I'll cut right to the chase.
We are moving to Nashville, Tennessee. Boom! There you have it. I said it. We are moving...across the country. Oh, and did I mention we leave in 6 weeks? Whewwwww. Whoa, man. I can almost hear the bubble of reality shattering in my brain, bursting with whole new realms of worry and excitement.
|epic news = epic photo|
The truth is, we've been praying about this a long, long time. No, neither of us are pursuing a career in Country Music, so let's just squash that rumor before you start fitting me for cowboy boots and a fringed skirt. As some of you may know, I actually lived in Nashville for about six years...seven years ago (has it really been that long? Or hasn't that been a lifetime ago?) And I have family there and friends from those long-lost days who will be an invaluable support as we get acquainted with our new southern surroundings (especially for my native-Californian husband).
We've visited several times through the years and always felt that eventually it would be a wonderful place to end up, raise our girls, and get "settled down" so-to-speak...you know, in a land where people actually "own homes" (a crazy concept out here in California) and might recognize neighbors while out shopping downtown. All that to say, it seemed like that dream was further in our future for a long time...until, all of a sudden it wasn't.
The craziest reason of all that we are moving to Nashville (I'm literally rolling my eyes as I type this because I still can't quite comprehend it as truth yet) is that I'm going back to SCHOOL. What!?! Yessirree. It's true. I've been accepted to Lipscomb University's Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Insane! (Yes, for those of you wondering what exactly that means, it means becoming an actual licensed Therapist. A for real Marriage/Family Counselor.)
I figure the cheapest long-term way to get free therapy the rest of my life is simply to become a therapist! (This is a joke...mostly.)
Okay, maybe those aren't my exact motivations. Ha! But, just like our dream of moving - we always thought this would be something "later" to come into our lives. Then, after some key conversations with some mentors last Fall, I discovered Lipscomb's program. It's a 2 year program and the schedule is amazingly conducive for a full-time mom like myself. It was of UTMOST importance that I could still engage FULL TIME in my daughters' lives and be their primary caretaker. This program is a perfect fit! It's also a Christian university, so I'm excited to learn everything through the lens of a Christian worldview - something very rare and beautiful.
I knew I really wanted to get into this program when I found myself studying Geometry at one in the morning as I studied for the GRE (a grueling 4 hour entrance exam). I studied my buns off for nine weeks and nearly cried when I found out I passed with the necessary scores. One essay, three references, a Skyped interview and a partridge in a pear tree later...I was officially in. Whoa.
This was NOT long ago, people! This news is all still fresh and unnerving! And it means we're really truly taking a 2,000 mile leap of faith that God is opening doors in a very specific direction for our family.
Confirmation that this decision is best has trickled down day-by-day. Within two days of looking online, we got the apartment we wanted. In fact, it was the only one we applied for (just like my school!) and has everything we wanted and needed. Amazing. We've booked a moving truck. We've even scheduled a flight for me to fly me and the girls to my folks right before the move, have them keep them for a few days (sparing them an extra 30 hours of car time) while I fly back to then drive the long trek from California to Kansas and pick them up before heading the rest of the way to Tennessee.
Lots of puzzle pieces are fitting together. The picture is getting clearer, for sure. It hasn't been without some serious pitfalls or doubts along the way, but all of a sudden it is taking shape and coming together.
But, there is still one tiny (okay, massive) and very scary piece that has yet to be filled. A JOB. It's true - at this point we are waiting on a job. PLEASE, if you have a spare prayer, I invite you to ask God to fill in this last puzzle piece for our family. In fact, my prayer is now a prayer of gratitude in the expectation that God has already provided it ahead of us. As Josh applies for multiple positions, I'm confident that God has already hand-selected the perfect fit for him. Still, the wait is HARD! This whole thing feels simply insane at times!
It's scary. It's enticing. It's romantic. It's bittersweet. It's overwhelming. It's downright sad.
|This pretty much reflects the spectrum of emotions I'm feeling...but cuter.|
This process is a mess. I understand the appeal of saying "Wahoo! We're taking on Music City and starting a whole new life!" and how it might appear enviable. But, let me assure you that I'm amply prepared with a dose of reality and give-me-heartburn-in-the-night experience to remind me how world-altering this move really is.
This will be my fourth move across the country...and hopefully (please God) my last. The pain of leaving the ones you love is so incredibly heart-wrenching. While I talk with my friends and family in Nashville, I'm able to focus on the positive, on the joy, on the future gifts and the gratitude of what will be. But, right now, I just have a lot of very hard good-byes in front of me. I cry nearly every day at the thought of so many idiosyncrasies that I will miss, so many little details I'm trying my hardest to shove into a corner of my mind that will be locked away forever and stored as an eternal reminder that this time happened and mattered and forever changed me in the most epic and beautiful ways. (More on that later...I can't start the memories and good-byes just yet! *tear*)
These next several weeks are going to be, in a word, extreme. Emotions will be heightened, tasks will be never-ending, and worries will continue to be battled hour-by-hour. But, God is good. God is gooood. And we remain trusting and hopeful and obedient to His calling as He continues to lead.
None of this is easy. But, it's like I've said before: If you think life is easy, you're probably doing it wrong.
We're moving to Nashville. You'd think the more I said it, the more I would believe it, right? It's going to take a while for this all to sink in. But, there it is. WOWZER. I hope you'll stick around for this journey with me!!! I'm going to need you now more than ever!
C'mon, y'all, let's do this.