“Are you excited?!”
The question comes at me every day from people who are excited for me with the expectation that I must be thrilled by the changes coming my way. But I only look at them and can answer with only one word that sounds truthful:
Today. Last week. Last month. I have felt overcome by the change, the long list of things to do. I am overpowered by my feelings and am unable to express them. I have not had the words to share my feelings about the changes that are fast approaching. Changes we chose. Changes I longed for. But it’s still change and the cautious side of me is strong.
Highly sensitive people (HSP), people like me, have a strong “no” within them. This “no” comes whenever something new is put in front of them. A new place. A new food. A new person. That “no” is a protection mechanism put in place that allows the person to feel their way through dangerous circumstances. But sometimes, that “no” erupts in fairly mild circumstances. A new food most likely is not poisoned, but to a highly sensitive person the colors and smells scream danger. A new person may be gentle and kind, but an HSP will still be cautious before entrusting herself to him.
On Thursday, we sold our house. On June 7th we make a final drive across the plains of Colorado, through Nebraska, back home again to Minnesota. Minnesota. The state that represented “home” for so long. But 10 years later, it feels like a stranger. Odd. Different. Scary.
I find myself bottling up like I did as a child when I was prompted to look adults in the eye when I talked to them. But what will I see there? My heart cries out. Will they accept me? Am I safe with them? As I once turned into the skirts of my mom, I turn to the people I know. The people who have already accepted me, loved me, embraced me. The home that has sheltered me, covered me, protected me.
A couple of months ago, I expressed my fear to a group of women I trust. As we spoke, as I expressed my fear of isolation and loneliness, the thought shot into my mind and planted itself in my heart. There are people waiting for you. Some you haven’t even met yet.
Dare I hope?!
I have a choice to make. I could say “no.” I could dig in my heals, turn my face from the eyes of the other, resist this change until it forces itself upon me. Or, I could open myself up to the kindness which welcomes me.
And, you guys, the kindness is there. Selling our house was as easy as it could possibly be. Dear friends bought it and my heart leaps when I imagine them bringing their growing family into our home’s warm embrace. A gift from God we can pass onto them. My husband’s business here is being bought by a trustworthy friend. An honorable man who will encourage it until it thrives. Financial provision has come where we least expected it.
But the most promising hope comes in the community gathering around us. Four weeks ago, Tim connected with a group of men in Minnesota. Men who welcomed him and promised to help us move our belongings when the time comes. Men who embraced him.
Already people are waiting for us. People I haven’t met yet.
When I look up from the folds of the skirts of comfort to sneak a glance at the provision already supplied, I sense Goodness prompting me to open up and trust. Letting go of the “no” on my lips, I raise my hands, receiving the abundance God desires to give me.
Change will still not be easy for this highly sensitive person. There will be times of mourning. Times when the “no” will burst forth from my lips as I run to hide.
But there will also be goodness.
Dare I hope?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.