Final thoughts from Raleigh

I cried last night saying goodbye to some of my dearest friends here. I cried this morning listening to Brandi Carlile on the way to work ("I'm warning you, we're growing up"). I cried because I got a chance to talk to my husband uninterrupted for a few minutes today, something that has been difficult in the midst of moving craziness. I hope all this weepyness doesn't become a thing for me.

Today though, I'm cutting myself some slack. I'll probably cut myself some slack tomorrow too. And maybe the day after that. Even though LOTS of people make cross-country moves and even though lots of my friends have already done it and are doing it and have done bigger (and more frequent!) moves, it doesn't make it any easier on my little fried brain.

There are lots of questions swirling around in my head, and with very little sleep to go on, they seem overwhelming. The future looks scary sometimes without a home, or an income or insurance, but I was reminded today of the Lord's provision, protection and steadfastness.

One of my very favorite songs is called "Painting Pictures of Egypt" by Sara Groves. If you've been around my blog for any time at all, you'll probably remember me mentioning it, oh, 1,000 times before. It's just always so accurate when I'm in situations like this. Just like the Israelites, I'm terrified of the wilderness that lies ahead. I'm realistic that the "place I was wasn't perfect, but I had found a way to live." Russell Moore, the author of Adopted for Life, spoke at Summit this past week. He tells of how when he and his wife adopted their two boys from Russia, the first time his kids experienced sunshine, or fresh air, or a car ride was when they pulled away from the orphanage. In fright, they turned back to the only home they had known and cried out. Likewise, I find myself turning and looking longingly at Egypt, at the orphanage, and crying out for the familiar.

For the last four years, the "familiar" has been a job and steady paycheck. It has been wonderful Godly women I could meet with, and terrain I have come to know. For the last 26 years, my familiar has been this small, "Southern" corner of the world. It has been a day's drive from my parents. Tomorrow, that changes. The familiar will become unfamiliar as we leave Raleigh and begin to journey into the wilderness.

The funny thing about the wilderness is this: In Exodus 13, we see that God re-routed his people into the wilderness to avoid taking them a way that would have them wanting to return to Egypt. He knew the proclivity of their hearts to not trust his provision and protection, and he wanted to show them how good he is by providing for them in a land of nothingness. Once I read that today, I really began to realize that God has orchestrated everything up unto this point to teach me trust him, even in the unfamiliar. Just like with the Israelites, he is already going before us. He may not be in a cloud or a pillar of fire, but he is taking us the way he wants us to go, in his perfect timing. He is steadfastly sticking with us, and for that I'm SO thankful.

Did you all know that I desperately tried to get a job in Denver four years ago, fresh out of college? I applied and applied and applied and missed the only opportunity that came up. Looking back on it from this point, I'm thankful for how the Lord worked things out. If I had gotten that interview, or one of those jobs, I likely would have not met some amazing friends, I might not have ever heard the teaching that has taught me to love the Lord and his church, I likely would not have met my husband. I don't presume to know about God's sovereignty, but I 'm so thankful for his provision in directing me East instead of West four years ago. I'm so thankful for his guidance to Denver now.

Lest you think I am just lamenting and crying and not at all excited, let me put your mind at ease. I CAN'T WAIT TO BE THERE!! When I think about decorating a new home, exploring a new city, building a new life with A, joining our community again (!!!), living missionally in a new job, going to IKEA in my own city (this might be at the top of the list ;) I about pee my pants with excitement. But even the anticipation of the future can't mask the sadness of goodbyes today. As my dear friend Heather told me, the tears are a sign that this stage of life meant something to me. It definitely did.

When I (and A and Ben and the turtles) pull out of our apartment tomorrow for the last time, I'm sure there will be lots more tears, because it's been a great four years. God has been preparing me though, going before us, making ready my heart and teaching me that even in the wilderness, his presence is a sure bet.

Next time I blog, from the other side of the mountains, I plan on sharing some of the more light-hearted pictures of this transition. Until then, thanks for praying for us, encouraging us and reading my massive, emotional blogs :)



Derek and Amanda said...

You will definitely be missed in NC but Denver sounds so exciting! I will continue to pray for you!! =)

Megan Barley said...

isn't it great that God allows us to feel so many things at a time?

we can't wait to see you guys, we miss you tons. and yes, an Ikea date is definitely in order.

Core said...

You my dear are loved! We shared a life time of memories in a short 4 years. Break ups, marriage (yours), jobs, trips, speaking truth in my life, and now a move. I appreciated our friendship and want you to be a part of it just as much as when you were here. Thank goodness for technology!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Aww, I'm so excited for you to get here and I'm excited for how God has and will provide for you.
I'm booking an Ikea date with you! ;-)

Chris said...

thanks so much for the encouragement in this post! it was well-timed!

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I'm a 20-something transplanted Southerner - in love with my Savior and in love with my husband. As we move from urban-loft dwellers to home-owners and parents, feel free to share in the happenings around the VanderHouse.

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