Can I open my eyes?
Is this as hard as it gets...?"
These lines from Kelly Clarkson's new song "Cry" keep running through my mind. We've been in the new house for over a month, the boxes are mostly unpacked and even the pictures are up. So the hard part is over, right? Wrong! We painfully pulled up our roots from our old home and are trying to transplant ourselves into our new surroundings. This can be an exciting time, discovering new places and friends, tackling new challenges - but mostly it is just exhausting to create new routines and find all of the necessary services, especially for those of us who have no sense of direction!
Being a minister's wife adds a whole new dimension to this experience. We have left behind a whole church family and are expected to keep our distance to give the new minister a chance to build relationships, which leaves us feeling cut off from our friends and guilty about abandoning them. Our new church family is wonderfully warm and welcoming, but we don't know them - many of them will be our friends and I know that we will eventually feel like part of the "family", but right now we are outsiders. This is especially hard for me since I am an extreme introvert - when we walk into church on Sunday morning I know that all eyes are on us as the new minister's family, and I cringe. I awkwardly try to talk to people after church and strive to remember as many names and faces as possible so I don't offend someone by forgetting them next week! And in my darkest and most depressed moments I think "which of these outwardly friendly faces will turn against us first?" We have served two other churches and I know that this happens in every church - each minister has strengths and weaknesses, each church member has certain expectations, and these do not always match. Inevitably someone gets upset or critical, starts complaining or leaves the church, and to me this is always ugly and I take it personally. But I do understand that the church is full of imperfect people (that's why we are there) and we all have to work together to support each other in spite of behavior that is not always Christ-like.
If only I could find a wormhole (I'm married to a Trekkie) and get to six months from now immediately! The hard work of adjusting would be over, and we would be in a comfortable routine. But life doesn't work that way. I never saw the movie "Click" but I understand that fast-forwarding through time didn't work very well for Adam Sandler's character, and I guess it wouldn't work for me either. So I need to take it one day at a time, one person at a time and create relationships, and although it is hard I know it will be worthwhile.