What we were once grateful for, we no longer wanted. We were restless. We were tired. We were ready to move away. Leave our house and community behind.
Leave what we had come to see as a burden. We could hardly wait to to put this little community with its fighting, bickering and politics behind us.
How did we grow so unhappy here?
How did we, people who never, ever give up, get to the point we wanted to call it quits in the little town that we had raised our children. The town that no longer felt like our hometown.
We were both anxious to pick up our roots and plant them somewhere else.
So every morning during my 30-mile commute to work, I began to pray along with an audio novena to Mary Undoer of Knots, asking her to join us in as we pray for God to show us where he wanted us to live.
Venturing into another county in search of what was missing from our lives was exciting. But, house after house was a disappointment, until one Saturday in early December, we walked in the door of the perfect house.
Our own. Our own house.
After spending yet another day searching, we had driven through many communities and only felt a sense uneasiness. A sense that no one cared. Unfriendliness. Rundown. Heartbreaking. Beautiful homes left to ruin.
At the end of that day, as we drove back into our own community, the community we had worked and lived the majority of our adult life, it felt like home. Though the weather was gloomy, we could see it for what it really is: a beautiful little place that is clean and cared for.
That day, much to our surprise, we felt joy as we drove by the homes of people we have called friends for a long time. It was as if God had clearly untied the knots that were destroying our peace.
Our hardened hearts melted, just like that. Stress and middle age had settled around us, gradually and secretly taking our joy. That day though, it was different. It was like falling in love all over again.
One of the things that we’ve done to keep our own love and marriage strong, is to remember outloud what attracted us to each other. When things get a little out of kilter, we hold hands and reminisce about that first meeting. That first kiss.
God held our hands that December day and allowed us to see our community again with fresh eyes. It was a new first. Not only did we remember what we loved about our community and the people in it, but we remembered what we loved about our home.
We realized we had let her down. She needs new paint. The flower beds need revitalizing. She needs our love and attention, just as she did when we first moved in, all those years ago.
Our once bright and happy kitchen had dulled to an unwelcoming sight.
We decided to spruce her up immediately, but to keep her just as she had always been. Back to the way she looked when she caught our eye. Yellow and white — happy colors. We are not finished, but the kitchen has found her spark again. We have found our spark again.
With a few days of warm weather, we seized the opportunity to get outside and into the flower beds, clean out the buildings and organize the potting shed.
We’ve taken down bushes that have overgrown and cleared away that which hid our home. She will get a washing down, or two, and a fresh coat of paint. Her awnings will be painted, her front door made over and her flower beds transformed.
Sometimes God’s will is not that you run away, but that you bloom where you are planted.
Our roots are unknotted and thriving again. Thanks be to God.