Ah, that sweet spot of life. The kids were finally grown and living their own lives – in their own homes. Deep contented inhales, satisfied unhurried exhales. No shocking ups . . . no upsetting downs . . . a flat stretch of peaceful contentment. Life was comfortable, predictable, and familiar.
There was just one bump in sight – one threat to my sweet spot. Many years before, I promised my husband we would move when the youngest child finished high school – but I didn’t mean it. I hoped his desires would change or fade, but they didn’t.
I didn’t want to move to a new town. I resisted the move. I clutched, dragged my feet, and pretended it was not happening.
But it did happen – a new house, a new town, a new life. I hated it.
In protest, I isolated and threw pity parties. I was a solitary sitter on a couch intended for three; the two empty cushions bearing testimony to my refusal to adjust. I mourned the loss of my sweet spot and resented the barrenness of this new life. My new house echoed with no sound of life except the mantle clock keeping time.
My only company – a stray cat who showed up on move-in day. We were two displaced individuals trying to figure out our next move – doubtful that this place could ever feel like home.
I talked and talked and talked with God about my unhappiness.
He listened and listened and listened.
It was hard for Him to get a word in.
The empty darkness of my unhappy heart seeped into the depths of my soul until I was spent. And for the first time, I stopped talking.
In the silence, God spoke. It took me by surprise. I had grown accustomed to hearing my own voice, tiresome and monotonous. He spoke truth with kindness into my darkness.
Daughter, you have stood, rooted to the spot, gaping at this move like a tragedy – a devastation with smoke and steam rising from the site. Turn away from that lie and walk toward the truth. This move is new wine, fresh wine. Release your old wineskin and receive a fresh one. Walk into today with fresh eyes and a fresh heart, ready to meet Me in fresh ways in this new spot. Embrace the overflowing abundance and contentment that I have prepared for you here.
It was an invitation I could not resist. I visualized myself turning from the smoking devastation. I felt its heat behind me and took a tentative step toward accepting change.
I considered my couch with new eyes. No longer a cold monument to my discontent, its arms appeared open and warm, eager for new friends and opportunities.
I asked for forgiveness for the wasted weeks of self-pity, and thanked God for the times ahead.
That was eleven years ago. Since then God has filled my days with fresh blessings and fresh growth.
No longer haunting and mocking, the mantle clock keeps time in this new sweet spot, reminding me to speak less in prayer and listen more.