We just returned from a quick trip up to D.C. this last weekend. I am amazed again and again at the amount of artifacts and stuff that is packed into the multiple, massive Smithsonian museums. We are a people that love to recollect… to keep alive that connection with the past. I went through the house where Abe Lincoln died. Did you know they still have his bloodied pillow? Wow. Being the history nerd that I am (I fully admit it), this type of stuff fascinates me.
It occurred to me this weekend, that we also began the adventure of moving to North Carolina exactly 365 days ago. So, I’m setting up that year milemarker with relief, amazement and a couple paragraphs of some recollecting of my own. Within 2 weeks of Brian getting a job offer, the house was packed and I was bravely waving goodbye to my fella. Alicia and I would join him 2 days before Christmas. I could not have been prepared entirely for what lie ahead. My silly brain had been assuring me things would go on pretty much the same, but better of course, and in a “warm” new zip code. Isn’t that how it often is?
Brian began working for a company called Sports Endeavors. A steady nine to five. (and with health insurance). Big change. I’d become accustomed to having him home, working in his home “office”. We shared a car. We took lunches together. His schedule was FLEEEEXIBLE… and for 6 years I enjoyed that incredible blessing without truly knowing what a huge blessing it was.
Alicia is now in a fulltime private school. Which happens to be exactly 20 miles away. And I drive that. Four times each day. You do the math. Big change. The amount of petrol we use and the cost of her tuition is shocking. Alicia has been homeschooled up til now, and dropping her off each day at Grace Christian in Raleigh has reminded me how swift these childhood years pass, and how careful I need to be to make each moment matter. This change has been needful. It has been hard.
I also began looking for a part time job. With Alicia in school all day now, I was free to jump back into the world of dresspants and customer service. Big change. Somehow, with each place I applied for and interviewed with, there was a small nagging feeling that this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing. Practically and logically speaking, I rationalized that getting a job was exactly what I needed to be doing with my “free time”. We had an adoption to pay for for crying out loud! Hadn’t I been looking forward to this opportunity for years? But one by one, doors refused to open. And the ones that were open, just didn’t suit. I have had to reevaluate and face myself over and over, realizing I don’t need a job to fill hours and fill the heart and fill the bank account…
As many of you know, we received a long awaited call from our adoption agency. They had a darling baby girl ready to process out. And she could be ours. Maybe not on legal paper yet, but in our hearts, she IS ours. Big change. We now have a daughter, currently living in a small care center in Ethiopia. And I pray that I can be the mother she needs. Oh how can I even anticipate the changes this coming spring when she comes home?! This is to be our last Christmas as a threesome.
There it is. A quick recalling of this last year… God’s favor and grace and beauty in the midst of these big changes. 365 days of His Shepherding presence. New co-workers and learning a whole different perspective outside christian bubble. Enduring a challenging odd cabin in Durham for 4 months. Being side slammed with intense loneliness. Having a car payment again. Church hopping for 8 months. Meeting new families and being okay with my introvertness. Believing these people will be core friends and fellow sojourners but rejecting the pressure to make it happen instantly. Navigating a contrastive city and culture. Moving again, into a Cary neighborhood. First time with swim team! WILD thunderstorms we’d never experienced before. Being part of a spank’n new church plant! Transitioning from mega church style to baby small church style. Handing up my expectations and dreams, and taking hold of God’s arm, wherever that may lead day by day. Welcoming our adoption referral news but far from our family and friends. Seeing God do the miraculous. Carrying with us holiday traditions and incorporating new ones. Rejoicing and resting in the season of new life and new light and hope.