I recently added a cover photo to my Facebook page with Ann Voskamp‘s quote, “Faith thanks God in the middle of the story.” And that is where I find myself today as a new-ish resident of Virginia Beach … in the middle of multiple major life transitions – an empty nest, an uncertain career path, and a healing journey I’ve been on for way too long.
I’m trying to figure out where home is and what flying looks like for this girl who really loved being a momma bird, caring for three young men I loved (and still love :-)), in a house I loved, in a town I loved, attending a church I loved, surrounded by a work community I loved and friends I love, near my extended family I love … a season of home that I loved and felt loved in return.
But over the course of the last six years, God has allowed this home to disintegrate, piece by piece, starting with the loss of a job and career I loved, then watching these young men I love leave for college and careers, one right after another, work travel began disconnecting me from the friends, church and town I loved, and now the house I loved will provide a home for someone else while I try to discern God’s next steps for me … 14 hours away from two of my sons, two young ladies who have become family (and one granddaughter on the way 🙂 ), friends and family (and on the opposite coast from my oldest son … seriously??).
As hard as the process has been, I know God’s been in it. Blessed by 12 years of professional growth, career opportunities and exceptional colleagues and peers in the world of Christian higher ed, I was getting restless to help people struggling with depression. As thankful as I am for the opportunity to raise my sons in such a nurturing environment, it’s their time to do their thing … and I love to watch them find their wings (I’m deeply indebted to FaceTime for the opportunity to stay connected). And as much as I loved the stability, pace and support of small-town living, I welcome these new opportunities to serve in and explore new places.
And God has placed me in the midst of a church, a bay and a few amazing people willing to walk with me during this ongoing journey to heal well. I’m starting to wish I had not attended Rebekah Lyons‘ chapel address at Greenville College 15 months ago where she shared about her book, Freefall to Fly. I continue to fall through some ongoing pain and emotional struggle, but I’m determined to fall, to trust in God’s safety net of His arms and His love to catch me and for Him to provide the spiritual ladder up and out to new purpose.
So here I sit on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, soaking in Matt Redman’s “The Father’s Song” and “Unbroken Praise,” Chris Tomlin’s “At the Cross,” David Crowder’s “Come As You Are,” and Christy Nockel’s “My Anchor” (with a little Bethel Music, Hillsong, Jesus Culture and Planetshakers mixed in for good measure), hoping to experience in a new way His presence, power and direction, and trusting that He will rebuild my nest.