God's plans are so different than our own, aren't they?
We moved to Texas 14 months ago, and in about a month we will be moving back to the Augusta area.
Our sweet baby was born just before the end of spring semester, which made for a difficult wrap up, and through various occurrences its been quite a rough beginning to this semester. This week it became clear to us that Mike seriously needs a break from school to regroup and refuel, which we realized two days ago means withdrawing now to prevent failing grades at the end of the semester (because failing at this point would lead to a whole year delay in his schooling.)
We plan to move back to North Augusta, SC for a while to stay with family and save some money to replenish what we've been using up here. Mike also plans to take a few online classes through SWBTS while we are gone. This afternoon Mike submitted forms to completely withdraw from classes, and to reapply for classes (yes, both forms had to be submitted in this circumstance, strange aint it?) He also gave the housing office our 30 day move-out notice. It's official. By November 6th we'll be all packed up again and moving.
I can not say that this whole year was a waste. I don't feel that way at all. If this had been our choice last winter, I know that I would have felt that we'd wasted our time and money in making this huge move just to go right back, but from where I stand now, I am able to clearly see several amazing blessings which we have received and been able to give through our time here, plus some very important faith lessons.
1. the life we were living in Augusta prior to moving here was wasteful. We thought we were making just enough to live on, but now that we've been here, i can easily see that we lived in a too-big home with two full incomes, bringing in twice what we really needed to live on and spending out of control and living in twice the space we required (though by many standards we weren't making that much, when compared to the way we've learned to live here, we were living extravagantly)
2. If we hadn't moved and hadn't had difficulty finding work here, we couldn't have afforded to pay for the birth of our daughter. Being broke has had its benefits.
3. I think i have learned to better manage wants-vs-needs, and also have begun learning the coupon thing, which will benefit our family for a long time. Even if we ever begin to make more than we need to live on, we want to be able to save and to bless others as we have been so very blessed during our needful times.
4. God showed us and our extended family that He is faithful when we are obedient to follow Him, even if it is to a strange place where we know no one. I never felt lost or alone here, even with job hunting and pregnancy and having to build new friendships, I always knew that we were in His faithful hands.
5. We began having planned family devotions here with a through the Bible reading plan and specific prayer for those close to us. I'm not saying that we couldn't or wouldn't have begun that from our previous residence, I'm just saying that it is something that we weren't doing before.
6. We have been able to be a part of an amazing church family here, where we have been able to grow be taught, and develop hearts for ministry, and to be challenged by what it means to live out the gospel in our lives every day. I learned that there is a group of churches which i agree with strongly in the Reformed Baptists. Its where the Baptist in me and the Presbyterian in me collide and make sense. I also learned more what the church as community should look like through our care group and the love we've received and given there. (This is the part I will miss the most from Texas)
These are just some of the lessons and blessings we've gained from our time here so far. I'm sure I'll continue to look at this short time and be able to count many many more great things.
People will ask me in the coming month if this move is temporary or if we'll come back to Texas later, and I can't answer that with any certainty. I thought a week ago that I'd be in this apartment for a few years at least, maybe have another kid or two before we moved again. I cannot plan to settle in one place because I am not in control of our future. This may be a short term restarting to get us focused and replenish our funds, or this might be a longer term settling for mike to take some distance classes while our children get to know their great grandmother, grandparents, aunts, and uncle in SC. It might be that we move back to Texas, or Kentucky, or Asia, for all we can see. If I've learned anything though this, It is that we need to be willing to go wherever God would take us, and live our lives that way.
11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me.