The table was cluttered with scraps of colorful fabric and long lengths of ribbon. Thread clung to my shirt and littered the floor. I am a messy seamstress. In the corner, on top of an old, creaky ironing board, a steaming iron hissed, ready to press the seams of my newest creation. The ironing board had actually been a wedding present. It had made every move with us. Nine homes in 38 years. (I should look in my wedding album, and send that practical Giver another thank you note).
My sewing haven was an octogon-shaped dining room in a huge Victorian house we were renting from a local bank. And to be honest, this house shouldn’t be counted as our ninth home. It was not my home. It was just a house. It’s wasn’t ever going to be my home. We were just living there. For a season. Until we found a home.
Hence the sewing fanatic that had come out in me.
Anything to help pass the time. Keep busy. Don’t pity on the couch again. In my previous post (Is Green Acres the Place for Me), I lamented about my dismal state of being. Just being. No place. No people.
Those cute little jewelry pouches were stitched together about 6 years ago. That is when my quest to belong really began. Until that time, my children had done a fine job of defining who I was. In the previous 8 moves, my kiddos, or at least some of them, had moved with me. So even, in those new cities, new states, if I didn’t have a church or friends right away, those babies were there. My people. I had a purpose because I had them. The house soon felt like home, and quickly the community became my place because my kids pulled me into their activities.
The US Census Bureau says that about 12% of Americans move each and every year. We pack up everything we own and relocate. In her book, This Is Where You Belong, Melody Warnick says, “To get a sense of the scale of it (12%), imagine every single resident of the twenty-five largest cities in the country — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and so on — boxing up the bed linens and pulling up stakes.”
Wow — I guess my move wasn’t such a unique thing in this grand Story. However, it was unique to me. And it was big. To me.
Now that I have shared with you what brought me to this place of searching, I want to spend the rest of the series exploring some of the reasons and situations that make a person feel like they are standing alone. Exiled. Living in the wilderness. Those are strong words, but feeling like you don’t fit in anywhere is hard. Really really hard. And it’s scary.
Let’s try to figure this out.
And maybe we can find our way.
And maybe, just maybe, we can help someone else find where they belong. Who knows? Maybe they are part of our very own tribe.
And wouldn’t that be a win win?