The sense of pride surprised me. I don't normally feel it in this way. Mostly these days, I feel tension. Yes, that is the feeling I most often have. Tension of sorrow and joy, of anger and compassion, of peace and war, of trying to grow a platform and hating platforms, of having too much and yet not having enough — the tensions of being human.
As I reflected on the one-year mark of our family's new life in Tennessee, I felt a pride I didn't know was there. We did it.
We stayed still.
That might not sound like much to some, and to others it might make perfect sense. We've been a family on the move, in one way or another since Andrew and I said our vows nearly 11 years ago. Yes, we've stayed put in certain regions for much longer than 1 year, but in each of those ten years, we have had a major movement happen that created waves within our bodies and within our family. And for some strange reason that it is tough to type out on a page, this past year has felt like the most stable we have been.
And for two risk-taking adventure-junkies, this feels like something to be proud about. Neither of us changed jobs in the past year, our son stayed in the same school, and our daughter moved schools mostly because of her age, not because we were seeking change.
I hear so many Christians I admire and love talk about being rooted and grounded in life. And I confess part of me wants that and another part hates that idea. I also recognize that there are spiritual ways we are rooted and grounded because of the changing flow of our lives, not in spite of that flow. Yet there is a layer of that groundedness that we haven't felt. Sure, we've moved around internally and walked through some tough stuff in this past year; in fact, we're still walking through some mud. But, we stayed put. We're learning to sit with our questions rather than chase down the answers. Rather than feel like the answers are always right around the corner, and we have to go find them.
I feel pride because it's been a wild decade, and in a crazy way, staying still feels like a renewed groundedness. For this, I am truly—and surprisingly—grateful.