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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

the long and lonely road

I knew this would inevitably happen. It took me a week of sleepless nights and lots of prayer to first process the move when Ryan initially brought it up to me over a year ago. I remember pouring over my bible all hours of the night, knowing that moving away and leaving my life behind meant that a time would come when I would be feeling empty, lonely and desperate. Fortunately, God prepared me ahead of time and even though this road is long and hard, He did promise "to bring me back to this place".....not the literal place that I left, but the place of contentment, happiness and knowing who the heck I am. I currently feel like a shell of my former self. I had so many defining circumstances that made me who I am that I feel stripped of now. The best friends in the world...the kind I prayed and waited my whole life for. So many of them, that I often felt pulled in many directions trying to juggle all the people in my life that meant so much to me. A church that was passionate and real and drove me to pursue the Lord like never before. A gym that felt like home where the equipment was lacking, the dirt was often collecting, but a place where everyone knew my name and I knew theirs. A place that sparked in me a passion for breaking a sweat in the gym and kicking butt in a race. I left behind a place that wherever I went...the grocery store, the beach, the doctor's office, I was bound to run into someone that I knew. The TANNING SALON, the sun and the gloriously golden color of my skin. A hairdresser that I completely trusted with my hair and chatted with on facebook. Birthday parties that took months to plan, millions of dollars spent on little details and a guest list that required the largest cake possible and then some. A bible study where I was completely comfortable with everyone in the room and I was completely free to laugh, joke, cry, tell my leader how hot her husband is.....to BE ALI. Now I sit in my car and cry before walking into MOPS because nobody there knows me. They have never met my children or husband and I have never met theirs. I see them for two hours every two weeks, say goodbye and never see or talk to them again until two weeks later. They know nothing about my loves and interests, my short comings, what makes me who I am. Now we try out different churches and nothing ever feels right and the word is never alive to us and the crowd consists of ten percent young families like us rather than ninety percent. Now I go to the gym to the most ridiculously easy class in a room full of emaciated middle aged women and the teacher asks me if it's my first time there even though it's my tenth. Now I have a little girl with an upcoming birthday and only one or two friends and therefore no party on the agenda. Now I have more split ends than I can count, roots halfway down my head and hair longer than it should ever be. Now I can go for days at a time without seeing a familiar face. Now my playdates are every other week rather than daily and my girls nights out are every other month rather than once or twice a week. Now I am a shell of my former self. But like I started out saying, none of this was a surprise. When you go from having the life you've always dreamt about and lacked for nothing and you uproot from that, it is expected that days like these will come when you realize how high you were and how far you've fallen. I am thankful that the Lord prepared me for this and trying my hardest to cling to that and cling to Him even when my circumstances seem hopeless. That all being said, I would be an enormous brat if I did not recognize how much I am truly blessed. So, here's an inconclusive list of what I'm currently thankful for and my hope is that as I recognize new blessings daily that I will post them as a reminder of the big picture and that as this list grows, I will grow and that through it all, I'll find "Ali" again.

1. the unfailing love of a savior even at the loneliest times
2. a husband that I adore and who I'd still follow anywhere, no matter the cost
3. the three most precious little girls in the world
4. a mom who will spend hours listening to me cry and moan and empathize with me and then counsel me
5. the gorgeous white snow outside my window
6. raising my kids with the kids of my childhood friends
7. the perfect house for our family (even if our electric bill made me cry)
8. the school bus
9. a new tradition of holiday parties with sara, beth, jill and our kids
10. a new partner in obsessively loving pottery barn and j crew crime (you know who you are)
11. rach living right next door
12. monday night bachelor dates with bec that bring me back in time eight years
13. walking into starbucks and at least one person knowing my name
14. my mini van (no matter how dirty and food encrusted it may be)
15. an unexpected text from a friend that can turn my day around
16. a pediatrician that cares enough about our family to call me himself
17. visits from my sister, maria and my parents
18. my weekly dates with emma and a time set aside to focus only on her
19. the loving, tender heart of madeline and her never ending hugs and kisses
20. a 2 1/2 year old that looks like a one year old, talks like a three year old and has every one she meets wrapped around her finger
21. knowing that this too shall pass

"I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you and will bring you back from captivity." jeremiah 29:10-14


Sweet Treats and Baby Feet said...

oh ali it was so hard for me to read this! i am so sorry that this adjustment has been so trying but you are so wise to recognize that God will use it for his glory. that's the best peace you can have! hope you got my voicemail the other night...we are only 20 minutes away!

Four Boys and a Girl..On Our Journey with Five Kids. said...

Oh Ali, I don't even know where to begin. :( It makes a lump in my throat and my eyes fill with tears. Ugh, I can't stand it but know that God will bless you for being obedient. Sometimes your greatest growth in the Lord is at the time you feel so lonely. I love you so much and I hate that things are difficult right now. Here's my list of why I am SO thankful for you and why I love (and miss!!!) you so much!!

1. You're the best friend anyone could ask for. Someone I can be so real around and someone who accepts me for me.
2. You make me laugh. All the time. Remember that wedding when you couldn't figure out how to turn the camera on? It still makes me laugh. :)
3. You always know the right thing to say. Ya know, like telling me that you see a shark while we were hundreds of feet in the air parasailing. :) For real though, you do.
4. I can shop with you from sunrise to sunset.
5. You're GORGEOUS. So gorgeous, you can't even tell you have split ends.
6. You're an amazing wife and mommy!
7. You have a creative eye that anyone and everyone would long for.
8. You're always able to do anything for anyone. So selfless.
9. You can always cheer me up.
10. I know that no matter how far away you are from me, we can pick back up like we saw each other yesterday.

Seriously, I can't wait to fly back up and just hang out on the couch all day drinking coffee and chatting. Soon!!! Love you!!

Loretta said...

Ali, I wish I had been a little bit braver...to become friends with you & Vicki while you were still here (Ft Myers). I was in my own little scared shell...I still feel like the "new" girl..and this is my hometown :(....you are a beautiful soul ...keep writing ..I LOVE your blog!!