I’ve been dealing with the transition of learning to call Texas home. It hasn’t been easy and, to be quite honest with you, I’ve been fighting it. I have been living with the idea and hope that I will be able to go home soon. I often wake up in the morning with the idea that we are just simply on a vacation, an extended vacation. I refused to believe that I wouldn’t be moving home soon, calling up my friends, and continuing where we left off. I was convinced that we moved down here to make a better life for us and for our children. I saw more money and more things. Back home we were on the brink of losing it all. I may be a bit more dramatic, but the truth was we didn’t have a lot and we couldn’t afford much of anything. In fact, I’m not sure how we made it as far as we did. I have been extremely blessed that Justin lets me stay home with my kids because if I were working, excuse me, getting paid, then we would eliminate a lot of stress in our lives, but he knows how important it is for me to stay home and so he turns the other way when I’m going over the budget. So yes, when the opportunity arose for him to make a lot more money I jumped on the chance. I knew the sacrifices I would be making, but I associated more money with being happier. That is why I thought we had to move, there was no doubt about it. More money, more things, happier family. WRONG. I don’t know that many of you know the trials that my family faced shortly after I graduated from college in 2012. Money was tight, tighter then it had been before, ever, and we found ourselves unsure of what the next step was going to be. We tried to talk to our landlord to work out a payment plan that would allow us to stay in our beloved dream house in our perfect neighborhood, but he wouldn’t go for it. And so in the summer of 2012 we found ourselves, in a sense, homeless. Of course, we still had a roof over our head, but we weren’t sure of where we would be going. This is when instead of praying and asking the Lord for help I got mad and angry. I was hurt. We had worked so hard to get where we were and here we were losing it all. I found myself pulling away from my church family. While it would have been more beneficial to talk to them, I was embarrassed. However, it was through a gentleman at church that we found another place to live. You would have thought that I would have been thankful, but I wasn’t. I hated it. I hated everything about it. My heart was still at my dream house and there was nothing that would make any other house better. (Even though, we were saving a lot of money living there) But something weird started to happen after we moved into the new house. I still hadn’t been to church and I was still very much angry at God for letting this happen to me, but I started to see and sense Him more. No lie. I know how crazy this sounds, but I would see Him everywhere. I would see Him in the trees outside, I would see Him in the pattern in my sheets. I would see Him in the shadows on the walls. And I knew that He wanted me to turn to Him. And so I did. I gave up being angry. I accepted that this was where I was supposed to be. Or at least I thought I did. I still didn’t go to church. I always came up with another excuse, but I was just still angry. And then when I thought it couldn’t get worse and I often joked with my friends that it couldn’t get worse, well, now I was supposed to just up and move to Texas. I tried to pretend that I was happy, remember, more money, more things. And so like most of you know, we packed and we left. Here’s the kicker, while Justin does make a good amount of money, more money then we have ever seen, we still don’t have money for “things”. The only difference now is we have to pay for our insurance, and our food. We don’t qualify for any assistance. And that blows. It was much nicer not having to pay for labor and delivery or groceries every single week. And even though I’ve not had my own insurance in years, there’s no point in having it when you cannot even afford to go to the doctor. And the funny thing, the joke that I had made with my friends about it not getting any worse then the Clemmons house, well, it did. Turns out the Texas real estate is booming and your dollar doesn’t go that far. And so we pay more than we ever had in rent before and we have a lot less. I mean a lot less. So I was angry again. I couldn’t understand why we had to do this. Why would God make me leave everything and everyone that I love to bring me to this place where I have even less than before. I kept asking myself this question for 6 months. And then I got it. I got the answer. He brought me here to bring me closer to Him. He has always been trying to get my attention and while I believed in Him and would offer words of encouragement and prayer to others, I wasn’t as committed as I should have been. But down here, He’s all I have. He brought me here to make room for Him in my life. Back home, I was always coming up with excuses not to turn to Him. I always believed that I had a better plan and that I could figure it out on my own. And I did. I had the resources I needed to do it by myself, but down here I had no one and nothing. I was more alone than ever and there He was. He had been waiting so patiently for me to finally get it. So now in the mornings, I get up, I have no where to go, no one to see, and so I can finally have time for Him. So what does this mean? Well, we might not have a lot of money for things, but I realize we moved here so we could grow stronger as a family. So we could learn to depend on each other and on Him. We moved here because marriage is hard and so me and Justin needed to be able to focus on our marriage and learn to make it stronger. We moved here because we needed to focus on our job as being parents. We had been so preoccupied with our daily routine back home that we often overlooked our family and we continuously took our time together for granted, but these kids aren’t going to stay little forever and so I know that I want to cherish every second of our time together. And I felt the same way back home, but I didn’t execute it. But most of all, we moved down here so we, especially myself, could put our full faith and trust into God and realize that He has NEVER left us alone to face our problems and He has NEVER given us more than we can handle. He has always been trying to get my attention and now He has it. I know that being here isn’t going to get easier. And it isn’t ideal. And I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t still praying for a way to get back home, but I’m excited to see what life will be like with a stronger marriage and a stronger family. I’m excited not to have “stuff” get in the way. And I’m excited to grow my faith even more.
So why am I sharing this with you? Here’s the thing. My God, our God, is so good all of the time. He is constantly standing in our corner fighting for us. He loves us so much that He is just begging to get our attention. And He never stops. He gives us what we need and asks nothing in return. I finally understood two nights ago why I was here and why we had to move. And just for further proof today I went to church as I have every Sunday since we moved and there He was talking directly to me. The sermon was about making room for God. And here I was making room for God by moving to Texas. He knew that I would finally get it and He knew that when I got it I would like to have some reassurance (because that’s the kind of person I am) and here He was giving me the reassurance I needed to know that this is why I’m here, this is why we’ve gone through everything we have. I have been living with the idea that I was doing enough. I was Christian enough, but I wasn’t. I want you all to know how amazing He is. And I encourage you to open your eyes and see all of the things He is doing for you in your life. If you aren’t a believer then just know that I will be praying for you, not to offend you or to push my views on you, but I’ll be praying for you because I love you. And since He never gave up on me, I’m not going to give up on any of you. Take it from me, life may not be what you expect and what you think you want you may not get, but I am proof, this family is proof, that He knows what He is doing and He does so much better than I could ever imagine, then any of us could ever imagine.