When we moved to Georgia nearly 5 years ago I remember hoping that our time here would be short. Two or three years, tops. I've often joked about the fact that you could see the skid marks on HWY 20 all the way from Fort Worth to Atlanta, which were from my feet dragging themselves here. I've shared the burning bush moment I had with God about this whole thing, that it took huge, specific, and seemingly crazy answers to prayers before I felt sufficiently convinced that it was the right thing to do. That part of the story I've carried with shame. Shame that it took that much for God to convince me that this was indeed His will. But over the past couple months I've been thinking on that some more, and instead of solely focusing on my insufficient faith, God has quietly shown me that it's okay to give myself a break, and so I'm choosing to focus instead on what a beautiful example it is of His boundless love for us. That when we're scared and stubbornly resistant, He will go to great lengths to keep us on the path He's carved out for us.
When the journey to Georgia began the boys were 8, 5, and 2. We were nervous and excited, sad, but trusting that God had great things in store for us. And did He ever.
I can look back now at how His hand was in EVERY little detail of our time here. You see, God knew that this was not only going to be a tough move, but He knew he was calling us to a tough place to serve Him. So He surrounded us with neighbors who made us feel like family, on a street filled with boys who loved to play outside together. Neighbors who hung around outside to talk while the kids played. Neighbors who quickly became friends...friends who checked in on us. Whose children became our boys' friends. So what seemed like an endless search for the house we would live in was actually God orchestrating our move to the exact spot He knew we would need to live. Beyond our street, there have the been the boys' schools (3 of them, to be exact, and each dear to us for different reasons), their ball teams (oh, how we are going to miss our Longhorn family), and some members of our church who loved us and made us family. We have absolutely loved our time here, and looking back it seems that these 5 years have flown by faster than ever.
So in September when God began opening the door to a new opportunity, I wasn't sure. Again. The thought of starting over, of moving the boys to a new place once again...that part is harder now given their ages and how invested they are here with friends, sports, band, school activities, etc. It's overwhelming. How quickly we forget what God does for us, don't we?
After one door after another has opened, we know God is indeed calling us out on a new adventure. Brian has accepted an Executive Pastor position at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, MO. We've been blown away by the community and how so many have gone above and beyond already to make us feel welcome and loved. Brian and I are beyond thrilled to partner with the pastor and his wife there, and to join in the ministry with the rest of the staff...it's going to be an incredible adventure. We're excited about being so much closer to our Texas and Oklahoma family and friends, and of course to be in my birth state and so close to family in Kansas City. The state park where my family had countless reunions growing up, and that we've gotten to share with Brian and the boys now, where my Dandy taught Brian to fly fish, will be less than an hour away. Who would've ever thought it? Not me.
Our God works in mysteriously wonderful ways, doesn't He?
The transition out of our home in Sugar Hill is going to be rough. Like I said, leaving our Georgia friends behind is going to be hard. I'm just now really letting myself process that. Seeing your kids be sad about saying goodbye to their friends is brutal. I know firsthand what that feels like, having moved a lot as a kid, and it stinks. When you're as far away from family as we are, your friends become a surrogate family. Leaving those loved ones behind now? Not sure how we are going to do that. Makes my heart hurt. On top of that, we're going to be farther away from my sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew in VA, which I can't even let myself really think about yet. Yes, there is a lot we are leaving behind in this place that has been our home for 5 years...yet the boys still understand that the best way to live your life is to be in the middle of God's will, so they're willing to make these changes with us because they believe He has big things in store for our family there. Couldn't be more proud to be their mom than I am right now. They've taught me so much about faith. Are they sad? Oh yes. There have been tears and uncertainty, but still, their faith amazes me. Only God.
Things are moving quickly here, and in just a couple weeks Brian will be heading to Springfield, with the boys and I joining him as soon as the house sells. We ask for your prayers as we make this transition. Lots to figure out in the next few weeks, but believing that the One who called us will also provide exceedingly, abundantly more than we can imagine, once again.