I sure didn’t mean to open my heart and pour it out only to then vanish! I don’t find it coincidence though that I (finally) obeyed the Lord’s prompting to share about the vulnerable season of BLAH this Spring and Summer, but, the exact same day I hit “publish” my angels stopped sleeping for 10 days straight;we had a big women’s outreach on campus, and then Thanksgiving travels were upon us!
My heart is so full and I have so much to share from the past few weeks, but I am BOUND and determined to wrap up this Writing Challenge/Blog Relaunch!
So much hope, so many possibilities. That feeling of hope marked my time as a full-time CRU staff woman in Columbia…so much so that my boss dubbed my over-the-top-with-excitement ministry text messages to our team as the “flying high Kitty report”. While I love to pioneer, I also love to faithfully plug away. I love loving where I am and what I am doing. I was/am the girl who didn’t want to leave high school and never wanted to move on from my hometown. The girl who hesitates and almost always gets stuck in tradition before all major life transitions.
Somewhere in the beginning of our infertility journey I recognized a longing in the corner of my heart. A longing for a new season and a new opportunity to trust the Lord and be stretched in my walk of faith. This was a strange feeling for me…to long for a new season. Typically I love the current, to a fault! About a year later, God added two pigtails and a cowlick to our life. I knew then (and am still trying to sort out now,) that this would be a whole new ballgame in my relationship with the Lord, myself and others. A new season. A new chapter. But, it took moving half-way across the country to embrace the fresh thrill of hope and possibility.
Long story short, my high-change husband mentioned a possible ministry opportunity and I began to twitch. Initially, we both felt it wise to continue laboring in the ministry that God was blessing and in the town we loved. Our kids didn’t need another transition. Our student ministry at USC literally felt like our firstborn child that we would never leave behind. It made no sense to start all over…
But fast forward 3 months, 3 Kleenex boxes and 300 phone calls later, and we had accepted the role of Missional Team Leader of CRU at the University of Mississippi…9 hours away from all our married life memories, 9 hours away from where we’d invested our lives. There were only 2-3 more weeks of school and we needed to wrap our minds around telling our team, our students leaders, our friends and our kids. Yet, our beloved home sold the first day on the market. (Praise Jesus!) Thus, there was no time to think. We had to pack because we were closing in 3 weeks.
It was a flurry of activity. Mostly setting up ministry for the Fall and tearful goodbyes. On a
stressful funny note, a nodule was found on my thyroid and my doctor was fairly concerned. The entire last week in Columbia, when I should have been packing, I spent 4 days in various medical facilities and had two biopsies done on our moving day. I spent moving day in a drugged stupor and have no idea how my house got packed up. I only know that I owe it to our friends and the miscellaneous fraternity guys who drove their mopeds up on our lawn and started moving boxes.
We had an embarrassing amount of stuff, none of which had been gone through or organized. It was literally our dear friends scooping 4 humans-worth of worldly possessions into garbage bags and throwing them onto a Penske truck.
Joel’s brother had come in from Oxford to help us dig an 8-foot gas tank out of the backyard so we could close. The tank ended up being about 16 feet and he could tell we were desperate, so he ended up staying to help pack and drive the moving truck. It just so happened that our stuff wouldn’t all fit onto the truck we’d rented, so we had to get a second truck. We had completely burned Hunter out and the rest of us were all hanging on by a thread. Joel couldn’t think straight so I finally made the executive decision that he could pack the rest of the house and get it ready for closing, but that I needed to get the kids out of there. My in-laws could tell it was bad, so they got in the car and drove to meet us. (I think perhaps they were concerned that I’d been sedated earlier in the day and were driving their grandchildren down the highway for 9 hours?) We met them on the side of the road somewhere outside of Atlanta. Gigi got in the car with me, we headed back to Mississippi while Hawk drove on to try and pull Joel together.
Hawk and Joel cleaned and packed for another 18 hours. It was all a rush because Joel had to get to Memphis to catch his flight to Colorado for a seminary class and then make it back to Columbia, 3 days later, to close on the house. As they loaded the second moving van, Hawk instinctively asked, “Okay, you checked all the closets, drawers, the shed, the storage unit, etc. Right?” Joel got nauseous and nearly cried as he realized he/we had completely forgotten our storage unit of random items leftover from staging the house. They unpacked and repacked the van, and finally about 11 hours later they were pulling into my in-laws where we would live for the summer.
Joel showered up, while the random assortment of cousins and neighbors I had gathered, hauled stuff out of the van so we could return it and get Joel to the airport. All the while Gigi and I are fumbling around somewhere in between delirious tears and utter confusion as to when the reality television show “Hurdle Dynasty” was going get picked up by A&E. I kissed Joel, put him on a plane and immediately drove to the nearest Dairy Queen. No place I’d rather be.
Three days later we would close on our home in SC and become Mississippians. It was a whirlwind, but it was a Godwind.
God knew we needed a fresh start. God knew we needed a re-boot. God knew my kids needed to be states away from their past. God knew I needed to be a wife, then a mom, then do ministry out of an overflow of joy. God knew Joel was needed as a vital player in renovating the ministry at Ole Miss. God knew we needed to be near family. God knew our kids needed to move from “Mommy & Daddy’s house to OUR FAMILY’s new home. One that all of us could learn and explore and enjoy together. God knew they needed a smaller world. God knew.
Columbia was in the rear-view mirror much sooner than we would have chosen and the transition has been nothing short of wild. But boy oh boy, am I experiencing the fresh thrill of hope and possibility and boy am I glad God knew.
More to come as the relaunch of our blog continues.