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Unexpected Changes, Unexpected Timeline
In Accepting the Unexpected, I step away from writing about travel to comment on the bigger journey of life. While the topics may vary, the central theme is always the same: living life means learning to deal with the unexpected.
“Do you regret moving to Texas?”
My husband’s question hit like a ton of bricks. Did I regret the move that had changed our lives in so many positive ways but had, in the end, caused us a considerable amount of emotional and spiritual pain?
I didn’t regret it.
But I was ready to return “home.”
I had never wanted to leave Indianapolis, the closest to home that we have ever been in our nearly 20 years of marriage. While we were only there for five years, we spent those five years building strong friendships, truly starting our careers, and starting our family when we brought home our daughter.
Hindsight is 20/20. While our move to Fort Wayne turned me into a 30-year-old petulant child who wasn’t getting her way, that also was a good and necessary move. It furthered both of our careers in ways neither of us could have ever imagined. Although the house was a challenge to our marriage and bank account, we learned many invaluable lessons over the five years of renovation. And we were stronger than ever as a family unit.
But if I couldn’t move back to Indianapolis and I just couldn’t stay in Fort Wayne, we needed a big change as a family and it had to come before our kids were too old for us to do permanent damage.
So we moved to Texas.
Our lives are richer because of the six years we lived in Texas. My husband and I saw our careers improve and expand in ways we had never imagined before. We’ve seen parts of the country that we never would have considered had we not left the Midwest and moved down to the South.
But the prospect of staying was too painful. The hurt too real. The need for “our people” too strong.
Staying was no longer an option.
In a two week span we went from let’s start looking at moving back to Indianapolis on a 12-month timeline to make sure all of our ducks are in a row, to me applying for jobs in Indianapolis because I still didn’t have a job in Houston, to me interviewing for two positions, to me accepting one that would start in a month.
Twelve months became six weeks. The future became right now. And there are moments that it feels like our world is going to spin right off of its axis.
Moving is never convenient. Change is never easy.
I mean, we had just bought solar panels. We love our solar panels. We had finally moved into the 21st century of green tech just as the Texas power grid was threatening to fail, again. And we love our warm winters. And the Texas state parks. And I still have never been to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and it is less than two hours away.
But the material can’t replace the need to be where we have a strong support system and a closer proximity to family. Our appreciation for many of the things we have here in Texas has never replaced the longing to walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline and watch the sunset across the vast body of water. It hasn’t taken away the pangs I feel every time I see the Indianapolis skyline on television when we watch the Colts play. It hasn’t stopped us from wishing we could be camping in Brown County State Park every Halloween.
So we did what I swore I would never do. As parents we all know that we are going to cause our kids inadvertent pain. We know we are going to have to make decisions that will break their hearts and sometimes their spirits. We know that we won’t be perfect at every turn.
But that knowledge doesn’t make the reality any easier.
I moved when I was going into the fourth grade, same as my son. While that move worked out great for me, I remember the early days of mourning the loss of my best friend next door who I had known since I was a baby. I missed my neighbor across the street. I missed my other best friends who I would have seen again at school with the return of fall.
I moved when I was in sixth grade. My daughter is going into seventh. My middle school years were miserable and I feared the same for my daughter, but she had an amazing sixth grade year with friends who know and love her and truly care for her heart. I wanted that to be her middle school experience for three years. I didn’t want to disrupt her world. And that’s exactly what I did as my husband and I sat down and tearfully told them that Mom had finally found a job, but it was nowhere near where our little girl wanted to be.
Knowing that the benefits of a change far outweigh all the reasons not to doesn’t make the pain and confusion and loss of control any less significant. We can know that something is good for us while still grieving the losses that come with it.
And so our whole family is working to accept the highly unexpected in our lives right now.
Suddenly we find ourselves with days to get our house ready to put on the market before we leave for vacation. We will have less than a week to finish the packing and move once we return from vacation. While our previous moves have involved months of planning and then a rush at the very end to get everything taken care of, this is all just happening in a rush. A rush that feels right, but a rush nonetheless.
And we will continue to trust God’s guiding hand through all of this as we continue to discover everything that comes with this return to “home.”
So keep joining us on the journey as we see where He leads us next.
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