Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday -- Shutting the Door Behind Us

We said we'd never do it again.  Move, that is.

When we moved into our home in a small community in west central Arkansas ten years ago, we really thought that could be our last move.

Our girls were doing well in eighth grade and fifth grade, my husband was the high school principal, and I was working part-time for the local school district and running the girls to and from church and school events.  We loved our home and our little community.  Life was idyllic.

Then, about three years into our time there, our 16-year-old daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.  She battled it bravely for a year, and went to Heaven in February of 2009.  Life at that point changed forever.

Our perspective on absolutely everything changed.  Moving up the career ladder?  Making more money so we could have bigger and better things?  Worrying about the small stuff in life?  None of that mattered anymore.

There's nothing like watching your child battle cancer with God-given grace and faithfulness to bring you to your knees and show you what's really important in life.

And what's important is following God in obedience ... wherever He might lead you.

For about a year now, He's been leading us to sell our home, leave our little community, and follow Him.  A couple of months ago, He brought us some buyers ... special folks who will love this house as much as we have, and raise their family there.  He's provided us with a cute little rental house in Hot Springs until He shows us what the next step will be.  So we sold some stuff, stored some more stuff, and loaded the rest of the stuff up in trailers and the backs of pick-up trucks, and we moved.

Brad and I went back one final time to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything and to say good-bye to this house where so many good memories (and a few bad ones) were made.

It's strange to be in a house that doesn't have a stick of furniture in it.  It feels so much larger than it did before, and every footstep echoes.

It just feels so ... empty.

Our girls are all grown up now.  Hannah is in Heaven and doing amazing things beyond anything I can imagine.  Bethany is married and she and her husband are loving life with their canine "baby", Lady.

Life moves on, and that's a good thing.  Not always easy, but good.

We leave things behind, but the memories come with us.

As we prepared to leave for the last time, Brad put his arm around me and reminded me that the next home where we'll all four be together will be in Heaven.

And with that, we shut the door behind us and stepped into our next adventure.

"In my Father's house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also."  ~Jesus, John 14:2-3

4 comments:

Kelle Patterson said...

Thinking about you and your family...Prayers For All..

Jean said...

Thanks Jill. :-)

Jamie said...

We are moving next week out of the only house we ever shared with Ben and I have been having a really hard time with it. I'm so glad God lead me here to read this today, as usual He knew just what I was needing.

Jill Sullivan said...

It's hard, isn't it, Jamie? Praying for you as you make this transition ...