If you know me at all, you know that "home," for me, has always been back in Georgia. Since we moved here, almost five years ago, it's always been about getting back home. But recently that has been starting to change to the shock of literally everyone who knows me. To Neil, I think Maryland has always been comfortable. He has a job he likes, rivers to kayak on, plus he has that whole introvert thing going for him, so the need for friends isn't as pertinent.
For me, it wasn't so easy. The entire first year or so that we lived here, I slowly slipped into a slump I couldn't even drag myself out of, not even by spending time with God. I had no friends, no church, a job that left me feeling isolated, and my best friend was in France. It was a dark time for me, and as a result for our marriage. Thankfully Neil is a very patient and commited man, because most men would not have put up with me. Eventually, we found Grace Community Church and began to make friends. Then we got pregnant with Owen. On the day we found Owen was a boy, March 19 to be exact, I also found out that my dad had advanced renal cancer. Talk about a shock to your world. That, combined with my grandparents not getting any younger, made me feel like this place would always be temporary and all I wanted to do was get closer to family. And depending on how things were going down south, determined how I well assimilated here.
When we found out we were pregnant with Blake the urgency to move grew exponentially. All I could think about what making that happen. Just so you know, when you're a stay at home mom (for the most part), there are few things you can control when it comes to life changing moves like this one. I can't create a job for Neil or make anyone hire him. So the only thing I could do was complain. You can imagine how helpful that must have been for Neil. What pressure I must have put on him. Like he doesn't have enough to woory about as a provider, a husband, and a father. After almost two years of applying for the few jobs that came along, and nothing, we've decided to put the search on hold for now.
Of course we still would like to be closer to family, but in the past few months, I've began to realize that I've focused so hard on flying south that I never really thought about what that meant. The reality is that no matter where we went in the south, we probably would not be in the same town as any of our family, and we'd still have to start all over again; new friends, new church, new life. Seeing how well that went the last time we did that, I'm not sure it would be the best thing for me, Neil, or the kids. Granted, I could do it, but would it really accomplish anything more than closing the distance gap? In today's world of cell phones and computers, I sometimes forget that it's been months since I've seen someone because I talk to them all the time.
I can't say that I came to this conclusion on my own though. I had a little help from Above. Last July, I was spending a little time praying and felt like I needed to act on a vision I had, a vision I never thought I would be called to do here in Maryland...after all, this place is just temporary. But I knew what I was supposed to do, and I did it. I sent an email to one of the pastors at Grace about starting a day camp. That was 8 months ago, and we've already started registration for this summer. Wow. I'm still in awe of where we are today. The idea of not seeing camp, moving before it starts, killed me. And as I began to think about that, my heart began to change. Partly because I feel called to camp, and partly because feeling called to camp made me think about the reality of moving and what that would mean. You could say it took the blinders off. Ironically, Neil was starting to think the same thing, not so much about camp, but about not moving. He still has two applications in for Georgia, one for Savannah and one for Athens. But for now, we're moving forward. We're going to put the house on the market, and move towards finding another house here in Maryland, in a better school district with a little more square footage. If God intervenes, then I'm open to that. I have to be willing to let go of camp, if I'm asked.
I don't know what the future holds. "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9. But I know that where ever we are, we'll be where God wants us to be. And I think this whole process, for me, has been less about the circumstances, and more about being open to what God has in store for my family and me. And whatever happens from here on out, my prayer is that Neil and I would continue to remain on the same page with God in the center of our marriage. And that Owen and Blake would grow up in a house where decisions weren't made on feelings, but on faith.
Let me just say, as a disclaimer, that if something were to happen with my dad or my grandparents, no amount of distance will stop me from going. It would just be a longer drive.
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