Displaced

by caitlin

So, I needed to share this adorable story with you all (all the many one of you, Mom). For Valentine’s Day I surprised A with what should have been a fun little mountain, hippie town getaway (see previous post about what actually went down). I told him, “DO NOT GET ME ANYTHING FOR V DAY!” advice which, because he’s the BEST husband, he did not heed.

He got me this little number…

Because he loves me...

Excuse the poor lighting and the lack of accessories.

My Love told me that he went to Anthropologie (did I mention that he has good taste?) and picked out this dress, debated over the color, the size, the weather, picked the winner, and went to the register to pay. While waiting in line he said that ALL THESE GIRLS were staring at him. I told him it’s because he’s hot. Then we decided it’s because EVERY GIRL in Anthropologie was wishing that HER hot husband was picking out an adorable dress for her for V Day. I think I PICKED A WINNER. Seriously, I have the best hubs in the world. He’s amazing, and I love that other women recognize that. Shallow? Perhaps.

ANYWHO, this post was not supposed to be about fancy dresses from Anthro. It is supposed to be about homelessness.

You see, Adam and I spent the last year (before thinking that small business ownership was a good idea…I’m still skeptical) working alongside low-income families in Actionville. We loved the kids and families that we worked with. We both have hearts that feel at home with the oppressed and feel like Jesus did too (not to say that that makes us more like Him because my motives and actions probably embarrass Jesus a lot of times). I was convinced that God wanted us to both be in full-time care for the poor and the unloved, stat. Well something got lost in translation, cause nowadays we’re small business owners and parts (most) of our lives look a lot different than they did a year ago.

I feel a lot of tension about what I feel called to do (serving the poor) and what I’m doing (baking cookies, going for walks with friends, and sleeping in). My dear friend, Alex, told me that people like us (her and me) have a hard time doing things that seem frivolous because we have to find meaning in our work, in our play, in every part of life. A does not have this same need. He likes to work and play and serve, and those are all different categories in his mind.

But despite my confusion about the MEANING of this phase of our lives, God has been faithful to put us in some pretty wild, humbling, refining situations. Currently A and I are homeless. We are staying with family and friends in NC and FL–cause we’re also migrants. Although we have a bed to sleep in most nights, the McKinney-Vento Act says that we’re homeless. I know this because 6 months ago I aided families who met the criteria of this Act. Now I AM a family that meets the criteria.

PARADIGM FREAKING SHIFT!

Our situation still reeks of middle-class because we did choose our homeless fate, but it is uncomfortable nevertheless. I now know the uncertainty that comes from having to rely on others. Am I asking too much? Are we imposing? Are they sick of us? I can’t help but think about my students’ mothers who probably wonder those things. I feel powerless. For one of the first times in my life I am the one receiving and not the one giving (which is totally how my relationship with Jesus is, but he already knows I’m decrepit; it probably comes as a surprise to the people around me…j/k). It is painfully difficult for me. I have nothing to offer in exchange for hospitality except the boxes and suitcases of OUR stuff that will take up space in YOUR house.

So until we can provide care for the needy, God has us in a place where we are needy. It’s like bootcamp for what I am hoping is next for us.

And until THEN I have a really pretty dress to wear.