Please forgive me if I leave you feeling uninspired.

Oh, internet. Have my comments about boxes got you wondering about our house and how we put it on the market? We put it on the market. And then people came to look at it, and we went to a coffeeshop and used the internet while the people were looking, and then we came back after two hours and those people were still at our house so we had to stake out the place like crazy stalkers to figure out when we were going to get to go home again but maybe those nice people would buy our house! Well, those nice people did not buy our house. But some other nice people did put an offer on our house, and we accepted it, and then we picked out a house to move into, and our offer on that house was accepted. Yay! Mike and I went to pick out cabinets because, yay, we are going to redo the kitchen in the new house! We discovered that Lowe’s is not my favorite place, what with all the decisions about countertops and knobs. Those decisions cannot be made by someone like me, someone who has no idea whatsoever about color or style. I cannot pick out things like that. However, I will be happy to help you pick out a good book. In exchange, could you please help me pick out those things? Before I stab myself in the eye with this possible option for the drawer handle? Other than that, things were great! We were going to move! And have a shiny new kitchen!

Except. Then things started to go all wrong with the buyers’ paperwork and we spent a month without knowing anything at all. A whole month. At first I was a little uncomfortable with that, but mostly I was okay. As the month wore on and school ended and I worked on my summer class, I did not remain mostly okay. I lost my freaking mind.

This spring, Mike and I have had several discussions about adversity. For one thing, I do not handle adversity as well as some people do. And for another, I feel as if the past few years have been quite enough adversity for me, thankyouverymuch, not to mention any baggage I might be carrying from before that that I still haven’t dealt with. I have worked out an uneasy truce with God over the past two years, and I have been willing to concede that maybe he isn’t really out to get me, maybe he doesn’t really save all his good gifts for other people, and, to sum up, he’s not so bad after all. I know that selling our house isn’t the worst kind of adversity in the world. It is, however, stressful, and it has brought out the absolute worst in me, the insecurities and the selfishness that I didn’t even know that I had. And the fear. And the anger, oh the anger. I know that I can have a temper, but I did not know that I was so angry. It has not been a great time to be my husband or my mother, let me tell you. They had to listen to quite a lot of that anger, and they didn’t have good answers because life is full of more good questions than it is good answers. Funnily enough, this anger is one of those things that has brought me and my brother closer, because I was not as patient with him as I could have been when he was angry about some similar things a few years ago. That was partly because he was processing some things I was not ready to deal with, and partly because I just didn’t understand what he was going through. But I understand now.

On Sunday at church, part of the call to worship was about risk. We have had some conversations about risk, especially when we thought the house was going to fall through. Should we do the two mortgage thing? Should we lease the house to someone? I vetoed everything as “too risky.” Fed up with our lack of options, Mike reminded me that sometimes we have to take risks. But in order to take risks, I think you have to have the sort of faith that I’m not really able to manage right now, faith that someone out there cares. There are all sorts of things that I say that I believe about God – that he’s “not safe,” that he’s a wild lover of our souls. But I also want him to work in some sort of system. If we follow these steps and are responsible with our finances, shouldn’t everything work out? If that’s the case, why should I take any kind of risk? I will stick with the program.

Except. The program doesn’t work. I can be as responsible as I want, and that doesn’t mean anything. We may put money into retirement and eat tons of organic food, but that’s no guarantee that we won’t die young. And I don’t know what to do with that.

I haven’t talked about any of this because I didn’t have any perspective on it. I was covered up in shame about our lack of progress, I was angry, and I felt forgotten by God. I was lonely, because I didn’t even know where to begin talking about this to my friends. I prayed for better news and I got no response whatsoever. I lost hope that things were going to work out. Normally my pessimism and Mike’s optimism are a good balance, as I keep him grounded and he keeps me upbeat, but the lack of concrete information and my pessimism affected both of us, and he spent some sleepless nights worrying as well. There is a song on Eef Barzelay’s new album, Lose Big, that Mike has deemed the Kari Theme Song. It’s called “Could Be Worse.”

Show me the bright side and I’ll look ’til my eyes catch fire
And please forgive me if I leave you feeling uninspired
My only pleasure is to make that bubble burst
I can’t find comfort in the fact that it could be worse

Don’t tell me there’s so many things for which I should be glad
And I’m truly sorry if I made your party guests feel bad
Could be I think too much or maybe I’m just cursed
I can’t find comfort in the fact that it could be worse

In the past few week, though, it all slid back into place as quickly as it fell apart. (And then fell apart. And then slid back into place, fell apart, and slid back into place in rapid succession.) I am left feeling a little bit embarrassed at my histrionics, especially since I can’t pinpoint exactly why I think that the rug is always about to be pulled out from under me, why I can’t trust that there is some kind of plan. Nor do I know exactly where all the anger suddenly came from. I had kind of thought I was over the anger thing. I guess the anger thing is more a part of the human condition than I had realized. Or at least my human condition.

And so, we signed papers on our old house and the new house on Thursday. Our belongings are packed, we have purchased new appliances, and with the assistance of my aunt and my mother, we chose cabinets and tile and countertops for our shiny new-to-us kitchen. Even with the papers signed, I am afraid to trust those things, but I am trying to find joy and thankfulness in my heart. I am thankful for all the people who let me cry and complain and fail over the past few months, and I am thankful for my family and all the help they are giving us, and I am thankful and excited about the new house and the new kitchen and the new paint colors (chosen by someone Mike used to work with, not me, don’t worry) and all the things we are going to get to do over the next few months.

I hope one day I will be given the grace to trust and hope without fear. For now, I will settle for the opportunity to get up and try again tomorrow.

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