Today marks a full year since I jumped into my little Pontiac with our 7 week old baby and cried as I saw one of our favorite cities, Louisville, Kentucky, trail off in my rear view mirror–not knowing when or if we’d ever be back. Brian and 2.5 year old Levi led the way in the truck, all four of us making the 15 hour (turned 19 hour because children) drive down to Miami, but still without a place to call home. We knew where we were heading, but in all reality we had no clue.
A year ago today, we hit the ground running, as everything does in this giant city. A couple days of driving, a few days of hotels, a quick move to a mission house, and suddenly overnight we’re both back to work–Brian at a new store and me on my laptop–back to the daily grind in a foreign place with millions of people, but none of “our people.” Running, I tell you, freakin’ running.
And here we are. One year at lightning speed, but so heavy that I feel like my soul has aged by five. I knew this was coming too–we read all the books, we paid attention in mission school, we talked to all the people. Everyone said, by the one year mark the newness will fade. The honeymooning will be over. Real life sets in and the enemy will try to steal your vision and your joy. (Yes to all of this.)
I know for a fact that, this year, my brain has worked harder (hello more languages in Miami than I can count), my tear ducts have spilled farther, and my heart has felt lonelier than they ever have before. But praise be to God: my faith has grown deeper, my worldview grander, and my God far mightier than I had ever envisioned.
Because when we didn’t have a house for our family, He gave us the perfect one. When we felt alone, He placed lovers of Him within doors of ours. When we missed our people, He allowed us the technology to worship right along with them on Sunday mornings. When I felt that we had so little compared to many in this place, He showed me how to serve a sister who had less. When we needed to retreat as a family, the shores He made were minutes from our doorstep. When we doubted our calling and His plan for our church, He continued to lead family after family after family to our seats.
Today marks one year. To say we’ve been humbled, stretched, and hearts stirred would be a grave understatement. But one thing all the books, all the classes, all the people didn’t tell us about this milestone–a year is when it will finally feel like home.
[To all of you who have supported us financially and prayerfully over the course of this year, from the deepest parts of our hearts, we thank you. We are living in one of the most expensive cities in the US, and we can recount several times over this past year where your giving helped to offset unforeseen expenses. Just another example of God’s provision through YOU. We’re grateful.]