Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Sports Lake

As our transition from Utah to Texas lengthens from weeks to months to the better part of a year, it seems I have been through every stage of adjustment multiple times. Optimism, Anger, Defeat, Apathy. The pending sale of our home is the tantalizing detail that remains a roadblock to our financial freedom, while firmly anchoring us to our situation of living with family. As long as I don't think about it too much, I get by. But when the tension of abiding by the terms of another gets too high, I start flailing around for equilibrium.

I go around and around about whether I am meant to examine and change something within myself before God releases us from our home, or whether the roadblock is just a situation I cannot control that must be endured until it ends. I certainly am experiencing the same kind of frustration I get when attempting a level of a video game that I just absolutely cannot get past. What should one do in this situation?

I desperately want to survive this transition with grace and dignity. It will end sooner or later, and when it does I deeply desire to still have a good relationship with the family members we are now invading. Above all I don't want to be the person who wins the game after pouting about bad cards. Oh, how I hate to play with that person!

A picture came to me the other day. I saw myself in a canoe, rowing down the stream of my life. Along the banks were scenes from my life: the day I fell off the swing and broke my arm; high school commencement; my first visit to the Golden Gate. Then I came to a boulder in the stream, looming high and blocking any hope of passage. I knew my path lay beyond that rock, yet nothing I tried could get me around it.

I looked around, and noticed the water was damming up into a lake. It was quite peaceful, really. As I looked closer I saw there were boaters and water skiers, even paddle boats on the lake. Between the pines along the bank I saw a lodge, a spa, a restaurant, even a hiking trail. Some of those options would even require me to park my canoe and get out in order to enjoy them. My Michigan friends, and perhaps others, will recognize this as a description of a recreational sports lake.

I realized this lake was meant to represent my waiting time until that rock, my vacant house, gets moved out of the way. There is a lot to be done while I wait. First, I can embrace that this time is a vacation of sorts. In place of being absorbed by keeping up my own house, I can help our hosts with maintaining their large yard. There are also lots of times our hosts offer to supervise the children right here in the house while we go out on dates and strengthen our relationship. It will not be quite so simple once we live across town.

Beyond just an extended vacation, this time is for taking a breath before entering the next phase. We have had ample opportunity to look at property around town and come to conclusions about where we want to settle once the opportunity arrives. We are using this time to reassess and refine our future budget, allowing prolonged discussion of how we want to structure it so we are the most free to bless others.

And if that weren't enough, there are things I can do that have absolutely no bearing on whether or not I still own a ball-and-chain in Utah. I can be involved at church, and reach out in ministry. In fact, perhaps my state of unrest can add both sensitivity and credibility as I attempt to share the depth of God's love and grace with others.

Perhaps of the greatest significance, the ongoing tension between where I am and where I wish to be has provoked in me a drive to express myself, which is ultimately leading to me reaching for a legitimate occupation as a writer. Perhaps without this season I might have settled right into my happy place and never known what I could have done.

"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

I comfort myself with the thought that this transition time serves a greater purpose than merely waiting. I strive to be patient, to look for the inherent benefits provided by this season. Do not misunderstand: Even if I parked my canoe on the shore overnight, I check that boulder every day to see if there has been any movement. I really, REALLY want to be on the other side of it. But there is a wonderful recreational opportunity, if you will, right in front of me.

Are you stuck in a waiting place right now? Maybe there is a sports lake of opportunity around you, waiting to be discovered. I encourage you to take a breath, look around, and count the positives of your situation right now. It's okay if the tension doesn't change, but maybe your perspective will, and that will make all the difference.


  1. A very nice post Krista.

    I have been in a waiting period for quite a while and feel that it is a part of God's plan for me. Not being employed has allowed me to take trips(out of state) with our son while he was interviewing for his first teaching position. He has now been hired and we'll move him in to his apartment over the Labor Day weekend. Then my plan is to begin sending out resumes again. I can't wait to see how you use your time of waiting and God bless you!

  2. I find it pretty interesting that your lake is one of a "sport" lake. I'm not a sport type person I believe in real life reality not games to be played on people that's cruel just like Satan! Wow is he involved or what prettyinteresting I knew it!


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