Well, I’m back.
I know it’s been a long time. Well, a long time in blog-years. Only two months in real time. And I admit my posts have been few and far between since last January. Part of the reason for this is that my life has changed a lot this past year, and I’ve been trying to make sense of it.
In May, a good number of my remaining friends moved away—an event that actually sent me into the closest thing to depression I’ve ever experienced. In June the rest of my family moved into the next town or farther—meaning I still get to visit them a lot, but I don’t see them as regularly. And in August, just after I had assured my Good Friend Heather East that I could never handle living alone, my roommates announced, within two weeks of each other, that they were both moving out.
These events combined, as small as they were, shook my world. It turns out that I’d measured my own value based on how much I could serve others. There was no point in going out unless I could minister to a friend in the process. There was no point in cooking a meal or decorating a living space unless there was someone else there to enjoy it. I thought if I ended up all by myself—a fear that had a larger grip on me than I’d realized—that I would life a pointless, lonely and selfish existence.
So God sent me to live by myself for a while.
I didn’t ask for it to happen. But He directed dozens of little unlikely circumstances to give me a beautiful one-person apartment, nicer than I should be able to afford, overlooking not a crowded parking lot but a little creek running through the woods.
I was flabbergasted. Why all this bother for just me? If there’s no one to share it with, what was the point? If I was spending so much more time alone, wouldn’t that just make me a self-absorbed woman living in a selfish little apartment?
But His hand was so clearly in the whole situation that I had to realize that He wanted me to live here. Alone. Because He loves me.
If I’m understanding right, He’s teaching me my worth is not based in how much I serve others. Don’t get me wrong—serving other people is a vital part of the calling of a Christian, and I still stay involved with church and with my friends and family. But when I go home, it’s just me here. And He’s showing me that I can put up clocks and do the dishes and cook meals for no one’s sake but my own, and there is still value to it. Because my value doesn’t lie in how much I do for others.
My value lies in that I am a person whom God loves.
The truth of that still hasn’t sunk in all the way, and I’m not sure it ever will.
I’ve been living here by myself for four months now. And the loneliness I feared would overtake me and crush me hasn’t come. I think the whole time I’ve been here, I’ve only felt the briefest twinge of loneliness two times, if that. No exaggeration. That has to be a gift from God.
I’m just too busy enjoying life here—doing quiet little things like organizing my closet, making applesauce, playing music, keeping budgets, writing, and knowing there is value to it all—because He gives it value. He gives me value.
I know this hasn’t been the typical post for PumpkinAnkles. But I think it’s time I expanded the kinds of things I write about on here. Panic not, I’m not abandoning humor writing altogether. There will always be things to laugh about in life. I’m just hoping to also explore that other side of life’s joys—the quieter, more serious joys.
Are you ready to explore them with me?