There’s No Place Like Home

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Our family is moving to Denver.

It’s been in the works for some time now, as the job offer was presented to Jay six months ago. We spent months in prayer, in depression, in arguments, in anxiousness, in excitement, in faith. We traveled there, looking at neighborhoods and trying to decide if it felt like a good fit for our family. We talked to people, did some research. Prayed a LOT… and finally realized that for many different reasons it was the right move for our family.

More accurately, that this was without an ounce of doubt God’s plan for us.

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We’ve struggled with an incredible amount of emotions along the way. South Florida been my home for over 35 years; I don’t think a week has gone by in those six months that I haven’t cried at the thought of leaving all that I love. The list is endless: the humidity, the crazy thunderstorms, the rough-around-the-edges people, the alligators, the colorful vibe, the palm trees, the diversity, the traffic, the year-round vegetation, the heat. I even love the hurricanes. I am a true Floridian, heart and soul, to the core.

There’s the people we are leaving. My parents and brother. Jay’s parents and his grandmother. My best friend, Sanne, who I only met 7 years ago but has become the sister I never had. Kim, the girl who’s been my best friend since we were 6 years old and has been with me through every major stage in life. Christine, my roommate from college who has seen me at my absolute worst and has chosen to love me through it anyway. Tina, the friend who more than anyone has taught me how to love and accept myself. Leanette, who has never stopped encouraging me to move forward and not be afraid to face my fears. Jen, who has become my favorite running partner and motivates me to never quit. And the countless others in my life that have shown me the best and worst things about myself and have never given up on me as I’ve worked to be the best me I can be.

And then there’s our church. We fell in love with the community vibe of our church immediately, and felt like we’d finally found a place we could grow in our faith. And grow we did. Jay and I went through many seasons during our years at Crossway – our struggle with infertility, Emily starting school, job changes, marital struggles, and now this move. And although our church isn’t perfect and there have been bumps and hurt feelings along the way, we have always felt God’s presence while there. God has used the people in our church to shape us and prepare our hearts, very likely for this move, and their loving prayers have been an incredible force in this journey.

But to be honest, this whole thing sucks.

It’s so ridiculously hard to fall so deeply in love with a place and an entire family of friends and then feel called to leave. It breaks my heart. I don’t understand it one bit. Everything around me holds a memory. I can’t look at a palm tree without getting a tear in my eye. I can’t drive down the street without thinking of the roads ahead. I can’t think about saying goodbye without choking up. I just can’t.

I love having connections to people. And when I make that connection, no matter how silly or small or insignificant, that person has officially found their place in my heart. Do you have a brother named Kevin? You’re already cooler. Do you have a fondness for banana sandwiches? You’re awesome. Do you love Criminal Minds and jigsaw puzzles and ironing? Well hey there, new friend. That’s how I roll. I can’t not feel something for you once that connection is there. Because I seek out those connections, I find them. And as a result, I end up loving everyone. I just can’t help it. Yes, there are some people who have gone beyond that surface connection and reached the depths of my undying loyalty and love, and others who have rubbed me wrong, but if you’re in my life and there’s any sort of link between us, I’m happy you’re there and I genuinely mean that.

Yesterday a whole bunch of those fabulously awesome people in my life came together at a local park to say goodbye. Some were those deep-soul people, others I’ve only known a few months. We ate together, cried together, played together, and prayed together. And I left feeling more emotions than I think I’ve ever felt at once in my whole life. I’m overwhelmed with joy and sadness and excitement and pain and nervousness and eagerness and expectations and hurt and gratitude and peace. But the one thing I’m feeling more than anything is love. It’s smothering absolutely every other emotion.

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I look at Jay, who has been so loving and supportive through this whole process, always letting me feel whatever I need to feel. I look at Emily, who has been so encouraging on my worst days – yes, my 9 year old is telling me it’s going to be okay. I look at Julia, who’s just a total bubble of excitement now that she knows moving to Denver doesn’t mean we will miss Christmas. I look to my friends, who have cried with me and made time to be with me before we go and are already planning their trips to come see me. I look at our church, who has prayed with us and encouraged us and loved us through it all. And I gratefully look to God, who has blessed us with absolute peace every step of the way.

