I'm sitting in our new bedroom, sipping water from my new graduation cup, eating a Twix bar with my sister, and writing a blog post on my new laptop (a post not at all that I promised was coming, but one that is swirling through my mind so insistently that I know nothing else will come until I have shared my heart), surrounded by papers and pens, notes about our move the past month, things I want to share with you dear readers, my journal with thoughts too random or near to my heart to share with the public, but that I don't want to just be forgotten in the whirlwind dust of the current of events around me, and reminders that this or that project needs done today, this week, this month, this year... oh, and these are the photographs I need to take to catch up in the photography challenge that I signed up for last month (tip; don't jump into an online challenge while you are moving and internet is sporadic for two weeks if you're a perfectionist).
Everything has changed. And at the same time, everything is familiar. I'm likening it to the tide; we lived in South Carolina for the first few years of my life. We moved. We came back. We moved. We're back. It's like we have our clearly defined boundaries of where we belong- even though we leave regularly. It's actually rather humorous. But just the words "back home" make me feel cozy.
For the past several years, I've looked back and thought of the cozy house with the fenced in back yard and the screened in porch that I used to spend hours on almost every day for eight months of the year, and the smell of fresh bread that filled the house so often while I worked on activities that I don't seem to find the time for anymore, and of the routine, loose as it was, that we used to have, and I'd wonder if this chaos WAS our new normal, or if something would change and things would become less heavy again.
Then I excepted what had happened, and figured we'd make it even if it was never "cozy" like it had been. Eventually, I got settled enough that, when the store here opened up, I was scared. Not of coming back, but of moving again. I felt like things would be different enough here from what it was three years ago, that there would be no benefits, just change, neither good or bad. And that didn't feel worth it to get uprooted again for. I actually cried, while the rest of my family planned about this or that that they would do "when" we got back, like it was a done deal. I didn't like where we were any better than the rest of the family, but I'm a rather irrational "keep to the current methods unless an earthquake occurs and makes it impossible, because whatever you change could just make the situation worse, so we might as well stick with something we know we can live with" type of person. Yes, I'm not very good at problem solving because of this.
Then Daddy was told no. And I was like, well, that's that. A move back would have been nice, in so far as it would have put us closer to family and I knew we were moving again sometime, no matter what, so it might as well have been to SC. But it isn't, so we'll continue on.
And then it came back open. And don't ask me what changed my mind, but I was praying so hard that Daddy would get it from the time I first heard it was back open. It still confuses even me.
And he got it. And we found a house. And we moved. And the day we got to SC, my aunts just "randomly" dropped by to welcome us home. And somehow, it doesn't matter that we're not in exactly the same area, or that we'll probably be attending a different church than we were a few years ago, or that things have changed and almost all of our close friends have moved away in the past few years. It feels like home, and it's the strangest thing, coming from all the mess and strangeness of moving.
But at the same time, I don't regret at all our move to Virginia. Since the first time I knew a move was a close serious thing, I have thought to myself in the ever-heartwarming words of Winnie-the-Pooh (as a completely random aside, how did Winnie-the-Pooh by universal consent get A.A. Milne's copyrights? And yet when I think about it, that's what we do to God all the time.), "How lucky (insert; thankful ;) ) I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
We may not have been meant to live, permanently, in Virginia. But we were meant to go there for a time. We were meant to grow. To learn. For God to work just a little more in our hearts, teaching us that he is in control. Giving us opportunities that we wouldn't have had otherwise.
So, yes, I'm so thankful to be back in South Carolina. And I don't miss VA itself much at all.
But every time I think of Miss Mary and Mr. Joe, of the sweet people who worked at Daddy's store, of the family that Tori and I first professionally babysat for, of the wonderful young woman I got to know because I responded to her penpal request in my favorite magazine simply because she was from VA, of the park I would walk to with my family and friends, of the fundraiser I was able to hold for precious Penny, and especially of our church family, and the beautiful closeness and joy we got to experience with the choir members who became such an important part of our lives...
Every time I think of these things, I'm going to be thankful that we were lead away from our "safe place", and taken to the new and unfamiliar. I'm going to be thankful for those people who are still a wonderful part of our life. I'm going to be thankful for all of those beautiful memories that far outweigh the tough. And I'm definitely going to be thankful for the two adorable Virginians we brought back with us ;).
I'm glad to be home. And I'm glad that God is in control. Because my fearful heart would never have chosen this beautiful path. And I'm so glad that I didn't miss out.