Craving Community

In my decision to move here months ago, I knew that I would want to quickly find a church that I could call home.  Three days after I found such a church, I ended up having my hurt-back-syndrome and have been out of commission for last 5 weeks.  This left me in such a strange place-a place that I'd never been in before…a very frustrating place.  

You see, I am fully aware that we are created for relationships.  We are created for community.  But here I've been, not able to physically handle going to church, or most places (like work), to meet people!  I haven't been able to go a stranger's house to join their small group, or anything like that.  I've had great roommates to talk with every now and then, and wonderful far-away-friends who I've been able to chat with online, or talk with on the phone.  But, get this…I haven't "had coffee" with anyone in a REALLY LONG TIME.  I know, I know…this is crazy.  I haven't had dinner or lunch with anyone in my home (outside of my roommates), anyone else's home, or a restaurant.  I haven't been to a movie, or gone shopping, or gone for a walk, or…anything with anyone else in a REALLY LONG TIME.  

If you know me, you're sitting there thinking, "wow, that's so not Kim!".  I mean, even if I've been in busy seasons (like fall usually is) I've been able to do a walk, or coffee, or something with a couple of people.  So this has been my life!  And I've been, more than ever before in my entire life, CRAVING COMMUNITY.  I miss praying with friends, and having dinner with my neighbors (miss you Gocke's and Myers:), and small group every Thursday, and worship practice on Sunday morning, and meeting with the leadership team once a month, and watching shows with Jen/making brownies with Jen/napping on Sunday afternoons on the living room couch with a friend on the other couch…I miss all of these things and more.  And while the people that I have valued can never, ever be replaced, I have been dying for that type of community once again!

So, yes, this has been quite a strange transition for me, because if I were hurting and still in Michigan, all of those things would still be in my life.  But for some reason, and I think God's always in favor of helping us to develop other perspectives to have empathy for others, I am here to experience all of this.  

Let in my next post, allow me to share today's experience with you…it just deserves its own post:)

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The BEST

My friend, Andrea, just Twittered this verse:  Ps. 32:8 "the Lord says, i will guide u in the BEST pathway for your life. I will advise you & watch over u."

Needed that today!…and yesterday, and tomorrow...

1 mph

1.  I am still alive

2.  Apparently I have changed my mind and would like to really start Twittering

3.  My back is getting much better (to anyone that doesn't know, I've been almost out of commission for 4 weeks now with 2 herniated discs).  I finally was able to start physical therapy last week, and I think it's helping.

4.  Still not back to work:(  And I found out (in an odd way) that I was no longer going to be teaching 4th grade reading(I completely agree with the decision, because the kids desperately need a consistent reading teacher.  With us being unsure of when I'll actually be able to go back, we don't know what I'll be doing exactly.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise?  More on this another time.

5.  Dad is doing better with the knee surgery.  He's at home now, getting physical therapy there.

6.  I've developed some insomnia that is beginning to drive me crazy.  A few days ago I didn't fall asleep until around 6:15am.

7.  Both of my roommates are originally from Miami.  One of them is living out of Florida for the first time this year, and thinks that the temperature here is "bitter cold".  Yea, it barely gets "bitter cold" in Virginia…and really, not-so-much in September. (Sorry Vanessa:)

8.  My other roommate, Kristy, has mango and avocado trees in her dad's backyard down in Miami.  He regularly sends her picked fruit.  YUM!  I tore into a ginormous avocado today.  I will need to share a picture, just to cause you to salivate.  :0P

9.  (Back to my back for a second…)  I am now going to the YMCA, not to run as I would like, but to walk…1mph for 30 minutes a day.  It's quite a site!  One lady thought she was being encouraging when she basically told me to "keep at it" and "the exercise will get easier".  It certainly doesn't help that I don't look like I've exercised in about 2 years (which I have, just inconsistently), so onlookers think I'm just a poor schlubb who is finally doing something.  I want to design a t-shirt to wear that says, "Listen, don't judge me and my 1mph!  Before I got hurt I was doing a lot more than this…A LOT, actually!  And I was beginning to train for a 5K that I will not be attending to in a couple of weeks here.  So BACK OFF!  And stop looking at me like that."  Do you think that would look good in maybe a nice brown T, or perhaps navy, with white writing?  I could have a picture of my spine with two red, radiating discs down at the bottom, with arrows saying, "See this?  IT HURTS!"

10.  I need to get over the whole thing at the Y.  I think writing it out was theraputic.  Thanks for listening.

11.  The Sunday before "the back crisis" truly began, I visited a church that I think I'll stick with.  The pastor says many things that remind me of an old favorite, and strangely is even cornier than the former.  It's actually kind of amazing.  But I really connect with the vision of the church…it's actually very familiar.  www.dcmetrochurch.org  Check it out!  I can't wait to feel a bit more normal, physically-enough to really try to connect with people in a small group setting.  Maybe next week?

12.  One of my new favorite shows is a BBC show, based in Scotland.  It's called Monarch of the Glen, and is actually no longer on the air.  Kristy, the roommate with the avocados, absolutely loves this show and shared it with me during my first week of being almost completely bed-ridden.  Watched all 7 seasons in 1 week.  It's unlike any show that I've ever actually liked…drama, humor, culture (I never knew anything about Scotland, other than what I learned through Braveheart:)

13.  I wish I could visit my family…so close, yet so far away right now.

14.  I wish I could see some friends-other than my roommates, who have been amazing to me!!!

15.  Turned 30 a week and a half ago.  Had a great day…although it felt very strange to not spend it with my usual set of friends in Michigan.  Vanessa-roommate decorated my room with balloons and streamers while I was at the chiropractor, and bought me Q'doba for dinner (with a birthday brownie).  

16.  Truly learning more about patience right now…and that I have VERY little of it.  So many "why" questions run through my head on a fairly regular basis.  The root of them has at least changed from being full of pity, and they've become a bit more inquisitive.  Why did I move here again?  Why am I out of work?  Why did this happen NOW?  Why can't I fully recover more quickly?  Why did…the list goes on. I'll tell you what though, I have developed more compassion for people in various situations dealing with pain, back problems, healthcare/insurance, joblessness, financial issues, loneliness/isolation….

17.  Overall, I'm doing well.  Honestly, I am.  I have learned that things could be a lot worse.  They actually have potential to get a lot worse.  What can I do?  I need to trust Jesus, and that God will give me wisdom as I make decisions everyday.  Sure, it's 3:20am, and I don't feel tired enough to sleep…but I'm okay.  I really am.

18.  Taking the GRE on October 17.  As I study, I'm actually getting nervous about it.  Apparently I'm really not so great with analogies!…and some of the reading comprehension questions (what do I teach again?)

19.  Trying to get into George Washington University for their spring semester to start taking classes.  I'll be shooting for a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration.  

20.  Allow me to leave you with one last thought.  Even in your most isolated moments, how can God use you to invest into others?  This has been a thought running through my head, and I'm not sure that I have the best answer to that.  Something needs to change though…and soon.  Chew on it.

And…good morning!  "His mercies are new every morning."