So we look forward to our new adventure. We are confidant that God is the Maker of our path, and that His will in our life is what’s best for our family… even if that means His will lies 2,038 miles away.

Just look at what He’s done for us here in South Florida.

We are truly blessed. ❤

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13 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. You definitely had a lot of people in your life and I’d imagine you will probably meet a lot of new people and new friends in your new place as well! Sometimes I want to move… but don’t really have a reason to, I actually have more of a reason to stay (jobs) than I do a reason to move.

    • That’s the funny thing – I love moving. I find the whole process incredibly exciting! Unfortunately, I like moving from suburb to suburb, staying in my beloved south Florida. Moving across the country was not something I had in mind! I have no doubt that we will make lots of new friends, it’s just so hard saying goodbye to the amazing ones we already have. Thanks for your sweet encouragement! ❤

  2. Wow! Congratulations first of all. I’m sure for most of your close friends and family, they have known about this for awhile, but as one of your “jigsaw puzzle loving” virtual friends, I was totally surprised to hear this. We have great friends who recently moved to Colorado Springs, and they absolutely love it there.

    It’s going to be quite the climatic change of course, and I’m sure you have thought about this already, but it is going to greatly affect your running….the altitude will kill you for quite some time until you adjust. LOL

    When are you moving? Have you already sold your home? What an exciting adventure you’re about to embark upon. I am thrilled for you and your family, and the journey that lies ahead for you all.

    God Bless!

    Penny

    • Hey there! Haven’t see you here in a while! Are you still blogging too?
      We’ve loved everything we’ve seen so far on our trips out there, so we are very optimistic. And of course we will finally get to experience seasons, something we definitely don’t have here!
      As far as the running, I’m already mentally preparing to start at square one again. It’s pretty frustrating to think about, but I’m sure if I stick with it I’ll be able to adapt over time.
      We are about a month from moving day, we were blessed to have both homes close on the same day so it *should* be a tidy exchange.
      Thanks for your sweet words, Penny! Hope to talk to you again soon!

  3. Sanne says:

    You are going to be so incredibly missed. It keeps hitting me now: Is she really going to leave me?!” I really can’t imagine not having my bestie around. 😭
    I know you guys will do great and Denver is SO lucky to have you. I also know you and I will be besties forever and that we still have many more exciting adventures in our future.
    Love you!! ❤️

  4. Kimberly says:

    From the time we met at First Baptist church in 1st grade… We have been together ever since. You have always been my side kick… My best friend.. We have experienced everything together.. Our first crushes, graduation, heartaches, marriage and most of all our kids. Over the years we might have not spent every waken moment together, but you were always still in my heart. We could go for a month not speaking and then pick right back up like it was yesterday. As hard as it is to see you guys go, I truly am happy for this upcoming journey that God has dropped in your hands. Always remember , you have a friend that will be here whenever you need anything even from far away.

    Congrats and good luck!

    Love ya girl –
    😘

    • I can’t imagine going through all those major life events with anyone else as my best friend. I’ve always loved how it didn’t matter where we lived or went to school or anything else, we would always reconnect and pick right up where we left off. I’ll always be there for you too, and I know you’ll always be there for me. And now our times together will be that much more meaningful. I love you forever, Kim! ❤

  5. Tina says:

    Words are hard to find when I try because I am going to miss you so much. But I am so grateful God gave me you as a friend and am looking forward to lots of visits & virtual runs together! I love you so much and am so happy for you and your family. Geography won’t keep us apart in our hearts. 🏝⛰

  6. Are you still trying to get settled in to your new home / new state / new everything? 🙂 I really miss seeing your blog posts, and hope you decide to return to it at some point in the near future.

    Hope all is well with you and your family, and that you’re just busy on your new life journey.

    Penny

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