How can three rather simple words be tied to such complex emotions? When asked, "How are you feeling?" I am bombarded by a rush of emotions on both sides. I am excited. I am thankful. I am peaceful. I am anticipating new adventures. I am hopeful. I am happy. I am nervous. I am so so sad. I am heartbroken. I am torn. I don't want to leave. I don't want to say goodbye. I want to feel all the pain of saying goodbye and yet want to dodge the goodbyes all together. I want to hit pause and fast forward at the same time. I want to live in two places and live two lives at once. I am trusting in what God is doing and who He is.
To make a long story short- about a week ago Seth accepted a construction job in Illinois. We've spent the better part of the last 5 months praying, seeking, searching, wondering, counseling, talking and dreaming about what is "next". Now we know- just like that. What seemed like an endless process in making a decision is done and we continue to move forward in it. Why is it the things that seem to take SO long, sometimes seem like a blink of an eye in retrospect?
We are confident that this is right. We are peaceful. We saw God close all other doors and open one door. I'm so glad God made this decision for us because I don't think we could've chosen on our own.
I prayed that God would reveal it through Seth because I knew I couldn't trust my heart and I wanted the stability of hearing it through my husband. Through making the decision about this job Seth felt excited and peaceful and would tell me how He saw God working in this and how He knew God was directing him to take this job. And then i'd ask him to tell me again. And again. And again. I kept asking him to tell me again because I wanted to be sure this was of God and not us. And he patiently would say "Baby doll, I am 100% confident about this". I asked God to reveal it through my husband, and He did.
So now starts the painful process of goodbyes. We have already said goodbye to people we may never see again on this side of Heaven. People who are so dear and who are "family". We've started our let's do this "one-more-time" list. I've cried a lot. But i'm soaking in the sweetness of the painful goodbye- and I want it to hurt- I don't want it to be easy to leave- because it means that we have loved much and deeply.
I was telling my mom on the phone the other day that it's not that i'm not excited to move back- I am. But I have to go through the "goodbyes" before I can get to the "hellos". One thing that my brother, Tony, taught me was to always let people know you love them and how much they mean to you- never leave without leaving right- love with all your heart.
So that's what we're in the midst of right now- looking ahead & making decisions but also pausing where we are at and savoring the sweetness of this community and these friends and feeling the weight of this "goodbye".
Thanks to all who prayed, loved and counseled us through this decision- we love YOU!
In other news, this past friday was Seth's bday. We had a fun day making one of his favorite breakfasts, visiting him @ work with lunch, and taking him on a bbq picnic at one of our favorite parks complete with a "campout" inside! Here's some pics:
LOVED spending the evening with these dear friends!!
Best friends- Isaac, Gracie & Elia :)
Glen has been such an amazing & dear friend for Seth!!
Birthday morning snuggles with his baby girl :)
We had a picnic supper for his birthday and sweet friends offered to babysit Gracie!
From our favorite bbq restaurant here- whole hog! What better for a man's birthday than good southern bbq (maybe a big steak, but nonetheless :))...seth's pick- pulled pork & potato salad with baked beans!
My favorite- pulled chicken bbq salad, it's amazing!
Birthday dessert- strawberry shortcakes in mason jars...haha his was obnoxiously huge
one happy man :)
We played some good old catch in the park, it was honestly a blast!
I love this guy & am so proud of him
This park is called Two Rivers park in Little Rock. It's just minutes from our house and you get to it by crossing this bike/walking bridge. It's connected to over 20 miles of biking/walking trails.
A view into the woods from our picnic area...behind us is the river
We blew up the air mattress in the living room and put in a movie. We were going to make smores but we were too tired, haha oh well, it's the idea that counts :)