This is likely my final post for a while—at least until we can get to Georgia and begin to find our new normal. And that’s really good for everyone, as I know y’all aren’t interested in reading whatever jumbled up words my overloaded brain might eke out!
This week has been the proverbial “calm before the storm” of next week, though it’s been anything but calm. We have squeezed every last minute out of every last day, and we’re all exhausted.
There have been so many goodbyes—to people, places, and things. So many “lasts” that my heart is entirely overwhelmed by the emotion of it all! I can’t stand goodbyes, and these have been particularly difficult. I can’t fully put into words what these past 5 years have been to me.
We arrived in California in the middle of a drought—but the parched, thirsty soil wasn’t the only thing suffering from lack of refreshment.
My desiccated marriage needed nurturing.
My empty body ached for children.
My thirsty heart longed for the beautiful connection of Christian fellowship.
My shriveled faith needed the floodgates of refreshment.
Upon arriving in this spacious place (see Psalm 18:19), God wasted no time in addressing these deep needs and desires of my heart. As the rain and snow fell over the years, moving this beautiful state out of drought, so too God began to rescue us from our own dearth. He began furiously writing the next chapter in our lives, pouring out blessing upon blessing, refreshment, and rest.
Slowly but surely, the bud of new, vernal life began peeking through the withered weeds.
A marriage put on the path toward restoration and joy.
The gift of three babies in just over three years (still blows my mind!!)
Friends who became like family.
A faith tested and hammered and strengthened and deepened.
As hard as these goodbyes are, they are a beautiful reminder of all the answered prayer in these years of our California dreamin’. God used the distance from Georgia to California as a means of pushing Aaron and me into greater reliance on each other, community with the body of Christ, and most importantly, into greater reliance on Him. There’s a fantastic line in a Ben Rector song that reads:
This isn’t easy
This isn’t clear.
And you don’t need Jesus till you’re here.
Those lyrics ring so true when I think of the past 5 years—and I know they will continue to ring true as we enter the next chapter.
In our man-made comfort bubble, we’re blinded to our deep need for Jesus … but in His goodness and love for us, He’s willing to pop that bubble and bring us into something better, something real. Something that blesses us, blesses others, and ultimately brings Him glory.
And while it’s painful and unpleasant when that bubble bursts and we’re thrust out of our comfort zones, I’ve learned that this is when life truly gets good.
That’s what this West Coast journey has been for us—leaving the familiar and journeying into unfamiliar, character-building, faith-testing territory. And though there have been plenty of difficulties and tears, I wouldn’t trade the experiences and the heart-changes and the relationships for the world.
So, with tears in my eyes, let me say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all you beautiful people we’ve met along the way: the friends, neighbors, co-workers, therapists, doctors, teachers, and all my fellow warrior mamas.
You became our family, and we will always carry you in our hearts. Thank you for being the Hands and Feet of Jesus to us in a time we so desperately needed it.
You’ll always have a place to visit in the good old South. Let’s sit on the front porch, sip sweet tea, and reminisce on the glistening waters of Lake Tahoe, the divinely earthy smell of wine county, and the picture perfect green of these rolling hills we’ve been blessed to call home for a season.
Much love & many blessings—
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:8-9 NIV).