Over the last year, writing here has been more sporadic. I was working through some things, taking some time to write my words for no one but God and me to see. I was feeling a bit like my words had been stolen – like I was sucker punched and they were ripped right from my hands before I could even catch my breath. I have spent the last year giving the impression of fun adventures, a happy family, prayers finally answered. And while that is half of the truth, the exclusion of the other half has felt a little dishonest and a betrayal of who I am, who God created to me.
That being said, I can also see that spending less time giving the hard spots power by verbally detailing them is a good thing. I’ve learned lots of good things from our transition – but I feel like it’s time to start telling the whole truth – in a way that honors God and points to who He is…good, always good, in all things. So, I’d like to start sharing a few things from my journey over the last year. I hope that they encourage you to lean into Him with whatever you are holding right now, because He is able to bear the weight of all of it.
From my journal on February 15th of this year…
This time last year we had no intention of ever leaving our little blue house on 85th Circle, in northwest Denver, at the foothills of the Rockies. Our kids were bundling up into adorable, puffy snow babies and tromping back and forth to the bust stop with our neighbors, who in a very short amount of time had become more like family than acquaintances. The most beautiful tulips I had ever seen were getting ready to burst forth and provide us all with a show stopping splash of fiery orange and sunshine gold.
We had go-to babysitters our kids were smitten with – babysitters that allowed Josh and I to really date again. We had friends – I mean real and true, on your team ’til the end, friends. Josh had a job that he believed in with his whole heart. He worked hard and long, but he didn’t mind. And most of the time I really didn’t either.
His office was in our basement, so we all had constant access to him. We were part of a church that was being built – partially by our prayers and time and yes-es – with great intentionality and purpose to align with God’s Word. We believed – still believe – with our whole hearts that God blessed us with maybe the best two years of our family’s life so far – there in that little blue house.
It was there that I began to believe God – I mean really, terrifyingly believe Him for Ephesians 3:20. Our oldest, Adelle, asked Jesus to be her forever Lord, Savior, and best friend there. Jude was dedicated on a Sunday in front of one hundred-ish faces – and none of our family. I had women in my home, regularly, discipling without calling it that.
The Rockies hemmed us in, made me feel safer and stronger and bolder. They helped me live with grandness and beauty constantly on my mind, constantly stirring my heart to wonder.
To be fair, they were some of the hardest years of our family’s life, too. We were sick for a good, solid year – with the flue, strep, the stomach bug, croup, cold after cold after cold. We moved twice in a four month period…with a newborn. Church planting meant being thrown into an arranged marriage with people we barely knew. It was high stress, demanding, and deeply humbling.
We had to watch funds carefully, which meant that while most everyone we knew was skiing or taking their campers on fantastic road trips or buying seriously cool bikes and other goodies – we were at home. This was a trivial thing – we knew that – but it caused us to battle discontentment regulary.
Our marriage went through the most intense pressure it ever has, squeezing out every hang-up, insecurity, and displeasure we’d built up over the years. I had a hard time finding my place with the team at church. I never could quite figure out where I was best equipped and needed to serve.
Plus, motherhood is just hard – all the time – wherever you are.
I don’t want to pretend that Colorado was perfect and easy and wonderful. I don’t want to romanticize it because, honestly, that’s my M.O. I see only the hard when I’m in a place and remember only the lovely when I leave it. Neither is a true representation of – well – the truth.
What I am learning is that the bulk of life is one enormous balancing act in watching carefully for God’s goodness – listing it all out one by one – and alternately, telling the truth about what’ hard without granting it power over me with too many words.
God swiftly and sharply turned our path back south. He made it unquestionably clear that back home was where we needed to go next. I would be misrepresenting if I didn’t tell you how deeply happy it makes my heart when I drive down the streets of my childhood, watch my kids lover their cousins more like siblings, enjoy the comfort of my original church family, pop in for a quick visit with my parents, laugh until my face hurts with my sister, see my kids have regular access to their grandparents, and figure out new ways to serve the community that I have always loved.
But know this – home is not without its own struggles. Nothing ever is, right? So whatever it is you are longing for, be it the comfort of home or the thrill of adventure, someday, if you open your eyes to see, you will have reason to ache with gratitude for exactly where you are right now. Our God wastes nothing.