blessed that I have not had to leave the farm that I adore - the farm that makes me what I am. We have faced serious financial issues and gotten very close to having to leave before and the thought has been heart breaking. I am feeling for you right now. But impressed as usual. Your outlook is honest but still good. Keep your chin up.

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  23. Wow!!! The suspense is killing me!!!! I can't wait to hear what's next!!!! Loved your mommma's comment!!!!

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  24. And I can't wait to hear it. Praying.

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  25. The mere mention of "soybean/field-corn rotation" made me giggle---I know it all too well. Believe it or not, I had the same reaction to moving from the city/suburbs into our current rural location in Ohio. But, I am a city girl, I used to whine---how can I be expected to live in front of a field?? Also, why do we need this large, white propane tank? Will we be grilling out frequently? It was all very confusing.

    However, living in the country has also changed me for the better. There is just something about having some space to spread out (we have 1.14 acres of yard) and the peace and quiet of a rural location is something that has to be lived to be appreciated. I have fallen in love with the country, which is something I never imagined for myself. I know that it will be hard for you to leave it behind, but I believe God has carved a pretty amazing path for you--and you'll land just where you're meant to be.

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  26. I love this post too.
    I have been loving all of your posts.
    Praying for you.
    :) Jodi

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  27. Girl, I hope I survive this series. You are putting in words feelings that I have had a hard time expressing. The past two years has been a constant struggle of me letting go, digging in, letting go and digging in. And currently my family is in a place of feeling the tug to something new and wondering what and when it will be. Your words are an encouragement.

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  28. My heart is all achy for you, both happy and sad at one time. I know He will see you through this, and I'm convinced that following His lead is always the right move, ahem, so it's mostly a happy ache.

    I'm still turning this over in my mind today... "I'm not a proponent of the idea that God wants us to prosper, but that's another post for another day." I need deets, when you're ready. :)

    Also, Mama makes me teary in a good way. And Emily and her propane tank almost made me spew my coffee :)

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  29. Look at it this way down the road if you want you can go back to that life again. Not that exact home but the country life. I know it's easy for me to say but I've learned sometimes it's best, as corny as it sounds, to take each day as they come. I'm sure I'd be crying too.
    Kathy

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  30. Another amazing post my dear. You are loved.
    xo

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  31. A friend and I were talking about you last night...about what a great example you are of...well, all sorts of things. Thanks for sharing this process with us.
    And your mom's comment just about sent me into tears! So sweet!

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  32. They say, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take country out of the girl :)

    I went through this withdrawl while I spent my 4 years on Purdue's campus. While I was living in big tall buildings surrounded by sidewalks and tons of people, I never lost who I was.

    You won't either!

    I've been reading your blog for a long time and I've never commented before because I didn't have a blog of my own.

    I didn't realize you were from "my area" until a few months ago. I shreaked and my husband came running in going "what?!?" and I said "Flowerpatch farmgirl lives in Indiana!!!" I thought you were from a random state.

    Hang in there. I will be thinking of you. Your love for the country will never go away!!

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  33. Now I'm even more confused about what the heck I think I'm doing!! (I guess that's the point you're trying to make...)

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  34. May your final days and nights be fully lived, so that you can look back fondly later. Praying for you!

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  35. This place, your country home, and all its loveliness *will* go with you. Don't be embarrassed that you've been shaped and grown here. That sweetness, well, you're going to need it where you're going. You're going to have to call up the Beauty you have learned here every day and remember He is Good. Expect and know that this transition will be hard and achy. Maybe for a long while. Maybe forever. The heart-sickness you described in an earlier Letting Go post—that'll be your reality in the "declining" place. But, oh, the peace and courage that will rise up in you as you go along! Every pretense of this world will be with the world and not with you, as you are being transformed into such Glory as you have never known. I am here, in a different declining place. Ask me. I am so encouraged and happy to walk this path with you, soul-sister. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  36. oh shan my heart literally hurts for you. it's all the unknown. that's where the fear creeps in. but you will always be you. you will just grow and stretch and become a better stronger you. i'm excited to see where you are going. wondering if it was where you drove me? praying for you girlie. it's all going to be great.

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  37. Thank you for this series of posts. My family is also currently in the process of moving and I have been having a difficult time with it. I don't love the house we are currently living in and I don't love the one we are going to. I know that God has a plan for us in this move. I am being selfish and wanting MY plan, and to live in a house that I love. But I need to let go and let God have control and remember that where He wants me to be is where I can give him the most glory. And that is ultimately all that matters. Thank you again, your posts have helped me tremendously! I am praying for your move!

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  38. Oh my goodness this relates to my life in such a HUGE way!!! Did I say "huge"?!?! Cause, I really mean it.

    My husband I lived with eight teenage boys one year, all from the inner city. We chose to love them as if they were our own. It was the toughest, most awesome experience of my life. It was so hard and just when I decided to open my eyes and See who I was becoming in it, my groom felt led to move out and on in our life, and so we moved (yet again) into our own house.

    I've ached for another child. Ached and ached. I've felt God's calling for another child. And yet, Now definitely isn't the time and nor was Yesterday (figuratively, of course). I've Seen it.

    Still, though, I get how hard it is to live in the Trust. I so *get* you, girl.

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  39. I must tell you that Tuesday night I had a dream that you and your husband scored a meeting with the President. I watched you apprehensively enter this meeting room with scarlet carpet and gold walls, clutching a clipboard while your husband patted you on the shoulder, nodding and looking at you very confidently. You were in there for a few minutes and then the President walked you both out, in the hustle and bustle of lots of people and this time it was him patting you on the shoulder and he said to you, "You're a natural. You're genuine, and I like that." Then he turned to his aide, signed a paper, and said, "give her whatever she wants."

    It was so real I woke up debating whether or not I'd actually met the President or the Flowerpatch FarmCouple. It was about 2:30 AM, and I just prayed for you...that you'd find favor wherever you go and wherever you need it to accomplish His purpose.

    You ARE a natural and genuine. And I like that, too. :)

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  40. i can't wait to here all about it!

    you are in my prayers!!!

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  41. Oh, lady, I'm oh so behind and just spent the last how long catching up on you and all the letting go.
    This is all such a teeter-totter isn't it, this letting go business? Feelings are high and low, mixed up, and all over the board, I'm sure.
    Thinking of you on your last night in the farmhouse and cheering you on as you follow His lead! It's going to be good. Hugs.

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  42. You're awesome, Shannan. The end.

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  43. I grew up in the country and couldn't wait to leave it...funny thing is, years later I long to go back. I pray someday my family and I will be able to. Funny how life changes.

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