Monday, March 17, 2014

On being displaced...

To displace
to force (someone) to leave their home, typically because of war, persecution, or natural disaster. 

We're officially displaced. 

Of course, we're not displaced in the way most of us think of it, in a war-torn country in a camp somewhere, with no belongings of our own. 

And yet, displaced we are. Ah, such a 1st world problem. To be "displaced" in the comforts of a suite in a beautiful hotel that provides breakfast and cocktail hour every day. We are so very blessed to be taken care of, to have a temporary place to stay.

But, even so, being displaced is hard. So, so hard. On so many levels.

We have lost so much. We have some of our clothes (almost all were salvageable, but most are with the drycleaning company at the moment, so we have only a portion actually with us), but the vast majority of our belongings have been declared a total loss. What they are going to attempt to salvage has been removed to the salvage company's warehouse. The only furniture they're going to attempt to salvage are the kids' bunk beds, our dining room table, our grandfather clock, the piano and the kids' desk. All of our other furniture will have to be replaced. 

So will our mattresses. Dusk and I just purchased our mattress in December. We briefly considered taking it back to COSTCO and saying "It just has this weird smoke smell. We just can't figure out where it's coming from." COSTCO will let you return anything, right?!? Obviously kidding, but if you've read our blog for any length of time, you know humor is how we get through.

So, right now, we're sleeping in beds that aren't ours, with linens that aren't ours, listening to sounds that aren't familiar to us. We're waking up earlier to eat breakfast in a hotel dining room and drive new routes to the kids' schools. We don't have a kitchenette, so the kids' are getting Luncheables in their lunches every day and dinner is drive-throughs or take-out.  For the mom who meticulously planned out all of our healthy, home cooked meals for an entire month at a time, and for a family who is used to living on fresh produce, this is hard. Every new sound, new smell, unfamiliar meal, and different driving route is a subtle reminder that this isn't our home.

The kids are faring well, considering. We're trying to keep their routines...

...including working on AWANA verses 
...and making it to our softball and t-ball games
But it's so hard when every fiber of their little beings is crying out "I'm in a hotel! With a pool! We're on vacation!!!" 

Emotionally, they seem to be handling things really well. But then, Bodie woke up almost every hour last night, screaming and crying, clearly having nightmares. When we asked him this morning, he couldn't remember what his bad dreams were about, but did remember good dreams about fire trucks. I can only imagine he was reliving the night of the fire. It made my mama's heart so sad.

The uncertainty of the future compounds everything. We're working very hard to find a place to live (we have 2 realtors who've been so kindly helping us), but as of yet, are still empty handed. We've played this real estate shuffle before, the dance where you feel like you will never find anything, and then, suddenly, a new listing pops up, it's perfect for you, you grab it and end up in the best possible home for you. But we're not to that point where the listing has popped up yet. We're currently in the utter depressing and demoralizing phase where we feel like we will be living in this hotel and eating take out forever.

This, all of this, is just poignant reminders that we are indeed displaced. The discomfort, the utter starkness of the reality that this is NOT our home hits us every moment of waking hour. The longing for the comforts of our own home and belongings runs so deep. 

It is such an enormous reminder to me that this is how we should feel every day, as Christians. This is NOT our home. We should feel uncomfortable. We should feel a longing toward our true home, in Heaven, at the right hand of God. And, if we don't, perhaps we're not displaced enough. Perhaps we've grown too complacent in our Western world. I love when God whispers these lessons to me amidst the storms of life. A gentle reminder that he is molding me, and our family, and drawing us closer to Him. Forcing us to rely on His promises.

And so, in all of this, this displacement and uncertainty, we wait upon the Lord and His next steps. 

And we hope, I mean really really really hope, His plans include a rental home soon. 

In the meantime, you can support us by praying for us. Pray that we find a home, pray for peace for us in this process, pray for peace for the kids, pray for sanity for Amy (as our friend Karin so brilliantly pointed out when she came to visit us yesterday -
Since we went basically from Bodie's hospitalization straight into the fire, Bodie and I have really been displaced for 2 weeks already. I'm kinda going stir crazy. Pray for patience for me during this time.)

I'll sign off with this thought.

6 years ago, I prayed that God would use our family in the sanctity of life movement. 
2 months later, we became pregnant with a baby who had down syndrome and would pass away in utero.
2 months after that, we became pregnant with Bodie.
Both times, we were unequivocally advised, multiple times, to terminate the pregnancy.

This past January, I prayed that God would help me learn to simplify and reprioritize our lives and declutter.
2 months later, our house burned down.

Next time, I'm praying to win the lottery.

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