The process began casually. "hey Liz. You want to room together when our apartment leases are up?" We looked online, made notes, did drive-bys of selected homes, and perused neighborhoods we liked for other houses with for rent signs. Eventually we picked a realtor and started looking intently (11 or 12 houses is intense).
This is all pretty boring. Let's cover over the intermediate time by saying: things got slightly stressful as time was running out. He had hopes for a few houses ... then dashed hopes. Then renewed hope, then completely discouraged. My soon-to-be roommate signed back on for another year at her apartment, and I settled into trying to find either an affordable duplex or downsize in another apartment.
Then the call came. A friend from church read my facebook status (which in general can be cryptic) and thought that I was very soon to be homeless. She has been considering and praying about getting a roommate in her house and thought about me. How cool!
We made a simple arrangement (opposed to the application process that we were experiencing) and I move in at the beginning of August. sweet. Here's praying that we can be friends and roommates through-out and after.
Three weeks ago I found myself on a high. Not so much: 'oh man! life is so amazing right now. This is the best time I have ever had.' But more towards the: 'yes, this is how life should go. I am content and spiritually & emotionally satisfied doing and being right now.' Three weeks ago was my church's senior high youth mission trip to Memphis, TN called SOS (service over self). It was a wonderful time of service with the youth to an inner city neighborhood repairing homes. It was also a wonderful time of service for the youth - being in prayer over them & to them, playing & being goofy with them (including a water balloon attack), and simply waking some up in the morning to attend a student led girls' morning bible study.
The week ended, as it should. That first week after it seemed as if I was in a cloud - not really present at work or meetings or even my work-outs. I couldn't quite pin down what was going on because, well, I wasn't really paying attention to even myself. The second week after (last week for those playing along) I caught my mood in a continually dark state. Not void of light, but definitely dimmed out of joy. A few people caught on and asked me about my mellowness. All I could say is: 'this just isn't right. I feel off.' After outer discussions and much more inner discussion within my psyche, I believe I am back.
After mission trips, local or international, day or 6 months, I know where my passion lies. I feel the call on my life so intensely. My heart feels the most content & joyful in service, doing something that blesses somebody & ushering them ever closer to God. I don't feel this way "in the real world" at work. And that is something that I need to work on. God has placed me here specifically and at this time specifically, and so my response should be joy & satisfaction in being within God's will.
I've had some interesting thoughts, but one of the ones that seems (thus far) the most agreeable to how I am wired is working within the architecture world and possibly taking sabbaticals to fulfill my inner missionary. Who knows though. For now, graduate school in architecture is still the next biggest event to come. Till then, got to learn to live passionately in all I do, instead of simply what is easy to find passion in doing.
(Andy: will be praying for you & your wife as you begin a new thing in India w/ eMi)