I buried myself in the couch cushions, listening to the rain outside the window. A grimace on my face, I wiped tears from my cheeks and stared out at the gray, dark sky.
At least it isn’t snowing.
Sticking my feet further in to the crease of the couch cushions, I reached down and pulled up my thick wool socks to my freezing ankles.
I was eight weeks pregnant (another big surprise) and feeling very far away from my family and friends. It wasn’t helping that winter was acting like that relative that maybe doesn’t get the hint that they’ve out stayed their welcome.
“This was not how it was supposed to be,” I grumbled under my breath. “I didn’t want it to be this way.”
I nestled down further beneath my alpaca wool blanket and opened up my Bible. Geoff and I were struggling to make a big life decision, and I was being anything but open. In fact, I was making the experience miserable for both of us.
I was making it about ME instead of WE. I was forgetting that when two become one, God doesn’t just have good plans for one without also having good plans for the other.
I was hesitant to move to North Carolina. Don’t pretend you’re shocked. I was pretty vocal about it. I was excited to start a life with my husband. I was even aware that there are far worse locations than the Blue Ridge Mountains.
But if there’s one thing that I’ve struggled with since I was a kid, it’s this: getting out of my comfort zone and letting God work out the big and beautiful plan that He always has.
Prior to setting up home in these North Carolina Mountains, I was living in my hometown [which happens to be one of the fastest growing, trending places to move] near my family and my childhood friends. I had a fantastic community. I worked with amazing individuals who walked with me through one of my most trying seasons. I knew all the best little bakeries and coffee shops—and come on, it can’t be denied that Nashville has some of the best restaurants around! I loved living downtown. I loved my church. I loved my home.
I was safe and comfortable and thought that staying was exactly what was best for me.
And yet, there I was, the day after we got back from our honeymoon, packing up my vehicle and driving to a small mountain town in North Carolina. Tears rolling down my face, I pulled out of my parents’ driveway and wondered what the days ahead would hold.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, Geoff didn’t force me or drag me to our new home. We made the decision together. We prayed and truly felt The Spirit leading us down this path. I will attest to this. Deep down though, whether I realized it or not, I felt that this path and this call had only been for my husband. I felt left out—confused as to why God had brought us here.
It took us standing in front of another big life decision for me to realize how incorrect my thinking was. How bitter and dirty my heart was. I realized that for so many months, I had been absorbed around myself and my own feelings instead of looking for opportunities to relish in this space God had placed me in.
And I realized that God will never lead one of us down a path if He doesn’t also have good plans for the other. He doesn’t work that way. He’s the giver of good gifts. There is purpose in all that He does.
And in reflection, moving to Boone has been one of the best things that could have happened to me. The quiet has healed not only my body but my soul. The anxiety I used to struggle with on a daily basis has been replaced with peace. I am healing and have healed from years of health struggles. I’ve met beautiful people who have encouraged my walk with God. My marriage has thrived away from the comfort of what I knew as we have learned to lean on each other. And on any given night, I can walk half a mile and walk among deer and beaver and birds.
Our life is beautiful.
I realized that God had all this specifically for ME as he led us here together.
In the last year, I’ve found that marriage is full of all kinds of decisions. Some are big. Some are small. Some are small but feel bigger than they are. For instance, while creating a budget, we spent way too long deciding how much to spend on each family member on holidays. And then there are the decisions that feel huge—the ones that have the opportunity to impact the course of our life and your lives. Should we take the job? Should we move? Should we buy the house? Should we try to have children? Should we start the adoption process?
The list goes on and on. But I am learning, that if you pray and you walk where the peace is, God will be there. If it looks like God is leading one of you to a new job or a new place but the other feels a little lost—you are not forgotten. You are never an afterthought to God. Neither is your spouse.
God’s will for our lives as a family will never involve leading my husband and me in two different directions. He will lead us both, if we submit to Him and to each other. Peace may not feel constant at first. After all, our own will and desires so often lead us to think and feel and act in certain ways (prime example: my childish meltdown).
Keep walking. Keep trusting. And I truly believe that one day you will look around and realize that YOUR life is beautiful too—perhaps not what you imagined. Perhaps even hard and stretching. But His absolute best for you and your family.