Two years ago I dropped my fiancé off at a local Starbucks where he met up with a group of guys to begin the long trek to the Lone Star State. I’ll never forget leaving that parking lot crying as I headed home before the sun was even up. I knew our engagement would be hard long distance but I was hopeful that the time would pass quickly and it did.
A year ago, I was five months pregnant and had just been in a car accident that totaled my first car and left me car-less for over a month. I felt trapped, alone and homesick. Unsure of my future, I tried to have hope in Jesus and keep my eyes on Him even though I felt He had stripped me of everything – my home, church, family, friends, job, town and to top it off – my car. I desired to have the heart of the Paul and count it all as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ but most days I just found myself selfishly mourning my loss.
Today I find myself typing this post in one of my childhood bedrooms. The last week has been a blur as we found out two weeks ago that my husband’s job transfer had been approved and, as an answer to prayer, we would be moving back to California.
We are excited to be close to family and friends again and to have a network of support as we are still newlyweds and new parents. I’ve played this scene over in my mind many times and the actual experience is much different than what I’ve anticipated. I eagerly longed for the day we would move back to California and if it were a year ago, I would have left and never looked back. Much time has passed since then and I shed many tears as I packed up our first little home together. One night when D came home from work I started crying asking him if he knew for sure if we were doing the right thing. With a heavy heart I told him how I would miss the home where we started our marriage and where we brought our first baby. I thought leaving Texas would be easy however it’s been the opposite but I know that God is faithful and this is an answer to many prayers.
Getting married is usually a big transition but getting married, moving, getting pregnant, getting in a car accident while pregnant, working 3 different jobs, having a baby and starting a ministry all within about a year is a different ball game. I am thankful that this season of major changes is, Lord willing, coming to an end but a little scared at what the future might hold. California is more familiar that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be rainbows and butterflies.
My heart has found much comfort in knowing that God is omnipresent and His character doesn’t change based on where I live or change at all. I’m thankful that D and I had to really work through all aspects of making a big decision and process through our heart motives, counsel and prayer. This season hasn’t been easy by any means but it has made our marriage stronger and shaped us more into the image of Christ.
The biggest lesson I have learned in this season is that home isn’t here. Having to leave pretty much everything I know and then be stripped of a little more has caused my heart to know that He has given me everything I need according to His glory in riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and that since He’s already spared His own Son, He will graciously give me all things (Romans 8:32). The Lord has faithfully grown me in trusting Him and caused my heart to be content and I am sure that He will complete what He has begun (Philippians 1:6).
This week D started back at work again. He is working the same position for the same company but he was able to transfer to the company’s warehouse in San Marcos (I think it will take a while for us to stop pronouncing is as “San Marcus” as there is a “San Marcos” in Texas but of course, Texans pronounce things with their own flair). Seeing God’s faithfulness thus far in our lives has been a tremendous blessing to us both. Although our first 20 months of marriage has been filled with crazy, unexpected moments, in retrospect I am humbled and grateful that God saw fit to send those little trials my way because I no longer struggle with the sin of anxiety as I once did (praise God for victory over sin, y’all! He is faithful!). Each hard moment in this season has found me relinquishing a little more of the control I falsely think I have and caused me to depend on God and His sovereignty like never before.
There are moments when I am still tempted to doubt His faithfulness but it is then that I must prompt my heart to feed on faithfulness as the Psalmist instructs in Psalm 37:3. I long to have the fearless heart of Sarah as described in 1 Peter 3:7 and although I am not there yet, I find that the Lord brings me a bit closer each day.
Many of you have prayed with us throughout these past 2o months, counseled us, brought us meals, helped us with Addie, encouraged us and now that we are in California have asked to spend time with us. We are extremely humbled and blessed by the global and local body of Christ. Please know we could not do this without y’all.
To answer some of your questions, we are currently staying with my parents until our lease is up in Austin which will be at the end of February/beginning of March. We offered our apartment to a few people but so far no one has expressed interested. We didn’t want to pay $1500 to break the lease so we are going to complete it. Once our lease is up, we are hoping to live in Murrieta/Temecula so we can be close to our church and closer to D’s job. D and I are on the waiting list for 2 different apartment complexes in Temecula and are trusting in God’s timing and provision. We can’t wait to jump in and serve at church however, since we are 45 minutes from the area we are waiting until we move closer to do so and are considering serving in high school or college ministry but are praying through how and where the Lord would best use us. We are hoping to join the Young Marrieds Bible study group once they start up again in January since D is able to get off work in time for us to attend.
Although this transition comes with much familiarity it is still a transition that we are taking our time to work through and we have a baby now so things look a little different for us. We have received many invitations to hang out with people and we can’t wait to spend time with y’all! Again, please be patient with us as we take time to transition and are living 45 minutes away. It’s not impossible right now there are just a few more logistics to consider especially since we have Addie.
Here are a few ways you can be praying for our little family (and of course, we would love to know how we can be praying for yours!):
- Praise God for allowing us to start our marriage and family in Texas and for blessing us with an incredible church family there
- Praise God for allowing us to move back
- Praise God for getting us here safely
- Praise God for Addie being a trooper on the drive out here – she only cried when she was hungry!
- Praise God for providing a healthy, Bible teaching church for us to attend
- Praise God for providing us with temporary housing
- Praise God for providing Derek with a work van (his company issued him a van and covers all gas, insurance and maintenance costs – what a huge blessing!)
- Pray for Derek as he leads our family during this transition
- Pray for me as I adjust to living in California – some days I am sad that our season of living in Texas ended so abruptly. I am grateful to be here but I still miss my friends and living out there at times.
- Pray for me to depend on God as I care for Addie. Having my mom and sister around to help out has been a HUGE blessing but I still need God to help me patient and loving.
- Pray for provision of a home for us
- Pray for Gospel opportunities with our family and friends. We are amazed and humbled by the opportunities God provided for us in Austin and are excited to see how He will use us in this season!