It’s 9 PM and everything is quiet. The windchimes are sound in the breeze as the thunder of a gentle thunderstorm rumbles on. The crickets chirp. It’s a beautiful, perfect late summer night on the prairie.
And I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I do tonight. So, so hopelessly alone. And just plain hopeless. My heart hurts so much. I’m so tired of trying. Of hoping and scheming, only to be dashed and muddled. There is nowhere to turn. I can count on no one. No one can help me. There are not enough tears to ease the hurt and loneliness. I know Jesus said he will never leave us nor forsake us, but I don’t even know what that means. How does that even apply in everyday life? Especially when our faith is not based on feelings? Are we just supposed to have faith and believe in the promises and imagine a benign, comforting, invisible being at our sides? I don’t understand it at all. I pray for my eyes to be opened, for God to show me in a real way what it means when people testify that leaning on Him was the only way they got through their tough times. Like, what does that even mean? How does it feel? Is it simply trusting and knowing that all things work together for good, that God has the big picture in mind and THAT is supposed to make you feel better?! I wish I knew.
All I know now is that I feel abandoned and an island. Surrounded, but only by what is different and I am not truly a part of. My username for multiple online accounts is FarmWifeGina, but even that is a false pretense. I wish I was a farmer’s wife. I’ve dreamed of working alongside my husband on our own family farm. But as of yet, he is a mere farm hand, the hired man. He goes off everyday and does his toil alongside other people. And I stay home alone, sucked down into the mundane nothingness of sick housework and the lonely joy of watching our children grow and learn. We are pulling in the traces together, but not really. Not like we want to be.
This wouldn’t be so hard to swallow if we had a social life. Or, any life at all. Any life outside of constant work and striving. We apparently don’t even know how to make friends. I mean, we do, but we don’t. Not the kind that you get together and play Rook with every Friday night. Or anything of the sort. We’re just weird. I don’t know what I was expecting.
Actually, I do. I was expecting to live in a new place, with a new church, new social circle, away from any family, much as my parents did for all of my growing up years. And they had lots of friends. Until we moved to MI when I was 13, we had a decent social life. But I’m realizing that the difference between then and now was that a.) we moved between Mennonite communities and, b.) we were the “missionary family,” so of course everyone was going to be nice to us. They knew we lived far from family and were perhaps more welcoming than they may have been had we simply been a regular family moving from another Mennonite area. Nah. The more I think about it, the more I agree with myself that it was the culture. Mennonites just tend to be hospitable, especially to their own. It was the culture hop where we seemed to have missed so very, very badly.
But what are we going to do about it? I have no idea. What is there to be done, other than to suffer? One way or another, there will be many tears involved. If we stay here and continue to fight to put down roots in this hard ground, I look forward to so much more loneliness, more grasping at straws, trying to find the necessary childcare as I run my business. I guess I could always quit my work, with its chaotic schedule, but right now I have too much money sunk in, I HAVE to make it work. What’s more, this is supposed to be bringing in some income, supposed to be building towards a full-time job that can help support the family whenever Farmer Man quits his regular job to become self-employed (at what we have no idea yet).
The other option is to sell everything and move back east. But that would hurt too. A LOT. The optimist in me says that we could sell and move back with a nice bundle of money in our pocket, given enough time to find a buyer who can jump through the weird hoops that come with securing financing for a farmette in the middle of nowhere. And I’m fairly certain that given a little time, I could bring my business to full-time, back in the land of a doula-educated populace. It would be a good career move for me. Sorta. But then what? The kids would have to go to much scarier public schools, filled with kids raised in much less wholesome homes than the kids here generally are. Sure, they might be able to go to an amazing private Christian school, but I highly doubt we could afford that. I have no idea where we would go to church, but it’s not like there aren’t plenty of options. And then there would be family nearby. Cousins. People to hang out with and shoot the breeze about stupid stuff for no reason at all. Sure, they’re infuriating in their ignorance, but it’s better than this. And I would probably be able to take an active part in doula groups and babywearing groups and LLL and all kinda of inspiring things.
But we would lose so much. We would leave some very dear friends. The prairie, in all its splendor and rawness and peace and gentleness, truly has my heart and it might be ripped to shreds if we decided to leave for the cramped life of the Eastern Seaboard. And how could I ever tell my boy that we’re moving away from his acres of exploring, to where he must stay within the confines of several hundred square yards?
So I guess I must suffer on. Or pray for relief from the severe social anxiety. And press on, battling through the panic of never feeling less than guilty when having to ask for babysitting, hoping just to make it through until the baby is in school and then childcare will be one less load. And then hoping that at least our children will be adults that want to hang out with Mom and Dad. Or something. Something.


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