A tree fell on my friend's house the other day. She and her children were about to go to sleep, and as she looked outside, she saw the earth move and a gigantic tree topple over and start falling right onto the roof and toward the bedrooms. She screamed and she and the children ran out of the house without even their shoes on to protect them. It was terrifying. It was shocking and scary. And it happened at an already- tumultuous time in their lives.
She is in the middle of a major transition in her life, and the last thing she needed was the additional stress, fear, and hurt that this displacement would cause for her family. Thankfully no one was injured, they have been able to grab the most essential of items, and they have found temporary shelter. But all of this got me thinking about the fact that, in the middle of a major disruption in their home-life, a tree literally fell on their house, breaking apart what they had known for so long.
And maybe in the tearing down of what was, and the rebuilding what they need, my friend and her children will make a house stronger and better than they had before. Maybe when we are stuck and uncertain, we need some outside force to shake us from our complacency and have us run out the door. Maybe in going through the pain and angst of leaving a broken house, we can refashion our lives and our homes into what we not only want them to be, but what we need them to be. Maybe, in the end, we find that the extraordinarily difficult transition we had to go through, led us somewhere happier and more stable. Maybe a tree falling on our house is exactly what we need to show us what we need to leave and where we need to go.
My friend told me that she saved a quote 5 days before the tree fell: “I have good news. You’re going to get back far more than what you lost. This chapter is called Make Room.”