Five years ago today, we were a family of three. All of our belongings had been packed up in a moving truck in Asheville, North Carolina and we closed on our second house in almost 7 years. Life was changing and we were moving again. Mechanicsville, Virginia, here we come.
It’s hard to adequately articulate all that has happened in the last five years. It’s somewhat monumental for me and my wife that we have spent more time where we are than anywhere else as a married couple. I have been at my job now longer than any of the previous three jobs before this one. We have multiplied to a family of five and have seen both the difficulties of life as well as the blessings that God has afforded us.
Short of revisions to a graduation required paper, my seminary studies are over, at least for now. We are doing our best to look forward rather than behind. But looking behind is not always a bad thing. I am reminded of the many monuments that the people of Israel set up throughout their 40 years in the wilderness. They were reminders to them of what God had brought them through, of how God had provided, and of some of the mistakes that they had made along the way.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I trust the faithfulness of God. There is uncertainty and I feel unsure at times, but I know how His hand has provided for me in the past. Five years ago, we had come to the end of a journey that had felt much longer than 3 ½ years and we felt called to move on. We were uncertain and anxious about what to do. It’s one thing to pick up and move as a couple and a completely different thing altogether to move as a family.
The real estate market was beginning its descent into the depths of where we are digging out from now. There were many houses on the market, we weren’t sure how we were going to sell our house. It didn’t help that the timeline had been forced a little, not by my own hand. What we thought would be a smoother transition was put on a fast track and we were nervous. But should we have worried?
Well, we’re human, and that seems to be the way of things. We are not perfect, but God showed us who was in control. Within 10 days, our house had sold. We were able to find another house in Mechanicsville, and the transition and timing which had seemed impossible to us, had become a reality.
Sitting here and contemplating these five years, it’s important for me to reflect on ALL of it. 18 months ago, I lost my mom, who was a best friend to me. My father’s health has deteriorated, mostly from what I would call a “broken heart.” I am not the person that I was five years ago. Praise God for that. I hope that I can look back in five years and say the same thing.
The words of the prophet Habakkuk seem appropriate to me:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
I am grateful for all who have been along on this journey with me. Some have been on it with me for a long time, others for a shorter time. Thanks for five memorable years in Virginia. I look forward to many more.