Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stepping Away

File:Honeybee landing on milkthistle02.jpg
Photo by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos, Wikipedia file.
I've been busy as a bee this spring ----that blessed, ignorant sort of busy-ness that distracted me from reality---and I liked it! Well, kind least it was familiar. It was better than the vague sense of displacement I've had since we moved--- undone, unfinished, unpacked! The uneasy feeling that I don't really belong here was becoming very usual. It was my ill-fitting "new normal." I was pretending. Being busy helped cover up my unhappiness and loneliness.

But this past weekend I had to travel back to Ohio, and the Lord brought me face to face with the reality that I'd been trying to avoid---I don't live there anymore! Memories I had to let go of overwhelmed me and I got pretty emotional a couple of times. But slowly, as I released them, my empty places began to fill with some hope and resolve to begin making a new home.

It reminded me of many days of widowhood. Back then, I didn't like my situation either. I felt displaced. I felt numb. Life spun past like a surreal merry-go-round out of control. And it hurt! It hurt a whole lot more than moving to a different state.

Moving and widowhood are entirely different except for two things:
1) I didn't choose either one
2) Stepping away helped me come to grips with them both

The point is this---what it is about getting away that can help change perspective? Is it the change of routine? Getting some much needed rest? Being refreshed by interacting with different people?

Have you had a similar experience? Were you were surprised by the change that came over you after stepping away from your familiar surroundings? Would you care to share it? I'd love to hear from you! Please click the post a comment line below. I think this will be an intriguing round...



  1. Ferree, This definitely speaks to my heart as I contemplate moving. I was recently in the mountains where I hope to move and this is what I felt while there: Lighter, joyful, peaceful. It is not about running away though. For me, it is about finding a new beginning. Not everyone feels this way. But I do. Also, since I had those feelings, I felt it was my Lord's way of affirmation. Peace!

  2. A new beginning---I love how you mentioned that Helen. And I'm excited for this next chapter in your life to open up! I hope your words will help other widows explore their options too. <3

  3. Well I've been fortunate and blessed by not losing our home but two weeks after my Al went home I had to go to Tennessee to help my sister with her sick husband. I was a mess! Cried all the time, couldn't be around others much..couldn't function at all. After one week, I had to " run"... so I drove to Illinois to see my sons. That went a little better but was still non-functional..after a while I had to go back to Tennessee for another week..still in a "panic" mode I felt I had to get home. I just could not get comfortable anywhere,even with my sister. I literally ran home..only stopped for gas..75 speed most of the way..I couldn't get home fast enough. Once I got home I cried for a week straight and did nothing but lay on the couch...I thought I'd go crazy. Moral of my story: Leaving home, even for a little while was not good for me at that early stage. Two months later however I made another trip to Tennessee. I was able to stay two weeks and had the feeling again I had to go home. I pray for anyone who has to give up the home they shared with their dear husband.

  4. In the 2+ years since my husband died unexpectedly I think my journey has been marked by running away. I am blessed to have a couple places to "run to". I was left with so much responsibility (children, a business, a son with a mental illness) that it felt like running away was the only way I could breathe and get any perspective at all. Now as I look back (and prepare to run away for a few days next week) I think it was not only running away (from this new reality) but running to God. When I stepped away it was just me & God, He helped me see things more clearly and process them, something I have a hard time doing at home with so many distractions. I'm not sure I will ever give up runnning away- it's starting to feel very healthy for me. I'm looking forward to my time next week, just me & God in the mountains.

  5. I sold my home and moved away from the Chicago area 2 years after my husband died. I had lived in that area my entire life. I am traveling around and spend a lot of time near my daughter, but she has moved also. Since I travel and live in a motorhome, home is where I park it. There is a family reunion in September in Chicago and I really do not want to go and am not sure if I will.

    1. hi teri,im from the chicagoland area too.
      traveling around in a motorhome sounds fun.take care and be careful.

  6. I can identify with many of your comments. The second year, I made sure I had an activity to attend 5 days out of seven. I stayed busy thinking I had "moved on". It really just postponed the process a little. The third year I dropped all but two of those activities and faced a few sorrowful facts. I, too, cannot stay away from my home too makes me long for my Beloved more intensely. I have several beautiful and loving places to visit and I do, often. I'm about to enter my 4th year without his physical touch, his laughter, but I still retain every drop of his love!

  7. To anonymous who posted about living in a motorhome: I, too, have thought of the idea. My husband wanted to become full-time RVers but I resisted. Now I realize (as he often told me) the best 2 years of our 51 years was when we traveled in our motorhome. Would love to hear more if you are able to contact me.

  8. Sorry...the last comment was meant for Teri

  9. I've been following Teri's blog since the time selling her house was just an idea. I admire her for the freedom she's allowed herself and the places she's been! To visit her blog and contact her further, go to

  10. My husband and I were living in my home state of Tn at the time of our car accident (which took his life). We were renovating a historic house in Va ( his home state) with plans to evidentially live there full time once he retired. Feeling I needed to finish our project, I would travel between the two homes, working with sub contractors in Va, not sure where my final residence would be. At first I wanted to believe I could leave the grief behind me( perhaps in Tn) but it followed me. I asked God to help me make a decision without input from others . Meanwhile, my time in Va grows with each trip. Starting over seems more healing than going backward to Tn and our life there. Having a project, making new friends, a new church, living on Main St. in a small town....all of these have helped me feel that I am moving towards a new life for myself. Fortunately, my adult kids in Tn are supportive! God has a plan for all of us..not necessarily the same plan but a plan of hope and healing.


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