Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Another Moving Tale, Part 2

So we made it to south Georgia and life looked somewhat different for us.

For starters, I went from a full time working Mom to a full time stay-at-home-HOMESCHOOLING Mom.  I went from pining over never seeing my children to pining over having them under my feet 24/7 having them with me all the time!  Because we didn't know anyone, we went from having a rather full social calendar to enjoying quiet days together.  Just the five of us.  And it was.... nice.  Very nice.  It's like all the craziness, turmoil and stress of the prior year came to a screeching halt.  The noise was all turned off and suddenly there was silence.  And peace.  And tranquility.   And we got to know each other again.

We spent lazy days doing just what we wanted to do.  Usually in bare feet.

We sort of fell in love with each other.  All of us.  All over again.  Because we were all we had.

Looking back on our life that last year in Fairhope, I realize now that our family was falling apart.  It's clear to me now that God needed to pick us up....move us....and then start to put us together again.

And that's just what he did.  And that's probably why my prayers to stay there seemed to be unheard and unheeded.

And that was the answer to my Why?

Then, as is His way, He started blessing us in ways we don't deserve.  We made some precious friends, found a wonderful church....

And then.

And then.....

Much unlike before when we had no choice or voice in the decision to pack up and move....recently we were faced with a most unexpected opportunity to move again.  Much closer to "home."   The Gulf Coast.  Where we both spent our childhoods.  Where we met and married.  Where most of our memories were made.  Where our roots run deep.  And where we knew we always wanted to raise our family.

With heavy hearts and after much prayer and soul searching, we made the decision to leave this sweet, quiet and content life we were just starting to make here....and go home.

After struggling over whether we were making the right decision and not wanting to make any mistakes, and praying fervently for answers (and probably prodding God a little on how we wanted those answers to come), I had an epiphany...a revelation of sorts...and it came from Facebook of all places.  How 21st century of God to speak to me in that way!

It was a friend's status one morning, and it came from a friend of hers who apparently was struggling over whether or not to take a new job.  Her revelation was God saying (and I'm probably not quoting this just right...but here goes):

I created you for fellowship with me.  Take any job you like.

I'll save my own commentary on what this meant to me for another post but let's just say it put everything in perspective  and gave me peace that we really couldn't make the wrong decision.   I became grateful for the year of rest, restoration and healing for our family.  I began to get excited about what lies ahead for us.  And I think that I (call me Peter here) felt God's hand reaching out, grabbing me saying "Oh ye of little faith....why did you doubt?"

...and when they climbed into the boat, the winds died down. (Matthew 14:30-32)

As we are now looking at another pile upon pile of boxes, another moving van, and another season of starting over from scratch... and getting ready to climb in that boat again.... we are doing so much stronger than last time.  With greater faith.  And with a greater appreciation for answered (and unanswered) prayers.

Of course you do realize....I may be clinging to that verse up there more than ever and looking for a real boat to climb into since we will close on our new house just three weeks before hurricane season begins.

Oy vey.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another Moving Tale, Part 1

A little more than a year ago I painfully watched as movers packed up my house in Fairhope and loaded a moving van bound for south Georgia.  I looked on as they disassembled the baby bed  where I'd laid each of my they moved toys out of the playroom where I'd helped little hands mold playdough and stack blocks....and before I knew it I was standing in an empty house,  left with nothing but tears and memories....almost more than my heart could bear.

See, this move was not one of our making....or our choice.

In fact, we had no choice in it at all.   Things had had happened....and we were being sent down a road we would have never chosen to travel.  As I closed the door behind me and pulled out of the driveway for the last time, my heart hurt so that my entire body ached, and the tears flowed so freely and profusely that I could hardly see to drive.  I couldn't imagine what good might possibly lie ahead of those more than 300 miles we would be traveling to our new home in the next few days.  I couldn't imagine that there would be cherished memories to make.   Because in my grief for what seemed lost forever, I couldn't see beyond....

Don't get me wrong....I knew that the most important, cherished and adored treasures on this earth were coming with me ( and I don't mean my luggage or my shoes).    I knew that as long as the five of us were together we would be fine.  And I had a list a mile long of all I was grateful for ... It's not that.  It's just that....I loved...and I mean in Fairhope.  I had dreamed of living there for as long as I could remember, so as cliché and corny as it sounds, when we had the chance to move to that little Mayberry by the Bay in 2005 it was truly a dream come true.   I would have never left.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.

Well...Except one.  (Turns out you actually have to have a job in order to make money and pay your mortgage to live in your house in your dream town.  Who knew?  So if your company eliminates your job and you don't have one anymore, you might have to leave your dream town and move (far) away to go to where the job case you were wondering how that all works).

And when that happened it was like being hit upside the head with a 2 x 4 from behind while I was sitting peacefully and happily gazing out across Mobile Bay thinking "Life.  Is.  Good."  (not that I've actually ever been hit upside the head with a large piece of wood but I can only imagine it felt something like this.)   That blow happened in early 2009 and was followed by a couple of other near knock-outs, all making for a very, very bad year.  Very bad year indeed.  And I asked more than once (usually on my knees)..."Dear Lord....where did this come from?  And more importantly....Why?  Why?"

I didn't have any of those answers as I signed (with tears streaming down my face) the closing papers on my sweet house...or withdrew my sad little kindergartner from his wonderful school and said goodbye to his beloved teacher...or crossed two state lines to meet the moving van at a strange new house in a strange new town where we didn't know a soul.

But God began to replace my questions with calm, my grief with peace, and continually assured me that He had gone before me and would be with me, that He would never leave or forsake me... and I had no reason to be afraid or discouraged.  (Deut. 31:8).  Even though I didn't know why, He did.  And even though I'd been caught by surprise and hit from behind, He had not.

He knew this was coming.   And He knew where we were going.

And He was prepared.

...Stay tuned for Part 2

(this is kinda a mini-series.  or a sequel.  grab some popcorn and sweet tea and hurry back, y'all).