In my last blog post I talked about finding peace and I truly thought I’d gotten a handle on why I wasn’t peaceful and what I needed to do about it. And as it turns out, being determined to continue doing what I was doing wasn’t all there was to that particular storm.
It’s a long story and I won’t share all of it but at the end of it, Travis and I decided that we’re moving back to Florida to be near our family. We’ve lived in Tennessee for all but 11 months of our marriage and while those years have been really difficult I have still considered Tennessee home. Sort of. Really, I think it depended on the day. I’ve often wondered if other transplants feel as conflicted as I have. I’m not sure if it’s because Florida is so completely different than Tennessee or because it’s so far away but I’ve often felt like a fish out of water. When we’d go home and go to the beach I’d wonder why I ever left and then we’d get back to Tennessee and I’d see the hills and trees and think that I’d stay here forever. Forever is a long time to be away from our family though. It’s always come down to what God was asking us to do. Always. When Travis’ mom passed away last year our first inclination was to move immediately. The house didn’t matter, our church, our life, none of it mattered but that wasn’t God’s plan for us at the time. Of course, we had no idea that there would only be 5 weeks between her diagnosis and her passing. There really was no time for us to move then.
This past summer, Travis really felt like God was asking him to be willing to move. We’re settled here. Our kids had made some really strong friendships and I didn’t want to turn their lives upside down. We had done that with our oldest daughter when we moved here and it was really hard for her. I wanted things to be more stable for them, I wanted things to be more stable for me. Apparently, I don’t like change as much as I did when I was in my 20’s. So when Travis passionately told me that he felt like God was asking him to be willing to move I didn’t take it so well. I’m pretty sure that I said, “I’m not moving”! It was about two months later that I was heading to my parent’s house feeling like I was caught in a whirlwind with no idea how to find peace. Peace comes in obedience.
So, the last few months have been a flurry of activity, getting the house ready and we’ve put it on the market. And when the activity was done and I had a moment to try to figure out my feelings I realized that there are so many questions that I don’t have the answers to. What will it be like living near our family? They already have their lives and I know they’re busy so how do we fit into that? What will our new house look like? I’ve been looking at houses and there’s nothing like our house there in our price range. Have you ever seen Florida houses? Some of them are pink. I really don’t like pink that much. Where will we go to church? We’ve gone to the same church for 11 years and I can’t imagine not being there. Will I miss Tennessee and be miserable? Will I ever see my friends again? People I’ve laughed and cried and prayed with. The people who have seen me at my absolute worst and still loved me anyway.
I was running errands one afternoon and I was listening to the radio. One of the DJs was talking about her dad and said that he was a pastor that had resigned his church and right after that had broken his leg and had been house bound for 6 weeks. Being unemployed, house bound and without a church family was weighing heavily on him. But in the midst of it he sent a devotional to his kids declaring how good God is and that he would take care of him. I thought, “What a blessing it is to hear someone declare the goodness of God before he has the answers, before the deliverance comes”. Tears streamed down my face and I was encouraged and I knew that I had to write about this before I have the answers, before the house sells, before we know where we’re going to live- God is good. And I know that He’s going to take care of us, I know his plans for us are “For His glory and for our good”- Dale Evrist
One hurdle that is already crossed is Trav’s job. He’s been given permission to keep his job and work remotely from Florida. As stressful as moving two states away is, having that resolved is a huge blessing. Two out of our three kids are ecstatic about the move, our oldest, Amanda who lives in my hometown already and, Chloe, our middle daughter. She says she’s always been a Floridian she just hasn’t been able to live there. Our youngest is very much like me and is taking it pretty hard but even in that I’ve seen God help her get through it. I don’t know how to feel a lot of days but thankfully I don’t have to rely on my ever-changing feelings, I can rely fully on God to bring us through this.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28