This morning as I start my day after 7 am, with not a soul awake in the house, I wonder, " How did I get here?" As I look around my home, filled with great potential, I wonder, "How did I get here?" I sit on the lanai looking at the fish jumping in the lake and the gator swimming about, and I wonder, "How did I get here?"
Before I go any further, please understand, this is just a brief window in time, where the peace out weighs the chaos in our house. I am not trying to put forth an idealistic image that life is all sunshine and roses...and while there are moments of that if you look for them in anyone's life, the broader question of "How did I get here?" is a reflection of the journey that took us from all we knew and were comfortable with to this place in time.
Life is a journey. Sometimes we see the curves in the road, we can anticipate the speed bumps or road blocks, even the times on the journey when we can coast, but today I was hit with the new reality of my life, here in Florida.
The Prince and I were born and raised in PA. Eight years ago, we purchased a home in a great neighborhood, with wonderful neighbors that turned into friends, we began to pour our efforts into making that home our forever home. With no consideration, not a thought, that we would not grow old and gray in that home, not only raising our children there, but making it a haven for our children's future spouses, for our future grandchildren. The renovations that we did increased not only the value of our home financially, but also increased the potential legacy that we would be leaving our children. Memories of fires in the back yard, a tire swing, play house, a basketball pad, friends stopping over, friends and family in and out of the house whenever ... and all of a sudden, we are starting over. Not just in a new home, or in a new city, but a new state, a new climate, a new everything.
This bend in the road, caught me off guard. We had a plan the Prince and I. So when the offer to submit a resume came to the Prince, we sort of laughed about it. Ignored it, and kept on moving forward with our plan. The request came again, and even though we indicated we were really not so interested, we did scurry to put together an updated resume, and submit it. Assuming that would be the end of the road. Who hires a pastor for a non ministry position? Never did we anticipate the calls, the interviews, or the repeated offers, for different positions, until the Prince and I could no longer dismiss this opportunity.
I will say that trusting the Lord throughout this process was easy...when the offers and positions were clearly not one's that would benefit our family, it was very easy to trust! In all my year's of being a believer, I thought, I finally have a handle on this trust thing. Then in one phone call, that all changed as the position became a viable and an overwhelmingly great opportunity for our family. Then I faltered. Then I had a few minutes of anxiety. Not over the details of the move per say, ( I did seriously have moments of great doubt about the potential of selling our house with 7 dwarfs and two dogs occupying the three floors of space, and the "how to" show a home that is that busy on a whim to a potential buyer), but more over the concerns were about the logistics of uprooting children that were well adjusted, and loosing our network of family and friends and what life would look like as we all started over.
To say God is gracious in providing me with tons of real life examples to help my dwarfs with their adjustments would be an understatement. I think that clearest example in regards to their questions about the move was to take them all back to their own journey in life and share with them that God, who loves them and cares for them more than the Prince and I, has been preparing us all for this move and the next season in our lives. As you know many of the dwarfs are adopted. In this they have traveled from state to state inside their biological and foster homes until they came to reside with us, their forever family. Even upon arrival to our home, some of them changed schools multiple times and one spent two years in a treatment facility outside our home. Our biological dwarfs, (of which this is one of the only times you will see me make a distinction of any kind) have also had preparation in this thing called change and transition, while not the same, what they needed to be able to see, looking back was that God was good in their situations of transition as well. Sleepy has changed schools multiple times and in all those transitions with grace. Dopey has also had a recent school change which he could look back and see the smoothness of that journey. In regards to the Prince and I, while we have not made many transitions in life, we have not had to because of our personalities and the gift that we have to "never meet a stranger". So the "what if's" of their questions have been answered, by showing clearly that each member of our home, has had a specific number of transitions to make, in preparation for this move!
To show His goodness in this transition even more clearly, to ourselves, and our family and our friends, we sold our house, for full price, through a neighbor and a Facebook message, with just one informal showing. (There were several projects under way in the house at the time, so the buyer had to really have a vision!) We were blessed to have a connection that provided housing for the Prince while he came ahead of us by three months to start working and to search for our perfect home. The house that He provided for us, came with a realtor that used to be a kitchen cabinet maker, so when we were gifted a new kitchen from an old house that was going to be demolished, our realtor went above and beyond to provide his former skills to our family, to custom fit the new/old pieces into our space perfectly!
Many many small things happened along the way as well. A dryer swap, friends to help with packing, a month of meals to ease the transition of the Prince being away, and myself still having to work full time, church members that "adopted" the dwarfs to take them to and from work, and activities, pizza for dinner that just arrived at the door, rent swap for a bedroom suite, cases of non perishables that arrived at the moving truck ramp in time to load for the final road trip, many hands that made light work of both of the loading days and the last loading and cleaning day, a friend to make the trip with us, that did the bulk of the driving, safety on the road in the midst of a blown tire on the car hauler and an escape dog on the interstate, friends on this end that assisted with unloading and unpacking. I am sure that in the midst of the busyness of life, I have missed some of the blessings along the way, but I think you can get the gist of the grace that brought us to where we are today.
So as I pondered this morning, "How did I get here?" I realized that I am here because this is exactly where God wants my family to be. That once again we are smack dab in the center of His will for our lives. In the midst of this thing called life, I feel that God has blessed us in ways that He did not need too, but because he did and he continues to do so, it just adds to our "God Story", our legacy that we continue to blaze for our children, and generations that come after them.
To say that any of this is easy or is going to be easy, (because right now it is still like an extended vacation) would be wishful thinking I believe! We are blessed because the Lord knew what we needed, even when we did not know. He is not surprised by this curve in the road, He orchestrated it all for His glory. From the beginning of this new adventure in our lives we determined to give Him to the glory and the praise, even in the midst of the trials (and there have been those as well) so that our focus remains on Him! I am this morning, grateful for His care and provision for our family, from those large moments, to the small still moments like this morning. I know that at every fork in the road, I had a choice as to how to proceed, it could have been with kicking and screaming, or with acceptance and trust that the Lord is in control of all this and more. I am so grateful for a Godly heritage that was lived out in my childhood, modeled by my parents, which has made it easier to continue to grow and live out the calling in my life without such meltdowns and temper tantrums, and I pray that as the Prince and I continue to live, fully trusting the sovereignty of God, that we are laying the same foundation for our children and future generations.
Too many great things have happened in this transition for it to be coincidences. Grace abounds when you seek Him and when you trust Him.
You really can't make this stuff up!