I can still remember the devastating news that we would have to move to Texas. I dreaded it. I tried to pretend like I was excited for this next step and this new journey, but inside, I dreaded it.
I didn’t want to have to leave my family, my friends. I didn’t want to take away my kid (soon to be kids) from the only family they knew. But you do what you have to for your family. You put on that brave face and say to yourself, over and over again, that you can do this, and you hope that somewhere along the way you start to believe it yourself.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been here for over 2 years. I remember when I tried to convince myself this was just temporary. Again, repeating it over and over until eventually I would believe it myself.
But it wasn’t temporary. This was my new life. I’ll be honest, I hated it.
I have spent a long time hating it. Wishing it away. I have spent a long time being miserable, lonely, envious, jealous, angry, bitter. You name it, I was it.
It just seemed like Texas ruined everything for me. Little did I know, He had other things in mind.
Some of you will be surprised to know what’s happened in the last 2 years. Others won’t. You’ve seen it coming. You knew. Even when I didn’t know or refused to even acknowledge it, you knew.
As I have reflected a lot this last month, I’ve learned so much. You see, I have spent most of this time down here thinking of all the things I lost. Yearning so badly for my life that was before.
Down here, I had convinced myself I had lost everything. I had nothing. It seemed that the life I knew before was moving on without me and I was devastated. And with our circumstances down here, me not having a car and being stuck at home 99% of the time, it was hard for me to make a life worth living. Or so I thought.
I don’t know how I do it. Being stuck at home. I can only give God the credit. It hasn’t been awful at all, actually, but I still miss the freedom of going out, even if it’s just to pick up a gallon of milk from the grocery store.
Houston has taught me not to take anything for granted. Not even getting milk from the grocery store. Which I’m sure many of you do without even second guessing.
But as I began to distract myself less from all the things I didn’t have, I started to see all the things I do have. And man, I am loaded. ;)
What I have learned is my real friends don’t care that I live 18 hours away. They are still there. My family? We don’t take for granted the times we chat on the phone or the time we got to spend together last year. And then there is my church, my Texas family. I don’t even know where to begin.
They have loved me the second I walked into that church over 2 years ago. They have been there for me through every single struggle I have found myself facing. They became my friends, some of my best friends. They became my rock when things started to fall apart. During the seasons I never felt loved, they were loving me. They were loving us.
They took on the role of everything that I had to leave behind. They have been my parents, my friends, my support. They have stepped in to help me with my kids. They have cried with me. They have laughed with me. They have celebrated with me.
I have spent this whole time focusing on the things that I didn’t have or I thought I didn’t have and I have realized that I have so much more than I could imagine. Or deserve.
God knew that I would be facing some of the most difficult decisions and times of my life when I got to Houston. He knew because He was there already. He saw what was going to happen and these things would have destroyed me in North Carolina. Not because I didn’t have the support I needed, but because I didn’t have Him.
He knew that Houston would be tough. He knew that it would put a strain on me, but He also knew the kind of family I would have down here. He knew that if I would look, I’d see just how incredibly blessed I am.
He has provided everything I need, from the perfect pool view apartment that I would spend 99% of my life in, to the life-changing opportunity that Beautycounter has given me, to the church family who has made me feel like this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
How can I be upset by any of that? I mean, seriously, I am loaded, not financially, of course, but I am so rich.
So often we can let our circumstances decide everything for us. We can spend more time than we probably care to admit focusing on all the things we don’t have, but if we let Him, if we make Him our focus, then He just has this incredible ability to show us exactly how much we do have and that, my friends, changes everything.
Looking back, if I had had the choice not to move, I wouldn’t. I would have continued on day by day, just holding my head above the water. Thank goodness, He knows better than we know. I couldn’t have imagined how good my life would be now.
I am the happiest I’ve been in years. Genuinely, ear to ear smiles, happy. What should have destroyed me has made me even stronger, not because of anything I’ve done, but because of Who I get my strength from.
While I have certainly faced more struggles down here, I have Him on my side and now all I can say is ‘bring it on’.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5