Do you ever go through seasons of nostalgia? Gabriel's 1st birthday is rapidly approaching, but before I can fully wrap my head around all of that I've been reflecting a lot on all the other big changes we've experienced throughout this past year (because there have been a lot of them!).
On this date last year we were waving goodbye to the first home we shared as newlyweds and hitting the road as we journeyed 1300 miles to our next home: South Florida. We had been praying for a long time about where God was leading us (via Michael's career), but the job offer, contract, and actual moving process happened in less than one week's time (I know - it's mind-blowing to me, too. Michael signed a contract and we moved 4 days later). Not to mention, I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I hit the 38-weeks mark riding in the car (my mom came to help and drove for me) either leading or following behind my husband in the U-HAUL that held all our belongings - all the while fervently praying that our little baby would not make a surprise debut before we arrived at the place we would call home for the next 6 months.
And here we are today - exactly one year later - living in the Philadelphia suburbs with a beautiful son who is turning one in less than two week's time. We have a lovely home, great friends, an active social life that works well with (and enhances) our family life, a supportive local community, and a real sense of joy about it all...even though we've only been here for 6 months.
Sometimes I sit and wonder, how did we get here? Much of it seems like a blur - until I sit and really think about all the little details of the past 12 months. As I reflect on all of it, I just sit back and thank God because I realize that I do know how we made it here and how we managed to embrace and live through the changes with minimal stress and an uncanny sense of peace. Philippians 4:13, right?
This past year we have lived in Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Our family has experienced some major geographical changes this past year - but we all know that moving across the country is far more than that. We've had 3 distinct experiences in most things. Our social lives, our sense of belonging (or not belonging) to a community, our home parish, and our literal homes are just a sampling of the ways in which our lives have undergone noticeable changes.
Beyond the different states and all that goes hand in hand with moving, Michael and I have experienced so many other things for the first time together this past year. The final days of pregnancy, labor and delivery, Gabriel's newborn days, and every day of his life since then don't even begin to describe the transformations that have taken place within our hearts.
So much can happen in a year - which is a truth that Michael and I (along with Gabriel!) have lived all year long. But oh my Goodness, how blessed we have been through it all. If there's anything we've learned this past year, it's that amazing things can happen when you surrender it all to the Lord. Sometimes we've had to be patient and simply trust that the path we were on was leading us in the right direction...and it has. So here's to several more years of going through changes side by side in whatever city, state, or walk of life God leads us to.
"Home is wherever I'm with you."
-Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros