It's been a week and a half since we packed up our lives and moved to Pittsburgh to begin the next adventure in our life together. What was supposed to be a weekend full of happiness, excitement and new beginnings quickly turned sour and was a perfect example of Murphy's Law working in our lives. Allow me to fill you in.
Problem A: In preparation for our move, I made sure to wash as much laundry as I could to ease the packing process. The one time I decided to casually slip my debit card into the pocket of my denim shorts, would be the time I decided to put it through the dryer. What at first appeared to be a minor inconvenience, turned out to be a huge problem when Chuck's bank account hit a whopping $8.00 and I was responsible for covering all our expenses (but more on that later).
Problem B: We rented a Ford pick-up to allow us to move the mattress that we'd grown so attached to, to our new place. About 1 mile into our travels, Chuck glanced in the rearview mirror to see our boxspring be tossed onto the road by a minor gust of wind and our mattress no where to be found. Although, the picture of us carrying a mattress down the side of Route 68 laughing our heads off at the ridiculousness of our current predicament will forever be one of my favorite memories, the event no less, made us incredibly uneasy for the remainder of our 4-hour trip.
Problem C: The BIG DADDY of problems. Chuck had taken Monday and Friday off at his job. His current campaign was in Michigan so as Monday approached he prepared to get on the road again and return to work. About 45 minutes into his 7-hour journey back, his car over-heated and he pulled onto the shoulder of I-79 N and called me while he waited for Ol' Blue to cool down. I met up with him about an hour later (due to heavy traffic) and followed him to the nearest mechanic to get it checked out. Or at least that was the plan...about 2 miles later, his car was down for the count.
I pulled up ahead of him and we decided to continue on to the mechanic to get us in touch with a towing company. Needless to say, the anti-social mechanic at Monro was entirely unhelpful and stranded in an unfamiliar town I made the decision to call my own auto insurance's Roadside Assistance line to hook us up with a tow (we were incredibly relieved- yeah Geico!). However, that tow cost Chuck the remaining money in his checking account after all the travel-related expenses we'd accrued thus far. Several hours later, the truck was towed to a nearby PepBoys where we would eventually learn that Chuck had blown a head gasket and cracked his radiator and the estimated cost of repairs was over $4,000.
After many discussions considering what the best options were concerning how to get Chuck back to Michigan (with his job on the line!), it was decided that we'd attempt to find him a new car to buy. After a dead-end referral, I suggested we check out a car that was on sale at a local Enterprise. What appeared to be an answered prayer turned out to be way more trouble than it was worth.
Problem D: First, we discovered that in order to purchase a car in the state of PA, Chuck would need his PA license. We made our way to PennDOT the next afternoon only to discover that Chuck's lack of a social security card and copied birth certificate were not going to allow him to obtain an ID. The frustration and anger was literally steaming off of him as he left the facility while I proceeded to get mine (talk about a slap in the face).
While we remained optimistic about the opportunities Pittsburgh held for us in the future, it was time for us to get out of this place. Our frustration, anger and worry had reached it's peak. We were at our wit's end with this situation, with the state of Pennsylvania and although we hated to admit it, with each other. We made the decision to return to the one place we knew we could count on: Wilmington. In the end, everything worked out smoothly. We got to attend the mighty Miles' 1st birthday, spend some time with family and friends and Chuck left Sunday afternoon in a shiny new Hyundai Accent.
The entire week was hell for both of us. On top of the nervous anticipation of moving to an unfamiliar place, we had this disaster occur. It took a lot out of the both of us, but in hindsight has left me with some incredible insights regarding my own character. Namely, that I am an incredibly selfish person.
Over and over again, on the verge of a mental breakdown, I had recited to myself "Why am I dealing with this?! This is not my problem!" It was not until much later that I realized my flawed thinking. It was in fact, my problem. When I entered into a relationship with this person, and made the decision that I was going devote my life to them, I mistakenly believed that my life would continue being about my hopes, my problems and my successes. As I've come to realize, by making the choice to love Chuck, I've traded in I/Me/My for We/Us/Our.
This is a pretty lofty undertaking, but the truth of the matter is, I adore this man. I will always stay true to my dreams and passions, but I am entering into a place in my life where I am learning how to sacrifice. And isn't that what life is really all about? Sacrifice is not choosing to be miserable, or to give up the important things in life. It is placing the needs and wants of someone else's above your own. You might say, like Christ exemplified through His life and death. So in yet another example of God working through the storms of our lives, He has managed to show me another aspect of this unconditional love I'm supposed to be modeling and taught me the beauty of sacrifice.