Letting Go of Lancaster

I’m grieving.

There’s a small gray cloud hanging over my desk and in its shadow I’m hunched over, attempting to focus on my work and distract myself. It’s not working.

It’s almost time to say goodbye.

The crazy-busy, stress, and excitement were a distraction for the past three months. But I can’t escape the calendar. I only have one short month left in this row house in Lancaster.

After everything I went through moving to Lancaster, it’s surprising that I feel this way about leaving.

I’ve never been good at change. I fear it because I can’t control it. I can’t see the future and nothing is certain. I’m frustrated by my inability to be positive over the past few days. Why is this so hard?

In the peace of early morning light on the hardwood floor panels, I sit in my bedroom and write. Pen to paper. A journal I haven’t cracked in ages.

The lines fill as I vent my frustrations, fears, joys, excitement. Eloquence lacking. Each sentence abrupt, pointed, unedited. Raw.

photo (3)

Morning Glories on Franklin

Wonderful co-workers. Worship and community on the corner of Columbiana and President’s. My row house with its crown molding and exposed brick. Historic downtown Lancaster with my favorite Mennonite coffee shop. Unmatchably beautiful countryside. Revolutionary War era churches with uneven brick sidewalks. The morning glories on my neighbor’s dilapidated fence. Walking to Central Market on early Saturday mornings. Sharing wins and losses with a great friend at the desk next to mine. Complete independence. 

The impending losses cut deep into my soul. Acute pain bars me from seeing the good in Columbus. What if my favorite things about Lancaster can’t be replaced in Columbus? Still worse – what if I can’t shake this negative attitude and accept Columbus for what it is? What if I let it stop me from enjoying something new and different?

Though I’m living with fear and uncertainty about this next step, I have some assurance that it’ll be okay. Uprooting and transplanting aren’t fun – but this time I won’t be alone. I won’t sit in an apartment by myself on Friday nights trying to squash an overwhelming loneliness. I won’t have to sit in my car psyching myself up before going to events alone. I’ll never visit a church by myself. I’ll always have someone to drag with me on the simplest of errands. I’ll have a friend to explore and adjust to this new place with me.

I open my copy of 1000 Gifts and look back over all the blessings that got me through the hardest months this past year. He doesn’t fail. Mercies never cease. I can breathe again and the racing thoughts slow.

Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow.


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