I have been asked several times since we packed up our whole lives and moved our family of 6 from NC to FL almost 2 months ago, why would we do something so extreme if we never wanted to leave what we loved in the first place. I am guessing those questions arrived from previous Facebook posts about the extreme rain that we've had and comments such as I miss home and of course the plethora of emojis used to describe how much I miss my people. I have been told by several that you can feel the deep emotion I carried when I decided to write about the beginning stages of this journey and how sad leaving everything we loved behind actually was.
I cannot deny the hardness or the deep ache that I sometimes still feel in large waves when I reflect over the last few months. I also cannot deny that our home here in Florida doesn't feel like home and if I lay in bed late at night and remember the street I used to live on, tears still fill my eyes because I truly miss that place on Tanbridge Road. I also cannot deny that I have spoken to someone via phone or text from our previous town almost every day since we moved and that in itself has brought much needed comfort.
So why did we do it?
Today, my girls were out of school due to a maintenance issue and given that this was their first full week of "real" school for these former homeschoolers, I was ecstatic to have another pool day with my girls. After some serious fun in the sun, we made our way back to the apartment. This short walk always seems daunting for my 3 year old because she is so worn out from all of the `swimming, therefore everything, including her feet, weighs about 100 pounds. So you can imagine the extreme whining that takes place on the excursion back. With every step she rattles off almost every excuse not to keep going. Anything from I'm hungry or I too tired to My feet won't work. But with every excuse as to why she can't keep going, she continues to put one foot in front of the other. Once inside, she knows what will come next... nap time. As she tries to state her case of why she does not need to go night night, she looks me in the eyes, grabs my shoulders to step into her dry undies, and continues to climb into bed, snuggles herself with her blanket and begins to cry. As I begin to shut the door, I can see her roll over toward the wall, onto her side as she cries one last plea of frustration.
As I shut my daughter's door today, I couldn't help but to discover the very answer that I have been asked over and over upon moving here. I had explained it in probably many ways, but this was the first time that He had taken something that seemed complicated in my brain and made it very simple.
An act of obedience isn't always without complaint or groans or questions of why it has to happen this way. In our experience, an act of obedience has often resembled those in the Bible. More times than not, when God has asked Wade and I to step in obedience it hasn't been a quick decision or a rapid thought that has entered our mind. It may have began with an initial thought but it usually follows with a long process. With every step of obedience has come sacrifice in some area of our life and through this sacrificial obedience has come much growth in our spiritual walk with Jesus. It's hard and its pruning and it doesn't feel good all the time.
Every time, hindsight has shown us in the past 7 years that God is good and because He can see the whole picture He can make decisions that seem to scatter our lives but in reality these decisions are making us whole.
So there is my answer. Just as my 3 year old walks in obedience despite her complaints, she knows that I love her and that I have taken care of her thus far in her little life.
How much more does my Heavenly Father love me?
SO. MUCH. MORE.
This is why we came. This is why we packed up a 26 foot truck and left behind what we loved to venture into the unknown. We trust Him and when He says go, YOU GO. We may have fought it with our words and our thoughts and we may even have days in the future when we continue to question what He is doing and why He has us here. Ultimately, we know that He is trustworthy and no matter the sacrifice we make, it doesn't compare to the sacrifice He made when He chose US on the Cross. Jesus delivered the most important act of obedience when He said YES to the Father that day in the Garden.
When you sit on that one thought, no act of obedience or sacrifice can ever compare to what He did for us.
And just to be clear...
Florida is slowly growing on me. We miss our friends and family like crazy but we are starting to find some really awesome places and people that make this unknown place feel more and more like home. We are thankful for what God is showing us and what He is continuing to do in our lives to make way for His ultimate plan. We are just the vessel and if our act of obedience makes way for the purpose He has of bringing freedom and victory to others, then any sacrifice is worth it.
Plus, with each Home Goods purchase this box feels more and more like a home. :)