Thursday, September 24, 2015

How we got here...

For 37 years, I lived less than 25 miles from where I was born. Try as I might to convince my mom to put in for an overseas job, we never moved. All through college, I dreamed about striking it out on my own, but I never left my home. In the early years of our marriage, Elliott and I discussed where we would be willing to move, and where we'd never want to move, and yet we stayed close. After we started our family, moving away was pulled off the table, we settled in and got comfortable. We were surrounded by friends, and family, and God blessed us with amazing neighbors as we rooted and grew in our little home in Cibolo.

I never thought it would happen in a million years, yet it did, God showed us it was time to move. It started in the Spring with a prompting in my heart to encourage Elliott to find a position he could be passionate about, even if that meant moving. And then, the Lord tested my resolve for the next six months, as opportunities rolled in from New York and California, New Jersey and Kentucky, Dallas and Los Angeles. Some days, my heart was excited about all the new possibilities. Other days, I felt paralyzed not knowing how to live in the now while we waited for news on the future.

One July morning, as my heart was heavy from the months of waiting and the weeks of excitement (Elliott had been flying to a handful of final interviews), I was pulling weeds in the front yard and I cried out to God for answers. I told God that I didn't care what the answers were, I prayed for Him to make our path straight, to give us clarity and direction. I never could have imaged what would happen next...

Tuesday, July 14th, was the morning I prayed in the garden. Less than an hour later, Elliott texted that he didn't get the Kentucky job. The news took my breath away, but I immediately thanked God for His quick answer to my heart-felt prayer. A little while after lunch, Elliott came home early. We were leaving for a vacation the next day, so I assumed he came home early to help pack. But I was wrong. He was fired. Again, shock hit me, but it didn't take long for me to see this news as God further granting my request for clarity and direction. An hour later, Elliott got a call for a lunch meeting with a company in Dallas. We were going to Dallas the next day for vacation. God's mercy and kindness was overwhelming to me, we still didn't have all the answers, but we could see God moving.

Elliott had a great lunch with the folks in Dallas, and even got a call the next day for references. Before we headed home from our vacation on Sunday, we drove around to a few suburbs I had checked out on the web to see where we would want to live if we got the job. We expected to hear a decision by Monday, so when no call came, we both felt a little crushed and disappointed. I realize now what the Isrealites must have felt like, seeing the LORD be faithful to rescue them through the Red Sea to then doubt His care for them as they grew hungry and thirsty.

Tuesday, July 21st, the call came in, and Elliott accepted the position in Dallas. They offered us a generous relocation package and we had to get things moving quickly because Elliott needed to report to work in three weeks. I had already been plodding along to get the house ready to put on the market, now it was just a matter of getting it listed and jumping through the hoops of the relocation. By Sunday, we had all our kids tucked away with friends and family and Elliott and I hit the road on a house-hunting trip.

We saw two homes Sunday night and had a full slate of homes to see on Monday. We saw some lovely homes that were just not "us", and then we saw some awful homes, and a few in between. Then, we opened the door to our last house before lunch and we both knew, this was the house. We were like giddy school kids, we had our realtor call while we stood in the kitchen. There was another offer on the home, they'd take offers through 10pm. We were in a bidding war. We made our offer, even wrote up a little note about what a blessing it would be to our family to be chosen, then we went to lunch, and prayed and prayed. It was a long night of waiting.

Tuesday, July 28th, our realtor called us before 7am to let us know that we had won the bidding war. The house was ours. My head was spinning, I felt so overwhelmed with thankfulness. It was such a relief to know that even though we would initially move into temporary housing, God had already secured a home for us in our new town. Now we needed to get home and sell our house.

We met with one of the relocation realtors as soon as we drove home on Wednesday, we finished getting the house show ready, had photos taken on Friday morning and we were on the market by 11:30pm Friday night. We had only one showing on Saturday at 12:15pm. But that was all we needed because we had a solid full-price offer by Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 4th, our home in Cibolo was under contract. We were just in awe of all that had occurred in the previous three weeks. We knew that God was orchestrating it all, and though my heart ached with the weight of leaving my amazing friends, and saying goodbye to family, I couldn't help but be excited for all the LORD would do in our lives in this move.

We lived in temporary housing for three weeks. We shared a stomach bug and one child got to experience the local urgent care after catching strep throat. But even still, life in close quarters was pleasant and felt more like a vacation than a trial most days. I made the trip home to meet the movers, and clean the house. God showered me with kindness, as friends stopped by with coffee and helped clean bathrooms. When I finally closed the door and whispered goodbye to my house of nine wonderful years, tears fell, but excitement also swelled in my heart, seeing God's continued faithfulness to us.

The last seven weeks have been a blur. This is our fourth week being in our new home, and while we are mostly out of boxes and have already had two different friends spend the night, we still have some settling to do. Our afternoons are predictable with gymnastics and TaeKwonDo schedules. We visited a small handful of churches and have recently decided where we will settle and plug into ministry. God has shown us mercy upon mercy, we are awed daily by His lovingkindness towards us. Tears still fall when I realize I can't just trip across town and have coffee with a friend. I miss my mom, I've never in my life gone this long without seeing her, and I think the hardest part is not the amount of time but the not being able to just drop in and visit on her couch. Even so, God has given me a peace that we are where we are supposed to be, and for that, I am thankful.