Remember how I wrote a few days back about my best friends, here, how I am a woman of routine and very little change? I like things the way they are and for them to stay that way. My family has lived on a street called Blue Martin for the last 13 years. We moved into this cute rock home when I was 11 years old upon our return to Bulverde after a 3 year stint in Oklahoma, and I have a deep love for it. My grandparents used to live just a couple miles away in the same neighborhood, and I rode my bike everywhere. I went through the awkward stages here, the years of figuring out who I wanted to be, first dates, first heart breaks, best friend sleepovers, Taylor Swift jam sessions, and late night baking. It was a sweet home with a front porch and white railing, wind chimes and antiques lining the edges just like my momma likes it.
Last Christmas my parents sat me down to say they were going to sell our home. I laughed, half because I didn’t actually believe them and half because I was desperate not to hear that they were being serious. But as I grew to understand they were, my heart both sank with fear and sadness, and also leapt with excitement for what this could mean for my parents. A new stage of life- good for them. But, deep down, I have spent the last year dreading the day they would tell me our home was on the market and even worse, when they would tell me someone bought it. And here we are, almost a year later, and on Monday I kissed goodbye my home on Blue Martin. Someone bought my home, as if now they are allowed to walk into sacred territory without respect for anything that took place in that spot. A stranger, somebody I don’t know from Adam will soon be in my bedroom, my kitchen, and my backyard where Snickers was buried just this time last year. It took not even fully closing the door to my car to start crying, and I sat in the driveway for at least five minutes telling myself to let go. I examined the house, corner to corner, and I soaked in every detail. Every memory I could think of that took place on that front porch and in that driveway I couldn’t seem to get myself to back out of, I recalled. I remember watching the storms roll in with my sister and mom on that porch, once even laying out in the driveway as the light show above us took place. (Which, looking back was absolutely a stupid decision.) I remember laying in bed with my sister on Christmas Eve when I was 13 talking about Jesus, and I vividly remember Emi asking me if I knew Mary was probably my age when she was told she would be the mother of the savior. I don’t know why I remember that conversation so clearly, but I do. I remember Kyana and I dancing around to “You Belong With Me” in my bedroom one chilly December night, I remember laying out on the trampoline watching the stars. I remember my sister’s 16th birthday and my brother’s band playing in the garage one evening. I remember dying my hair bleach blonde and crying on the couch about it. I remember getting ready for prom in that house, and I remember packing up all my things for college. See I don’t have a hard time remembering things. In fact, what I struggle with most is not holding onto the past so much that I fail to look forward, pressing onward with zeal. Anybody else have a hard time not living in the past?
When I said I was having to tell myself to let go in order to actually move out of my driveway on Monday, I didn’t even just mean let it go that the house is gone… but let go of the past. Let go, release your hands and love what once was, love the good memories that lay inside that home, but don’t let what isn’t anymore drag you down. I am not good at this. I am not good at forgetting, I am not good at moving along with time. In fact, I hate time. I think it’s the worst. I would love to be 15 again forever (not really, but this is my tendency of thinking). The days my greatest worries were if Emily was going to be quick to her car after school to get me home before soccer practice, or if I would run into so-and-so on the way to class. Strategically planned of course, haha.
When it comes to time, I am like that annoying person in a crowd at the mall who is walking against the current trying to get back to the store they realized they wanted to go to but already passed three stores back. Bags hitting everyone, ripping and tearing onward, they fight against the people passing by. This home was my last stake in the ground to my roots in my hometown, and for the last year I have fought time and the idea that one day soon this house wouldn’t be mine anymore. And, worse, this town of mine that I hold so dear would become slightly obtuse with my parents moving out. Maybe I fear forgetting or being forgotten, but all I know is that I love this town. If you’ve known me for any bit of time, you likely know I am from Bulverde because I talk about it often. I love it. I realize now that I have hoped keeping this home on Blue Martin in Bulverde, population 4,000, would mean everything eventually returning to how it once was, like a beacon in the night shining for restoration and revival. I had this false hope that maybe keeping this home could somehow change things. Maybe, just maybe, if we kept this little yellow rock house with the white front porch, people would return, memories would never fade, nobody would grow older, and we would all live like we once did. But, of course, this is crazy. Never will all five of us live under the same roof again, we have grown up, gotten married, created lives of our own. But, there is this tiny flicker of desire deep down that desperately wants just one more Christmas morning where we sit in the back room all together waiting for mom and dad to come in with the video camera to tell us we can come out to see what Santa got us. You know what I mean?
A home doesn’t do that, though. My hope isn’t in a home, in a town, or even in the people I love. It is in Christ. Only He can restore the broken pieces and deep holes of my heart, things the walls of this home have watched happen firsthand within me. The minute my hope is in anything of this world, that is where the heartbreak comes in. And listen, it’s okay to mourn loss or memories you want back. It really is. We have such a good God who both weeps and celebrates alongside us. But when the fog clears, when the mourning ends, is when the dancing begins if our hope remains on things unseen. If my hope is in the Lord, which it is, then I know that the best is truly yet to come- not behind me in that home 10 years ago. It’s okay to feel sad when time takes its toll, when things get uprooted, and when you have to let go of things you didn’t want to. I literally cried for 6 hours, the entire drive back to Dallas from Bulverde on Monday. I worshipped God, I sang about how though he slays me, I will still praise him. I thanked him that even when the enemy tries to attack, God turns what was meant for evil into good ultimately for his glory.
WHAT. GOOD. NEWS.
So, here I sit writing because it’s how I process things and weeping once again, and I mean UGLY crying, because that’s apparently what I do as of late. I literally have had swollen eyes from crying so much the last 48 hours. (Just being honest.) But, surely through me sharing my hurt with you, as real and vulnerable as it gets, at least one of you can say to yourself, “Wow, I am not the only one?” Whatever your situation, whatever you are aching over or having a hard time letting go of, I wanna say first it’s okay to hurt. Listen, if you are in your early 20’s, you probably ARE saying to yourself “YES” about something in this post. We are in this odd stage of life where change is constant, and life being uprooted is fairly common. We are in it together. Second, the most important part, seek after the Lord always. Seek out comfort in him, and he will show up. Seek out understanding, and he brings revelation. Ask for peace, and ask for the big prayers, the situations you have a hard time even imagining. His plans are still to prosper and make known his goodness through you, in you, and in the world. Even in the valley, even in the heartache, He is always good.
So cheers to you, my home in Bulverde on Blue Martin. You were good to us. Some things, I wish you didn’t have to see. Some things I wish didn’t happen within your walls, but even still, you love us unconditionally. Like a big bear hug, I could always count on feeling welcomed at your door- crack in the glass and all. After long days I stormed through and slammed you shut and the days I frolicked through happily, thanks for being my home. Thanks for being our home. Whoever takes you next, they better love you just as much as we did. Every little nook and cranny, every little dent in the wall, every little crack in the cabinets. I am excited for what’s next for all of us. I am scared, too, not gonna lie. I don’t know what exactly this new season will look like and I have never felt so uprooted in my life, but I am at least telling myself it will be great because I know deep down it will be. 😉 There is something exciting about not knowing what’s next. I am clinging to that little bit of adventurer deep down inside of me, the little bitty bit of me that says, “Change? Awesome! What’s next?” I am putting on my hiking books and backpack, ready to climb the next mountain, the next 13 years, the next adventure.