But it's difficult to even know where to start. The past few months have been an emotional cocktail of sadness, excitement, anger, joy, bitterness, grace, faith, growth, failure, and fear. And it's hard to take all that down in one swig. So I'll probably sprinkle the story throughout the next few posts, because there are some really neat things God has done in my heart that I'd like to share. But for now, I guess I'd just better start somewhere, so here goes.
We are planning to move to Colorado Springs in January/February of next year.
This might sound like sheer insanity to anyone who knows how close we are to our Arizona-dwelling family members and how amazing our parents have been in helping us survive this first year of being first-time parents to twins. Or to anyone who knows how much I hate moving, or change. And how routine, security, and sameness is something that I cling (too tightly) to. These are all reasons why, when I was dating this amazing, adventurous guy named Devin back in 2008, I told him I would never, ever move away from Arizona. And he told me it had always been his dream to move to Colorado Springs and that he had never planned on staying in Arizona. Dilemma.
But we took that highly emotional conversation off the table, got hitched, and enjoyed a fun-filled first year of marriage and then a twin-filled second year of marriage (too much fun in the first year perhaps...). Though Colorado would come up occasionally, our differing feelings on the subject had not changed. We were happy, but truth be told, a little discontented and very stagnant in our faith, service, and community involvement. Devin especially felt restless in his spirit and try as we might, we never seemed to find our niche in a church or ministry.
Around March of this year, I was minding my own business and reading The Power of a Praying Wife as part of my morning devotions when this statement caught my attention:
"If your husband is a hard worker, make sure he has times of rest and enjoyment - to do things that entertain him and give him reprieve from the weight of a lifetime of supporting a family."
(A little insight on my husband: Devin is a very hard worker. Devin finds deep rest for his soul when he has time in nature, alone with his thoughts and with God. Devin finds enjoyment in activities like hiking, camping, fishing, running, biking and ultimate frisbee. It's awful hard to make a habit of that kind of rest and enjoyment when you live in the middle of a huge city, which is situated in the middle of the dessert, which hits temperatures over 95 degrees about three-forths of the year.)
Without a second thought (I think my hand had been possessed), I wrote in the margin next to the quote above: "Colorado?" In pen. Indelibly. I did a double-take at what I had written and somehow I knew that I needed to consider this deeper. I couldn't brush the subject aside any longer and I knew it. So for the first time, I began to really pray about it and journal about it and pray about it some more. I knew I didn't want to go, but I also felt like God had opened my eyes to something: that my husband could perhaps find - in a place like Colorado - the refreshment that he needed in order to lead and support our family without total burnout. So I prayed that God would bring our hearts together on the subject - that I would either be wiling to move to Colorado, or that Devin would be able to find passion and refreshment living in Arizona (I was secretly hoping for the latter).
It took me a little while, but I finally mentioned my ponderings to Devin. I told him that while I didn't want to move, I was willing to discuss it as a possibility, pray about it together, and consider it as something that could (or couldn't... please God make it "couldn't") be a good choice for our family.
So we did just that. And the more we talked about, and the more I prayed about it, I began to notice that my heart was softening towards the idea (though I still cried at the thought of leaving) and that anytime we discussed it, Devin lit up like a firefly. During this time of really sharing our thoughts, dreams and hopes for the future, we grew closer than we had been for a while (unexpectedly having twins kinda side-tracked us from really sharing our hearts, or even knowing what our dreams for the future looked like anymore). It was really, really good for our marriage and even allowed us to heal some past wounds we didn't know were barriers between us.
God was drawing our hearts together, just as I had prayed He would. Only thing was, there still didn't seem to be a definite direction as to where to live. Both Devin and I felt that when we prayed, "Arizona or Colorado?" the answer seemed to be, "Either." And that lined up with our reality - there were great things about staying put (mainly our close-by families and friends), and there were great things about moving to Colorado (mainly being able to have the active, reviving, outdoor lifestyle we envisioned for our little family, along with some great potential to grow our photography business).
We were also faced with another decision-delaying dilemma: while I still didn't want to leave, I was finally willing to go and while Devin still wanted to go, he was not willing to uproot our family simply for his own desires (which I greatly appreciated). God had moved in our hearts and removed so much selfishness regarding this decision, but our new selfless attitudes had brought us to another stand-still. And in the process, life here took on an even greater feeling of being stagnant as we lived in this strange "should we stay, or should we go?" limbo.
By this point, I was frankly pretty sick and tired of praying about Colorado (and kinda imagined that God was tired of hearing about it). Plus, I had just gone through a very difficult conversation with my parents about the possibility of moving and my emotions on the subject were to-the-bone raw. I was just worn out over the whole thing. So I stopped talking about it (even to Devin). And I stopped praying about it. However, God didn't let me ignore the subject that had taken Him nearly three years to get my attention on.
(part two tomorrow)