I have been pondering this blog post for the last 3 weeks. Just not quite sure of its wording or even if I should do it. I just didn't have the words yet to explain the fastness of it all and the reality of its hugeness. However, this morning I have laid in bed remembering the past. And I realized that in order to embrace the changes in our future, we must first reflect on the past and how MUCH the Lord has done.
It was just 4 short years ago that God's mighty hand moved us to Wilmington. In some ways in seems like we have lived here our whole lives and in other ways it seems as though it was a blink. I will always hold dear to my heart that weekend that Wade and I both saw the Lord move in such a miraculous way in our situation. Going on year 3 of no job, no constant income and truly relying on the Lord to supply every need, we watched as he put a waiter in our path at a restaurant that we debated to go to because we should have been saving our money for groceries. I still remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach as resumes were being passed and even more when we had the interview out of no where that landed Wade at his first job here at the beach, just two weeks later. We embraced 32K for a family of 4, like we had just scored a million dollars. I still remember the day we moved, the excitement in the moving van, the kids waiting to unpack that house, our friends who followed us here to set aside their own tears of sadness to embrace our excitement of this new season.
Our time here has been such a fulfilled blessing. Within 6 months of living here, we had settled in a church that we loved, we had met families that share our same interest, we had joined a community group and we were also expecting our 3rd born. Birthday parties were never that same once we moved here. Let's just say that people in Wilmy follow the "be fruitful" command (as do we) and so it wasn't uncommon to have 20+ kids in our backyard screaming and very few adults at the party. We have watched our own kids become family to others and those that have spoken into our children's life has been so amazing and needed.
For two years, we lived in a rental that we loved. We brought home our third baby girl, we planted flowers, we met Emma Jane's speech teacher in the neighborhood, we did evening walks pulling a wagon, I trained for my first Half Marathon, we watched Lela walk for the very first time, we mourned the loss of a cat and we celebrated many milestones, ate many cupcakes, set loose countless balloons and had many fun moments in this home.
On July 4th weekend 2013, just before River's 1st birthday, we finally purchased our first Wilmington Home with the help of my gracious parents. It was such an exciting weekend. With boxes surrounding us, I stood behind the swing set pushing the birthday girl and I will always remember the feeling I felt at that very moment. We had "arrived". Our back yard was full of love that day and for the first time, I felt like we had planted some deep roots. Wilmington was HOME and we were so ever grateful.
But with all of the greatness, there has been extreme difficulty. Wade has been through several jobs, we've experienced several set backs financially due to things that were out of our control. We have started businesses, we have failed at businesses, we have experienced health issues that has sent us spiraling down financially, we have prayed and experienced extreme quietness from the Lord. We have struggled in ways that at times has made us want to throw our hands up in defeat and call it quits. We have looked at our girls' faces and smiled, while in the back of our minds wondered if we were ever going to be able to get on our feet financially and provide for them in the way that we needed and wanted. I have watched Wade struggle with his purpose while trying to figure out why doors seem to slam shut in his career.
But through it all.... we have made it.
We have learned of His goodness and how He provides through His church. We have learned how to be creative and do what needs to be done to pay the bill or get the girls ice cream. We have learned that a short drive down to the water is usually the best medicine when our thoughts surround us and make us believe there is no way out. We have learned how to work hard, use our hands and that sometimes there is a season of literal sweat before the season of harvest. And although there have been many times when we felt weary, our family here has held up our arms and supported us in every way.
I could reminisce over the last 4 years over and over, without ever getting to the point of what woke me up at 4am. I awoke wondering what our next season will look like, feel like and how it would compare to our season here in Wilmington.
Just 3 weeks ago, Wade had an interview in Tampa, Florida. There is much more to the story that I will save for another post, however very quickly, just like our last big move, we have seen and felt the Lord's hand over it. We have done very little to "make" this happen. In all honestly, I sort of slammed my foot down and fought like a little kid unwilling to move my ground. Deep down, my spirit craves the adventure. My little self from the time I was a kid has wanted to travel the earth, see the waves of the land and embark on something new all of the days of my life. But my flesh... well, I just want the American Dream. Live in the same house, grow up with the same people and watch my kids go to the same schools and do exactly what I did growing up. I'll even take the white picket fence.
But God. He always finds a way to challenge us into greater things and push us into our callings. I have learned that when things get uncomfortable, He is usually about to propel you into your purpose, little by little, through a process. We can either embrace it through our own fear and trust that He knows what is ahead or we can tuck our necks back into our shells and never know what could have been. The quote that has been streaming in my head for the past few weeks has been...
So as I listen to the birds chirp outside I realize that this may take several blog posts for my head to empty itself of all the upcoming changes that are taking place. I would love for you to be a part of the adventure and of course, we welcome your prayers.
But for now, let me leave you with this...
In just 3 short weeks, Wade will be traveling to Florida to start work with the same company that he began his career with right out of college. The same company that crashed when the economy tanked and left us 3 years with no job. But also the very reason that brought us here to Wilmington.
Do you see already how God restores?
July 4th weekend, we will celebrate a very special 3 year old, surrounded by boxes and once again see the love from family fill our backyard, just as we did just two short years ago.
After that, we will join him in our new home near Tampa Florida. Where that new home will be, God only knows. However, He knows the desires of our heart and I have a testimony to prove it. Just as He planted us here, He will also do the same for us there. For the first time in 7 years, we will have provision that pays our bills. One job. No side business, no craigslist ads or pawn shops. But one job, that will abundantly bless our family and propel us forward in our destiny of living a generous life for His Kingdom.
We are excited. We are scared. We are happy. We are sad.
But through it all, we know that we are about to embark on a new adventure that He has for us and because of that we can rest in knowing that when it is HIS PLAN, it will be a great ride.
So, hop on board with us. I will be writing over the next several weeks. One to keep you updated and two, so that I can look back on this one day and see what all the Lord has done.