The Year of New Beginnings

Some years will be forever marked by a major life change: a graduation, a marriage, the birth of a baby. 2019 was a milestone year for our family because it was a year of new beginnings: a move, a new church, new jobs, building a home. It was the year everything changed. My husband accepted a new lead pastor position and resigned from our church of twelve years. We left the small town our boys grew up in and moved from the southeast Texas coast to the hills and mountains of eastern Oklahoma. Our oldest son graduated from high school. We started building our home on a small farm – our second time to own a home but our first time to build. January 2019 looked nothing like December 2019.

Change is never easy, not even good change. There’s always adjustment. This move has been no different. While I’d excitedly planned a blog reboot for 2019, that went on hold as our lives shifted dramatically. It took months for us to settle into our new surroundings and find new rhythms for our new life. I took several classes and tests to transfer my dental hygiene license and earn additional certifications I wasn’t allowed to have in Texas. Everything but the essentials was put on the back burner as we transitioned into our new lives.

Years ago, I read a quote in a Modern Mrs. Darcy blog post that said, “Every ten years you have to remake everything.” (You can read the entire post here. It’s still of my favorites ever from MMD.) After twelve years in one place, I guess we were past time for a remake. Those years of being settled made it hard to change. After twelve years at one church, church members have become family. After twelve years, we knew the area we called home. We had our favorite meals at our favorite restaurants, places where the waitress didn’t ask for our drink order, but brought one diet Dr. Pepper, two regular Dr. Pepper’s, and a Mountain Dew to the table as soon as we sat down. There was the movie theater with recliner seats where we got tickets in advance for opening night Star Wars and Marvel movies. There was the house full of memories of Christmases and backyard forts and birthday parties and tucking babies into bed at night for year after year. Saying goodbye to the life we’d known wasn’t easy, but we knew it was what God was calling us to.

Starting over is exciting, though. It isn’t easy, but it teaches you things. It pulls your family together. You’re experiencing the same stresses and same feelings, and you realize the best thing you have to rely on is each other. You have new adventures together as you navigate a new life. Starting over brings a richness to life that you’d never have if you stayed in the same place forever. It stretches you, teaches you, and most of all, it makes your heart grow. The words of Miriam Adeney are true: “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” We left a piece of our hearts in Arkansas, in the towns where we grew up and where we pastored. We left pieces in Texas. And now we’re planting pieces in Oklahoma, with people who welcomed us like long lost friends. They’ve celebrated our new home and our son’s graduation and all the other exciting milestones we’ve hit over the last several months.

Our year of new beginnings has been one of the most beautiful, hard, exciting, stressful years we’ve ever experienced, but I stand of awe of what God has done over the past twelve months. He’s making beautiful things here in Oklahoma and in our hearts and lives.

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2 thoughts on “The Year of New Beginnings

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  1. Yay for getting back into blogging! Charge is good, but it’s never easy. Especially if it take you forever to decorate a new place ;)—I usually don’t do any decorating for the first three years!

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  2. Love your blog and certainly understand how difficult change is. I’m very exciting about your new home. Have a wonderful year and look forward to hearing all about it.

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