I feel like all I have been talking about lately is the fire. But, the reality of the aftermath has completely taken over my life these past two months. I spend most of my mornings either firing emails back and forth or on the phone with the insurance company.
Now we are getting ready to move. Finding a place to live was just as stressful and dramatic as everything else that has happened to us these last two months. We went a good two weeks facing the possibility of moving out of the apartment with nowhere to go.
Last week things started looking up, but apparently I should have been looking down. I tripped over my own feet on the way to my daughter’s orchestra concert. I popped up and hope no one saw me, but as the night wore on it was clear I had done something bad to my hand. X-rays showed that it wasn’t actually broken, but badly sprained. That threw a monkey wrench in moving and working.
So here we are. We have a great house lined up, but we are impatiently waiting for the current tenants to move out. They don’t have to be out until the first of the month, but it would make our lives so much easier if they got out a little early. I have worried about it, I have stewed about it. But nothing has changed.
Absolutely nothing about the last two months has happened the way I would have planned. One of the worst parts has been having absolutely no control over the situation or my family’s future. My logical mind knows that God is in control. My logical mind knows that he has a plan. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been a nervous wreck.
How do you deal when things are out of your control? I dealt by freaking out on almost a daily basis. But there are a few key things this experience has taught me about when things don’t go as planned.
Look at the big picture.
I have been sweating all of these details when, in the scheme of things, everything is working out for the best. We are moving from an apartment to a house with a fenced in yard, TWO garages (plus a carport, which is comical for people who own one car), we were able to replace a lot of our things with nice, new ones. This is definitely not the way I would have chosen to get a new MacBook Pro, but I can choose to look at the negative or positive.
Choose what is important.
When things don’t go like you plan, you have to learn quickly what is important and what to let go. The past two months of my life have been a comedy of errors, from the restoration company who was hired to clean and preserve our items ruining things with negligence, to getting double-charged when I ordered something online. The restoration company? That’s important, and after weeks of back-and-forth with them they are compensating us for what they destroyed. Being double-charged for a $30 item? Not so huge in the scheme of things, and it was easily taken care of.
Turn off the fight-or-flight.
The fight-or-flight response is the most rudimentary form of self-preservation that our bodies possess. Adrenaline spikes, and you feel the need to take drastic action to save yourself. When there is a car coming at you while you are walking through a crosswalk, that fight-or-flight response is going to save your life. But when an insurance agent is being snarky on the phone, it will only serve to make you a nervous, stressed-out wreck. Turn it off. Sniff some essential oils, put your hands in a sink of hot water, go for a walk. Don’t let that heart-pounding moment of stress dictate your life.
This journey is not over for us yet, but we should be on the downhill slide. I’m trying to remember:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11