Our family has been in transition for around 2 weeks now. Really we have been in constant transition for the last 9 months or longer but who’s keeping track? Seriously though, the last few weeks have been filled with sleeping in basements (thank you to those who made a place for us in this time), filling our truck with everything we own…again and being humbled once again in how we don’t have it all together. :)
There is so many stories just from the last several days but the best one was from yesterday. I had to share it. I’ll try not to give all the intricate details but do want to set the stage for the climax of where our family was at when yesterday happened.
At the end of last week we pulled away from Minnesota and went from living in one basement to living in another. We were excited to be in KC for this next season. The next day I got hit hard with allergies or sickness or both. Over the next several days our entire family got sick as well. We are all sick at the moment. This morning I couldn’t get out of bed, which isn’t usually me even when I am sick. My body just screamed, “STOP!” and I couldn’t do anything. All I remember is Arden telling me some story while beckoning for a response and Eliana on top of me, riding me like a horse. I felt kinda delirious.
So yesterday was a big day for us because we had checked out an apartment that was fairly cheap, been approved to take over the last 3 months of a lease and were ready to move in. Even though we all had got pretty sick and I had been up every 15 minutes the night prior with Arden, we awoke with a fatigued excitement, got ready, cleaned up and jumped in the truck.
After doing transition for as long as we have been, we’ve learned to prep the kids for what is ahead. But this one we did with an amped up intensity because they would be stationary for longer than a month and be able to run in circles in our new home versus the straight line that they were limited to in the RV.
SIDE NOTE: We have learned that transition can be incredibly tough on younger ones, no matter the age. Many console with the statement, “They’ll be fine. Kids are so resilient.” I know there to be truth in that statement but after going through this last season, it isn’t as consoling.
We arrived at our soon-to-be apartment complex, opened the door to our particular building and walked through a cloud of smoke to get to our front door. In the excitement, tiredness, etc I don’t think we gave it much thought. After we connected with the previous tenant, I started to unload the truck. Just to add, the apartment we were seeking to move into had been occupied by non-smokers and very sweet believers in the Lord.
As soon as the previous tenant left, Grace shut the windows, kicked on the A/C and started to sort through what I was bringing in. I had completely unbungeed the truck and was committed to the moving process. Not long after that we began to smell a faint smell of smoke in the apartment. As I went from outside to inside it began to smell more and more like a non-smoking room at a hotel that had once been a smoking room. We knew that with a baby on the way, that was “a hill we would die on.” We hadn’t realized that tenants could smoke freely in the building/apartments and that the A/C ducts were connected to all the other apartments. The previous visit we had smelt nothing. However, we realized that smoking neighbors had not been at home and the previous tenants liked it hot and rarely kicked on the A/C. Our thinking had defaulted to a smoke-free environment when it came to apartment complexes.
So, after asking a lot of questions, kicking the A/C on high for 20 more minutes, we knew it was time to repack what we had unpacked and try to find housing again. I will never forget Arden’s repeated statement, “Daddy, I just want to stay here.” Did I mention that the apartment complex had a pool.
At this point we knew that it was not an option to try and temporarily unbungee the large tarp on the back of our truck again, move back into someone’s basement and live like we were on the road” still. To sum up our next hours, there were tears, screaming as the kids stayed strapped in their seats, frustration and crying out for His grace. Did I mention we were all sick and coughing until we almost puked. :) To sum it up we laid some options out there, cried in front of some people and landed in an apartment with just our family for at least a few weeks.
This story gives you a flavor of our families journey over the past month’s. We wouldn’t trade it for a second! Hopefully we can communicate the “why” of that last statement, over these next months while we somewhat settle.
Mercy isn’t void of suffering and pain. In fact, we have found that the greatest mercy is bathed in it.