Monday, January 31, 2011

Ode to South Dakota

I’ve been thinking all day trying to come up with a funny story or something that has the twist of irony.  

Your dedicated Kingdom Bloggers theme for this week is “All’s Well that Ends Well.” 

I really wanted to be silly or suspenseful today.  It’s just not happening.  Tomorrow I’ll probably think of something and say why didn’t I write about this or that?  Certainly there is a meal I’ve ruined or something I could think of but not today.  Brain is dry.

I think my brain is dry because my heart is full.  The only thing I can think about right now is leaving South Dakota.  But that is my story of something messed up that turned out well.  If you read my Storehouses of Snow you’ve read my ups and downs, my complaining and whining, my journey through these near 3 years in South Dakota, and my victory limp.

In three days, provided the weather cooperates, I will get in my little red car and head back to Tennessee.  It will be packed full of household items and all my clothes.  This trip will not be like the many, many other trips I have taken on that route.  It may be the last time my red car travels those miles of interstate between South Dakota and Tennessee.  I may be so stressed by the time I get in the car, that I won’t cry.  But I think I will.

I cried when I came to South Dakota.  I cried for all sorts of reasons.  I cried because my husband seemed to choose a job over family.  I cried because I wanted everything to stay the same.  I cried because I would miss my children.  I cried because I was worried about my mother.  I cried because I was so uncertain of what to do.  I cried because none of the choices were good.  I cried because I was scared.  I cried for all these reasons and more.  What was my husband’s glorious and grand opportunity, shattered so much of my world at the time.

We came in May.  We came just after an early May snow storm.  It seemed odd to leave a state with lots of trees in full leaf, to a place with few trees that were still not budding.  It seemed my husband always had a meeting or a place to go.  It was unrelenting those first few months.  I traveled back and forth to Tennessee often.  Each time wondering what I should do?  Should I be a commuter wife?  Where were my responsibilities?  Eventually love of my husband won out and I settled in to the apartment.  While I chose to avoid calling it home, I will really miss this apartment.

As I look at the mountain of snow growing outside, I think of the first winter.  I slipped further and further into despair, discouragement, and depression.  It wasn’t just the weather.  It wasn’t just the people of South Dakota or it’s geography.  It was me.  It was the hours alone.  It was the nagging questions inside of me.  I always knew it was me even as I attempted to pin the blame on South Dakota.

The second spring and summer came and went.  More travel for my husband, more time alone.  New hope and a new plan, I would take classes at the Seminary in the Fall.  As the Fall gave way to winter, and the fall semester dawned, these hopes and plans were once again crushed by a very unhelpful professor.  By our second February in South Dakota, my mother would fight her final battle victoriously going to the arms of her Savior.  More time alone in South Dakota would follow along with new plan, a new hope, a return to Tennessee for education.

Last summer, was better.  There were times of sadness but I was coming to terms with South Dakota.  I also knew that my time was likely shortening.  Possibilities of a permanent return to Tennessee were in the offing.  When or even if, were unsure but hope was alive.  And now it is here.  We return to our home in Kingston Springs.

Yesterday was one of the sweetest and sadist days of my life.  I preached at the wonderful little church in the Iowa cornfield that I have grown to love deeply.  I hugged the necks of people who I will miss.  I shed a few secret tears as the service closed and we sang – God Be With You Til We Meet Again.

Go Light Your World from Joyce Lighari on Vimeo.

I feasted with my brothers and sisters of Grandview on a bountiful potluck as we said our goodbyes.  I didn’t want to leave.  As I did, I asked God to bring me back. 

Who would have ever thought that this mess would turn out this way?  Who would have ever dreamed that God would turn my heart to love anything in or about the Northern Plains.  But I do.  I will be sad when I get in that little red car.  I suppose it is messed up that you come in crying because you don’t want to go and you leave crying because your heart has been changed.  Sounds like a real God thing to me…


David said...

And you managed to get out of there without writing a book. :)

Good luck my friend.

On another note, I guess I should consider TN, as 50% of the Kingdom Bloggers now live there.

Joyce Lighari said...

You could balance us out by going to Memphis - Chattanooga is nice - but I vote for Nashville.
As far as the book is concerned, I think I have the confidence to write it now... On to new chapters

Liz Kay said...

So let your light shine! As I watched the embedded sermon, I was left with a sense that you certainly practice what you preach. You are a light to the world. I love how light guides us, warms & comforts us, but can also light a spark in others to shine as well.
Keep on shining sistah!

Tracy said...

I'm glad that you get to go back to your beloved Tennessee, and also glad that you can leave the Northern Plains with good feelings about those who you've come to love there. Looking forward to reading more about what God is doing in your life!