This morning, at 8:45 am, we signed the closing papers on the house we have been trying to sell for over a year. I cried on the drive to the title company, cried as I signed the papers, cried as I walked away, cried as I was about to order my Pumpkin Spice Latte that I got in order to celebrate the occasion.
Yes, this house ordeal has made me cry. A lot.
Just to be clear, we didn't sell our house. No, thankfully, we still have this house. What we sold was the accumulation of two years of planning, dreaming, building, and hard work. Two years of sweat, tears, stress, and then ultimately more tears. We sold the house that was meant to be sold, but not exactly how we had planned it. It was supposed to be a good idea and make our lives a little easier, but then didn't quite turn out that way. Well, I guess it still was a good idea, it just didn't end up being a good reality.
But it's gone. Gone are two house payments. Gone are nights spent worrying. Gone is the heavy load of stress that has burdened me for months, a burden so heavy that I haven't been writing as much as I would like, or talking as much as I want, or sharing the burden in any form whatsoever. In order to cope with it I cut out every extracurricular activity from my life, including my precious and emotionally stabilizing MOPS group. Even though, as my doctor said at a recent visit, what I should be doing is getting out and meeting with people and finding connection, my heart hasn't been in it. My coping mechanism was to shut myself in, take medication, and clean the house a lot. I haven't exactly been the best wife, parent, or friend the last few months, but I made it through. Four months of the worst depression I have faced in years, and here, on the other side of closing papers I can say, we got through it.
I can't say I'm a stronger person because of this.
Or my emotional fortitude is better.
Or my ability to handle difficulties is more refined (as I sit here sobbing at the computer).
But I can confirm one thing: I still have faith that God cares about me. I don't know why things happened the way they did, and at the end of the day maybe there isn't some great lesson to be learned. For all the sorrows I have experienced in my life, this is the only one in which I have asked, "Why?" Why us? Why didn't it work out? Why did it seem like God was punishing us? Why couldn't I hold it together?
And you know what, I may never know why. Sometimes things happen. We don't know why. For all our planning and hopes and expectations, not everything goes the way we thought it would. I have to tell myself, daily, this was not about God punishing us. I don't always believe it, but if I have learned anything over my 31 years of existence it is that hope remains even in the darkest times, and that hope tells me that I am loved and even when things fall apart--especially when things fall apart--God has not forgotten me.
October is a new month, one in which I hope to find some healing. Maybe even call up a friend, or two, or three.
1951 Barnes Avenue doesn't belong to us anymore. We have closed the doors, and by the strength of God we have walked away.