We have officially lived in Nashville for half a year! Can you believe it?
Only six months ago we drove our entourage into this new city and called it our own. We traveled over 2,000 miles with two toddlers and all our belongings and no job and staked claim on a new life that we fully entrusted to God. We were full of more questions than answers, with weary hearts that grieved the loss of our friends and family in California, and excited souls ready to embrace a new chapter ahead.
Having moved across the country four times now, I thought I knew what to expect. I tell myself that it takes time to make friends, to get to know my way around, to be patient with finding a church to call home, to not hold my breath when it comes to waiting until it feels like home home and not just some place I now have to ship all my Amazon packages to. I've always told people that I feel like it takes a good two years before a new place feels familiar or comfortable.
But, I have to tell you, this has been the easiest move of my life. Nashville is home.
Six months is a blink to be able to say something like that. It feels like when I was dating my husband and falling head over heels before I could look him in the eye without giggling or wanting to burst into song. It may have been too soon to say "I love you"...or get engaged...or get married...but, when it's right it's right. And my move to Nashville feels like a nice old sneaker that's come back into style. It feels right, looks great, and just fits. Ahh.
The Pardys are loving Nashville.
Don't get me wrong. I miss California desperately. I miss my friends the most, of course, and there are times I weep just by texting them or seeing a Facebook update from someone. [I'm tearing up now just thinking about it!] In a perfect world, all my favorite people would be in ONE place, or we would own private jets, or we could all teleport! In my ideal universe, the ocean would be 15 minutes away, there would be no traffic, and I would have a standing date with my best friends each week no matter where they lived.
But, if I can't have everything I want all in one place, I can sit still and be so grateful that I get to have it all on one globe. To think that people fiercely love me and pray for me and my family from miles and miles away is such an incredible gift that it makes friendship over distance totally worthwhile. (Also, not having to ever sit in LA traffic is pretty great too! Haha)
We've already learned so much since being here. We've seen God break us, heal us, challenge us, push us, and humble our hearts in multiple ways. I've started grad school, Josh has a new job, and the girls are thriving in their new environment and going to start preschool one day a week next year. We are busier than ever, depending on God more than ever, and excited about our future as a couple and family. God has already brought amazing hope in new friendships and surrounded us with encouragers that point us to Jesus. We are grateful to have found a wonderful church and looking forward to deepening more relationships in the new year.
Six months goes by so fast. Just a year ago I was studying for the GRE and just beginning the application process to grad school. Our daily lives have changed dramatically, and I miss the interactions in our old community with the people we "lived life with". But, as I hold those memories and reflect on what a treasure that time in California was for us, it makes me all the more eager to wonder what is in store for us here.
What are you most excited about in the coming year? How has your life changed in the last 6 months? Year?
As we countdown the days to Christmas and the New Year ahead, join me in thanking God for getting us through the ups and downs of 2013. The fact that we are all here, supporting each other and living life "together" even in this small way is a testament to His faithfulness in the days ahead.