In the past several years, I've learned that God has a pretty huge sense of humor. Or irony. Or something. When I put years into working my way up in a competitive company and ended up one of the youngest managers they'd had, giving up a semester abroad studying in Paris along the way so I could continue to advance, I certainly never thought just a couple years later I would be married and giving up the job I had thrown blood, sweat, and tears at to be a stay at home mom. Of course, these years with my kids have ended up being much more valuable than any job could be.
When I got married, I thought it would be forever. It wasn't always roses, but I knew I was in it for the long haul and I'd never walk away. I knew that as much of a slog as marriage could be, being on your own, dealing with all the repercussions of divorce, was exponentially worse. I depended on my husband for many little day to day things and often thought I couldn't get by without him. If you had told me that I'd end up living my worst nightmare, I would never have believed you. In the end, while aspects of this life have definitely been nightmarish, my life as a whole is very blessed.
God has taken so many events in my life that I considered negative or that haven't been what I would have chosen and turned them into life changing, character building experiences. Without them I wouldn't be me. So I have the utmost hope that the same things are going to come out of the latest change that is in store for us.
When I moved to Florida seven years ago, I just knew it was for good. I love it here. I love my church, my children's school, Seth's services, and the support system we have here. We are happy here, even in the midst of the things that have happened. So when it started to become clear that it may be time for us to leave, I fought it tooth and nail. I argued with God, convinced that leaving here just couldn't be His will for my family, because it wasn't my will for us.
I've never been someone that God talks to audibly. I end up wondering if I am doing my will or his regularly, because I am the type that wants obvious signs telling me what to do. A road map, if you will. And over the past few months I've spend a lot of time praying that I would get that map, that I would know what the right choices were for the kids and me as we add another baby to our family. And over time, arrows started to appear. To my regret, they weren't pointing in the direction I had been praying for. I had to adjust my own wishes and expectations once again.
But I think and I hope I am following the landmarks God has left for me when I share that the kids and I will be moving back to my home state of Indiana next month. Which is just hilarious, because you will never meet a person who hates the cold more than me. But for many reasons, it's the place we need to be right now, and for me, the proof is in God's providence in the move. Many things have just fallen into place or happened to show me that unfortunately, leaving is the right thing for right now. It's incredibly bittersweet and I have difficulty putting it all into words, but this isn't a decision made in haste or without the blessing of anyone who is a part of our family or close circle of friends or the kids' father.
I could write a book about how I'm feeling about the move, and the contents would change hourly. There are things I am incredibly excited about and things I am dreading, things and people I will miss more than anything and things and people up north that I have been sorely missing for years. The older kids are understandably sad but, as Ava's best friend Ella says, looking on the bright side, and we're all really excited about reconnecting with family and friends we've only seen in short bursts for years. There are lots of things to look forward to, but at the same time, lots of tears have been cried over what and who we'll be leaving behind.
I wish I could sound more happy, because I know there are people waiting for us there who are overjoyed. And I think I will be, eventually. It's just I have a problem with change. Always have. And right now, I'm in a bit of mourning over that life we've had here, looking back at the people who have made this place a home and owning up to how much I'll miss them, and after I'm done moping for just a moment longer I'll be able to look forward and be excited about the opportunities that are waiting for us as we make a fresh start. We're very blessed...we have family who has both the space and the desire for us to hang out with them during my pregnancy and while we find a place of our own, and there is already a school and a church and a youth group we're blessed to have gotten to know over the years and who have rallied around Seth since his birth.
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want this to be a temporary move...that best case scenario I'd like to finish school and be able to get a job and preferably move right back here and take our lives back. And maybe that will come true. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that God doesn't usually give us all the answers at the beginning, or even the middle, of the book. I'm just doing my best to follow God's will for me and for Ava, Jace, Seth, Evany, and whoever this baby turns out to be.
And that's why come next month the five of us plus my best friend Mara and her daughter, Ava's best friend Ella, will be piling into what I know will be an insanely packed van, following our own road map, and heading off for a huge multi-day adventure through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and finally, Indiana.
And by then, I'll be looking forward, not back, and we'll be singing all the way.
Friday Fellowship - Jenna Buettemeyer
2 days ago