We live in Oklahoma!
Though this sentence has been true a month, sometimes it still seems so surreal. Do I really live over 1,100 miles from family, friends, and things familiar?
Yes. Yes, I do.
Stephen accepted a position as Associate Pastor of Worship here in Edmond, Oklahoma. We are loving our church and are so blessed to be a part of a body that is dedicated to functioning as scripturally as possible!
You would think that I would be good at moving at this point. After all, we moved from Louisiana to Florida when I was 33 weeks pregnant, then a few months later moved again with a 2 month old, and now this move less than a year after that! But, I am not good at it. Actually, I
almost hate it.
Moving to Oklahoma at the beginning of winter definitely created a “shock factor” for these Floridians. During our first week here we were greeted with snow and ice. Then a week later we experienced a whole week where temps didn't get above freezing! I have NEVER seen single digit temps and only seen the teens a handful of times! Let me assure you, my wardrobe is inadequate and my blood too thin for such cold! :)
Jude had a bit of a rough week our first couple weeks here – he just wasn’t his usual self. He was whiny, clingy and newly defiant. Of course, some of this is just normal one-year-old stuff. We still have some things we are working through, but I think he is beginning to adjust.
|Jude and Daddy. More Snow - Dec 5|
I was surprised at how hard it was to leave Jacksonville. Though we were only there a year, we made some precious friendships. I had the opportunity to pray and cheer for some sweet friends as they struggled to grow their families. I was sad to not be able to see those babies before we left, but know I will get to meet them when we return. We miss our church in Jacksonville, and are so blessed that they viewed this as them sending us to Oklahoma to do ministry. It was such a blessing to have them praying for and counseling us as we made this decision.
Most of all, it was hard to move away from family again. I cherished the ability to visit my parents, sisters, and in-laws. I loved that my nephew knew who I was and that I could spend time with him! I miss them all so much. But, am so thankful for that year.
One thing I do know, moving, especially across the country, is a huge source of sanctification. This is especially true for my husband since in the midst of all the stress and grief I become incredibly hard to bear. Oh, I am so thankful for him for bearing so patiently with my sinfulness!
My sanctification has come in the opportunities I have to fight temptation to sin. I have been tempted mostly in the areas of self-pity and to doubt God. I am tempted to self-pity when I think of the things I am missing (family, friends, events). Doubt creeps in when I think I may never have relationships as dear as the ones we left.
I frequently see these great opportunities to trust God, then fail miserably to execute. I seem to over-estimate my spiritual maturity. But, failure is a lesson that my own strength is not sufficient! And, I see the great growth he brings forth from these difficult seasons.
With every temptation to sin, I have the opportunity to preach to myself. I have the opportunity to remind myself that God has always been faithful to give us all that we need. He has always provided family away from family. Friends that feel like we have known them forever. People who love our little like he's their own blood. And, though it has taken time, each place he has brought us to has become "home."
It’s funny - I remember reading the accounts of the Israelites forgetting what the Lord did for them in the past and complaining against him while in the wilderness. I arrogantly thought, “How could they forget? I mean, seas parting? Pillars of fire? How could they forget?” But, here I am in a much more comfortable place than the wilderness and I am quick to forget that the Lord has always provided. And, he already provided everything I need in Christ.
So, I know these next few months will be all about building relationships and making this our "home." In my experience, this takes time. I am praying that by the Lord's grace he may speed up this process. I can't wait to see who the Lord will bring into our lives to befriend, mentor, and disciple us.
As always, we ask that you would pray that God would use us to draw people to himself!
Though my blog has been sorely neglected this past year, I hope to revive it. I have not perfected being both a mama and a blogger, but I pray that I can do a little better in order to keep family and friends who live across the country up to date on what the Lord is doing here.