Our apartment was so beautiful when we moved into it. All that light and space, that updated kitchen and those shiny countertops. It was full of possibility, a place we could stay for years, a home to settle into. Now that space holds mostly fear when I walk into it. My chest twists in on itself when the boys and I enter. My ears tune in for any movement of the neighbor below us to tell me if we’re safe right now, if we can play right now. Most of the time, home is the place is where I least want to be.
We need to leave this situation, where my kids run and I shoot sharp words at them to move in a way completely counter to their instincts. Where their attempts at quiet are never quiet enough, and my patience burns thin when below us someone is slamming a broomstick against the floor under our feet while my son screams and cries over the things children scream and cry about.
It’s hurting us all. But still. Still. Last Sunday at church I had this sudden sense of the gift God has given me this past year, a gift braided into the pain. This year has allowed me to discover the deep troubles in my own spirit, layers of fear and anxiety that would have taken years to uncover otherwise. I’ve learned how I carry that stress and how I pour it out onto my children.
That’s why there is so much hope here. I’m seeing this now, as a 34-year-old. Look at the time I have ahead of me! Look at my children, young and capable of loving me in my own brokenness. There is time still to learn gentleness. There is still time to learn that I cannot define my worth through the lens of any one else, no matter how closely they listen to my life.
This apartment, this year of anxiety, has been a mirror for me. I’m beginning to understand myself so that God can remake me.
. . .
I’m writing over at A Deeper Church today and I’d love for you to join me there…
Photo Credit: idleformat on Flickr