I don't want to.

image via Flickr, RossBerteig

image via Flickr, RossBerteig

We got dressed in our new house yesterday afternoon. Sun streamed warm in through the abundance of windows, and I dragged my feet up the carpeted stairs and looked in the mirror. Disheveled, of course - I'm wearing this season's style in spades, and no one quite does the air-dried-hair-and-yoga-pants look quite like I do.

I don't want to do this.

I rinsed clean, dried & straightened my hair, and reached on my tip-toes to find a dress in my new closet, with its absurd 6+ foot bar. Price bounded up the stairs and poked his head in the bathroom.

I don't want to find a new church, I told him.

I know, he said and sighed.

It's been weeks since we wandered into this new town and each Sunday has brought a proper excuse - too tired, not feeling well, guests in town, out of town ourselves. But this Sunday we needed to go.

So we went. The GPS came out, and we drove down windy back city streets and saw the sign for parking, and turned onto an under-construction street with a big DETOUR sign. I'll take it!, I thought. I don't want to meet new people. I don't want to make small talk. I've had 2 years of small talk, and not a real, authentic community. Such a season layers on the masks so thick and so deep that even the thought of scraping them off is too painful.

We saw the building, the sign, and the empty parking lot. We drove in circles, around the whole building. Price got out and checked the - locked - doors.

I sighed. I'm not sure what happened, but church was not meeting then or there.

We drove around the corner, a few streets over, and walked into another church - this an old one turned into a beer bar, a favorite new haunt of ours. And over one stiff drink and one orange San Pelligrino we smiled knowing, sad smiles, and silently wished it was bread and wine among friends.

________

When I look back on our time in St. Louis, I'll reflect on it as a season that hardened me - that showed me I can survive, I can make it, I can be self-reliant with a husband in grad school, I can run a marathon, and work full-time and go to school part-time, and it can be done, and we will survive with our little scars and smash the whole thing away in boxes for a therapist to unpack one day. I will forever be grateful for that test, and the unexpected resilience, especially as we face another sea of change with the tide lapping a little closer to our feet each day.

I loved St. Louis. I loved the city, and the people, and the food, and our little church that never quite felt like home but fed me and filled me just the same.

I assume I will love Louisville, one day. Right now I'm struggling to get out of bed, get off the couch, turn off Netflix, and paint some walls. Or take my shoes out of the cardboard moving box that has housed them for approximately the last 6 weeks. Or unpack at least one box of books. But I am tired. I am weary and confused and not sure which way is up.  I want to run away to the beach, or travel home for yet another weekend (we're rockin' 4 out of 6 at this point ... not sure what our new neighbors think of all this). 

But most of all, I am thirsty. I think St. Louis left me parched - all the goodness that Nashville filled up in me ran out somewhere along the way, and I limped to the finish line with my pride, but not much else.

I've played this Sara Groves song a lot lately.

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I’ve thirsted and didn’t have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

{Open My Hands}

Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness.

______

I don't want to do this, I think. But I need to. He will be faithful, and I will find my way again in this new city and this new life - but I don't have to find it alone.