And we know all things work together for good for those who love God; for those who have been called according to His purpose. -Romans 8:28
I sigh a deep sigh when I begin to type. My blog is usually filled with fun family pictures for friends and family to enjoy and to serve as a digital journal of sorts for me to remember things. However, today I am going to share some more personal things. I hope that someone will find hope and peace through my transparency.
Justin and I got married on July 19, 2008. Before we got married, we had made the decision to move to Auburn, AL for Justin to attend Auburn University for his Master's degree. When we visited the campus and town our senior year of college, I left and called my Mom, telling her, this is where we're moving next year. We both had great peace about the decision, a peace only the Holy Spirit could provide. In the coming months, things fell into place including a TA position for Justin, my first teaching job at a great school system, and a home.
I could go on and on about our 3 years in Auburn, but in a nutshell, God flourished our lives with people and opportunities. Blessings abounded (some tough to see as blessings and others easy). Through our time in Auburn, we made life long friendships that we still have today. Upon Justin's graduation from Auburn, one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make was to leave a town that had become our second home. I kid you not when I say I cried all the way to the Mississippi line when we pulled out of our drive way on Dumas Drive.
Before beginning my thoughts on Arizona, I want to preface it with the fact that Justin and I have agreed to discuss our process. I would not share this if my husband was not ok with it. When we moved to Arizona, I did not have a peace about this decision. All I can explain is that I didn't feel that was what God wanted us to do. We moved to a new place where the town could not be more opposite of Auburn, nor the school I taught at. There were huge shifts for me personally, emotionally, and spiritually. Though we made some friends in Globe, our community at large was much different than where we left and I often felt very dry emotionally and spiritually. The 10 months we lived in AZ was very difficult for our marriage and for our relationships with God.
Thankfully, God sustained us through this time and used Justin's work experience to open a door for us in Washington State. Again, a lot of prayers were sent up and a lot of tears were shed about the decision to make yet again, another cross country move. While doors were opening and closing, I began to have a peace that God wanted us to go. We packed up, yet again, to make another big move to the Seattle area.
God continued to show his faithfulness in providing us a nice apartment and a great teaching position for me. He also showered financial aide to us through Justin's grants for his PhD and for Jude's school. We gave us another great church and a new set of great friends. The blessings continued to be showered upon us. I must add that the term blessing is not always what we seem as good, but what God sees as best. There have been times when Justin and I didn't know what we were going to do financially, but God placed exactly what we needed in front of us. There have been times when I felt very lonely, and a friend would invite us over for dinner. There were also times when I really missed my family, and the praise band would play my parents' favorite hymns. God truly is a God of details.
And, we are now facing another move. Though we are remaining in WA state, a good job opportunity has opened for Justin and we were be relocating about 5 hours away. More good byes, more moving boxes, more new beginnings including finding a church, doctors, and learning how to navigate my chosen grocery store. This will be our 6th home, 5th state, and 4th town we've lived in during our 5.5 years of marriage.
It's hard y'all. It's hard to finally make a set of friends to have to leave them. To finally begin a friendship that you feel comfortable enough to discuss personal things and have to say good bye. To find a church where your children know their teachers by name. To plan a birthday party for no one because your child's friends are 5 hours away, your family is across the country, and we won't be in our new town long enough to make friends.
This is not a complaint, but a testimony of how our God provides. In every move, He has been our Provider, Our Supplier, Our Healer, Our Hand holder, Our Sustainer. There have been bumps and even pot holes along the way, but God has brought us through it. I have missed big things. I could not rush to the hospital when my brother was having brain surgery. I couldn't be there to see my nephew's birth. We have missed weddings of close friends, birthdays, and even Christmas, but God has been here with us. The things that are special, in the midst of missing those things, God has turned what could be bitterness and resentment into thanksgiving for all He has provided.
This has been a daily journey for me to get here. To see His goodness in all this craziness and He is good y'all. He will work all this for His good, we just have to sit with our hands and hearts open.
So, another move, a new town, a new place, a new adventure...here we come.