The Joy of Starting Over
A little over four months ago, Samuel and I moved from the only home we have ever had, to live in a one bedroom cottage in Johannesburg. Whatever we didn't need, want or value we either gave or threw away. We packed up our little family and moved forty five minutes away. I know forty five minutes doesn't sound like much of a difference, but everyone who lives in either Pretoria or Joburg will tell you that these two cities are worlds apart.
The best thing about our move has got to be the location we have chosen; we are less than a ten minute drive to Sam's work and a one minute drive in either direction of the the street we live in, will lead you to a supermarket, a cafe, a fruit and vegetable store and an awkward wine and cheese store that I doubt I will ever set foot in. We are definitely not the trendiest people you will ever find, but living two minutes away from one of the trendiest streets in Joburg does boost my confidence a little bit more than it should.
I have all of the fleshly luxuries that I yearned for when I still lived in the North of Pretoria, but those things don't compensate for what my soul is yearning for now.
I am yearning for stability.
I miss being able to call a girlfriend and invite myself over to her place for dinner in exchange for washing her dishes. I would like the luxury of driving more than 5 kilometres from the house without having to use a GPS. I would like to wake up one day to find that the fibre internet that the landlord promised us is actually working. And who knows if the sushi at the restaurant down the street is as great as the one that I loved back in Pretoria.
My biggest yearning however, would be to actually know who the person sitting next to me, in church is. I know it sounds funny, but this has become one of my biggest frustrations: not knowing who the people around me are.
That is not to say that I haven't met some great people since moving here, but the reality is that we need to start from scratch. We have no solid friendships yet, and we have only recently found a church that we would like to call home. We have to meet and remember so many people's names and faces. We are constantly introducing and telling people about who we are and what we do; "We moved from Pretoria a few months ago", "We are musicians". "We've been married for five years". "No, we don't have any children yet". I'm worn out. It sounds insignificant, but the little things have really gotten to me.
I know that the comforts of stability will come with time. I will slowly get into the rhythm of where I like to buy groceries, what time church starts and whether or not the morning wind means I should wear a jersey or not. I need to be patient.
Ecclesiastes 3 has been on my heart heavily these past few weeks and these are the verses that have stuck out for me."
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2...a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3...a time to break down, and a time to build up; 5... a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
I suppose I am in a season of planting and building up. Maybe this is the season of setting new foundations and seeking new paths.
I have to constantly ask myself what it is that God wants me to learn. What is it that God wants me to do? What do I need to build up in my life that was torn down in the last season? What is it that I need seek out, that I may have lost before?
What if the frustrations of this season are a stepping stone to something more significant than I can imagine right now? I suppose I should embrace the discomfort and do everything that my hands have found to do without grumbling, but rather thank God that I can seek Him while He is still to be found. I should be more grateful that I can plant while the soil is still fertile, and build while the foundation still holds strong.
The Apostle Paul wrote that we should count it all joy when we go through various trials; in my case, count it all joy when all has been torn down and you have the blessing to start over.