...everything changed. Or rather, everything began to change. Little did I know just how much it would change me. Or what exactly was ahead for us, which I look at as a good thing because honestly, if I knew exactly what was ahead, I probably would have run for the hills. ;)
It was a year ago this month that God called us to a new church. In a new state. Something I had spent that month and the one before fighting against. But God, in His incredible wisdom and never-ending patience, made it absolutely clear to me that we were to go. In spite of my best efforts to tell Him all the reasons He was wrong. How's that for being honest and transparent? Geez.
This photo was taken two weeks before Brian headed out to start his new job. These photos mean even more to me now that I look back on them, one year later. They mark the beginning of something new, something hard, something that terrified me. They mark the end of a season in our lives, the comfortable bubble we loved so much. God had spent well over a year preparing our hearts for this move, for the changes that would take place....getting my heart and head around the idea of living somewhere new, away from my friends and family, and for the first time in my life (with a couple of brief exceptions) going to a new church. On top of that, we would spend the next four and a half months with Brian in our new city while the boys and I stayed behind. I'm so thankful that I had no idea how long this temporary separation would last. And honestly, it's something I'd rather not ever have to do again. But we made it. And when we were reunited here, we were able to appreciate each other even more than before.
It practically took a burning bush to show me that we were supposed to go....okay, not really. But it was the first time in my Christian walk that God made things so incredibly clear that there was no second-guessing it. Because (since I'm being so honest here) I know that He knew that if He didn't, I probably would. Second-guess it, I mean. And come up with a million reasons why this was the absolute worst idea EVER. It went like this~ Brian and I were flown in for an interview, and I literally spent the entire first day in tears. Seriously. Couldn't stop. And I argued with Brian about why I hated this whole thing. And he, being the patient, understanding husband he is, listened to me rant and complain. And he was quiet and loving and sweet. That night while he slept, I prayed. And prayed. Mostly, I did some more arguing until I was completely exhausted. And I ended my prayer with this: "Lord, if this is really what you want us to do, then please give me a total peace about it. When I wake up in the morning, no more tears. Not one. And then I will know that this is Your will for us." How did I know this? Because if you know me at all, you know how very emotional I am, and that only in God's strength would I ever be able to do that.
And I guess you can figure out what happened the next day. :) My eyes had never been drier.
And a peace I can't even really describe completely consumed me.
And we watched over the next several weeks as things began to fall into place. Our house sold within 3 months in the middle of the holiday season and a poor economy. We soaked up every bit of time with family and friends that was possible. We made memories, we treasured all of the little moments, the things we had spent the previous years taking for granted. We said goodbyes, and I literally thought our hearts would break. In some ways, they did.
Leaving was horrible. But God is faithful.
So now....one year later. Changed. Stronger. Homesick? Definitely.
He never promised that things would be rainbows and butterflies all the time. He did, however, promise that He would always be with us. That He would go before us.
And He has shown us, in big ways and small ways, that His plan is perfect.
I don't always understand it. I don't always like it. But I've learned that I would rather be out of my comfort zone and in the big middle of His will than be out of His will, trying to figure this out on my own.
The boys have been amazing. Their faith an inspiration. They miss Texas. They miss their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, their friends, their school. But they seem to understand (way better than I do at times) that when we follow God's plan, it's all good.
And they know that together, the five of us can handle whatever He calls us to do.
My prayer, my hope, is that someday God will lead us back home. He knows the desire of my heart. He knows how much I want our boys to be raised around lots of family. We miss having that support nearby. I miss the day-to-day time together, family dinners, movies with my mom and sisters, shopping with friends, Bunco, etc.
In the meantime, I'm thankful that He is providing people here who help fill that void. Not replace it, but fill in the gap. Proof that He knows this heart, that He cares about the details.
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged." Deut. 3:18