This is probably one of the most difficult “Real Life” updates I’ve written. There is so much to be said and there are so many feelings being felt all at once that it might be hard to articulate it all. Regardless, I will try because I’m really eager to share all of this with you. This is an awesome God kinda thing.
It may seem out-of-the-blue to some of you but let me tell you this move has been a long time coming. Caleb’s heart has been longing to move back to Texas for years now. Being a California sunshine-beach-lovin’ girl that I am, moving to Texas sounded scary. It just seemed too different from what I’m used to. I was afraid I wouldn’t fit in and loneliness and I don’t mix well.
Over the years of our marriage we prayed that God would align our hearts. Implying there that our hearts were not so much aligned. We finally came to a place where we genuinely just wanted unity because for so long it was a battle. We dreaded the conversation because we knew we’d just butt heads. We were pushing our own agendas that we weren’t seeing things clearly, we just wanted to win. As you can imagine, that was super fun.
Then, slowly but surely, God did soften and align our hearts. As our little family began to grow, we decided that living near family was the most important thing for us. Caleb began to apply for jobs in both Northern California (where my family resides) and in Texas (where his family resides). Nothing panned-out for years. The waiting and the uncertainty was excruciating. But you know what? We grew closer during all of it.
Last Christmas, you may recall this post? We were in Texas for Christmas and we decided to visit a church because one of my favorite authors was going to be speaking there. Have you heard of Jen Hatmaker? If not, check-out her stuff, it’ll rock your world. Anyway, we went to this church in the outskirts of Austin on the eve of Christmas Eve to hear her speak.
I can’t even describe what happened that night. Looking around at the congregation and seeing the incredible amount of adoptive families was life-changing for me. Caleb and I hadn’t officially started our adoption process yet but we knew we were going to start it after the beginning of the year. Knowing that was our destination and seeing all of these families who had already travelled down that road stirred-up a longing in me to be a part of that community. It was weird though because it wasn’t even like it was ME, it was totally a Holy Spirit thing. I mean I just started weeping… it was crazy. I’m not really a crier. It wasn’t until later that I could understand what was happening.
I was literally crying tears of joy over the scandalousness of God’s love for us and how adoption is such a metaphor for that. He has adopted us. And that was exactly what Jen spoke about, the scandal of the cross.
Leaving church that night I knew that God had planted a seed and I felt certain that we were destined to move to Austin and join the movement there. I could
care less about moving to a new state. I began to see all of the things I refused to see before. I appreciated the beauty of Austin. I felt even closer to Caleb’s family and cherished the love they have for Luca and for me too. I researched and found a school that is like a dream for us to have Luca attend. It’s like I was seeing it all with new eyes. God was showing me the good.
So, Caleb applied to more jobs in Texas. None of them were quite exactly where we wanted to be but they seemed close enough. Then time after time, my husband, who let me tell you is an OUTSTANDING candidate, just never got the opportunity. It just was so weird. He was repeatedly first runner-up. Spring came and we weren’t really sure what to do at that point. I knew I had experienced something big in Austin but with time I began to question God’s calling for us. We knew we were still called to adoption so we began that process and tried to ignore the stirring that had begun in our hearts.
The stirring for change continued so we decided to look for our own home to buy. We thought that if we moved closer to our church community that the stirring would stop. We were renting a home about 20 minutes away and sadly that was just far enough to keep us from being as connected as we wanted to be. The market was looking good for buyers and my dad offered to help us with a down payment. We jumped on it. Shockingly, we got the first house we put an offer on. (Well we lost it at first but then they came back to us when their first buyers fell through)
We bought the house and moved closer to our church family. It was rough fixing-up all of the time but it began to feel more like home. Still, the financial responsibility of home ownership due to all of the fixing was frustrating.
The adoption process was going but we had some hiccups and disappointment with that too. A process that should have taken us weeks took months (and still isn’t complete). It just felt like we were moving forward but through the thickest of mud. Again, very frustrating.
Last October, we visited Austin again for my father-in-law’s 60th birthday. The stirring became stronger again. Seeing the cost of living there verses were we were was again: frustrating. It just seemed silly that we were paying so much for the stress of a fixer-upper when we could have a move-in ready home somewhere else, somewhere that we thought was awesome. (Coincidentally, Awesome and Austin are very similar words aren’t they?) Anyway, while we were there, we drove through an area that I just fell in love with. It was also near Austin New Church, the congregation that I had felt we were called to. As I was “ooing and awing,” Caleb said, “Well the rep who works in this territory is due for a promotion in the next couple of years…” “When it opens up, go for it,” I said confidently.
Little did I know that two years would actually be more like two weeks. The job opened-up just two weeks after we got home. The night before Caleb saw the job posting he was having a rough night sleeping. He couldn’t get Austin off of his mind. He even went to God the next morning asking Him to take these thoughts away. He wanted to be content with where we were… but then the job listing appeared. Maybe this nagging was from the Holy Spirit. It was just so weird.
The second Caleb told me about the job I knew with peace in my heart that he had to apply for it. Of course, moments later I freaked-out but my initial wisdom said, “Go for it” and that inner peace about the decision didn’t waver. A few days later, Caleb put some feelers out to see who he’d be up against for the position. He was informed that another candidate was a “sure-thing” for the position. “She’s a slam dunk” were the exact words he heard. We realized that the job was a major long shot but he applied anyway because this territory was the specific one where we wanted to be. He had to just try. If he didn’t get it, we were going to just focus on being content where we are and not look for anything until we had our adopted child for a year.
Well, God definitely orchestrated all of this. Jobs in the past that Caleb should have gotten, he didn’t. And would you believe it?? This one, the one that was a “slam dunk” for someone else- he got.
So, long story long (are you still reading this? Longest post everrrr…) WE ARE MOVING TO TEXAS!!! Jan 1st, we will be there! God knew the plan all along. He is so faithful and I am learning ever more to trust myself when I feel His promptings. It’s ironic (or not) that just about a year from when we first heard this call that it is now being answered.
I am so excited to see what God has in store for us. I just keep thinking that we are going to meet our new child there. This makes my heart just want to leap right out of my chest! I can’t wait to grow our family in that community. We will have to redo some of our paperwork in accordance with Texas law but luckily it is less costly there and most of the work we have done will help us get the home study done quickly. Yay for that!
But of course it’s not all yay. We have the most AMAZING community of friends
in Southern California. My Mama Tribe has been a sanity-saver the last two years and I know they are truly a gift from God. Not to mention my family in Northern California will now be further away. My heart has been twisting with sadness over leaving these precious people in my life. People cannot be replaced.
Then theres’s all the logistics junk… Getting our house rented it out, getting it ready to rent first, finding a moving company, saying good-byes, spending every last second with those I’ll miss so dearly, I’m also trying to find little groups in Austin to get connected with (did I mention that Noonday is based there??)… Oh right, and Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a little overwhelming. Just a little. Ha.
So, with all of that I just want to ask you all to please keep us in your prayers. Pray that we find renters for our home quickly. Pray that Caleb and I remain harmonious during all of this. Pray that this isn’t a ginormous (Sorry, Sarah) mistake. I am so excited but I’m also sad. We both are. Believe me, the next month or so I’m going to sound like I’ve got Multiple Personality Disorder with all of the different feelings I’m experiencing. Luckily, I know God is with us in this and the Advent season has been a wonderful opportunity to stay connected with Him. Our support system has been extremely, well, supportive. I feel so loved and I know we have created ties that won’t be broken no matter the distance.
Thank you for your prayers. I look forward to sharing my journey with you all through this blog and I appreciate your support and encouragement so much!