I love Charlotte. It was my home for 22 years. It's where I grew up. It's where my family is. It's where my warm days are. It's where Spring and Fall are glorious and long. It's where there's central air conditioning anywhere you go. It's where Chickfila is (and sweet tea of course!).
But I've grown to love Canada too. I have built and married into family here. It's where hot tea and coffee and cozy blankets await. It's where Compassion is. It's where the clouds amaze me. It's where our life, as a married couple, has grown. It's where we've created memories together.
And oh the changes that have brought us to this decision to move to Charlotte! Where to begin...married life? Lyme? Canada? Charlotte? Work? Moving? Separation?
I guess the beginning is always the best place to start, though it is so hard to decipher where the beginning truly lies. We haven't even been married for 3 years yet, and the journey's we have travelled together blow my mind. It has been a very difficult road that we have been on. Every marriage is unique, as there are two unique people in each marriage, that would make sense right? Well, ours has been a very difficult first few years. We've been through immigration, and therefore physical separation (and now we're going to do it again). We've been through relational walls, miscommunication, non existent communication, and technology run "relationship". We've laughed and we've cried, a lot. We've gotten it right and we've gotten it wrong, a lot. We've wondered what we've gotten ourselves into and we've rejoiced in where we are and who we're with. We've been ready to throw in the towel and we've been committed to each other and to our vows to one another and to the Lord. To think it hasn't even been 3 years yet doesn't even seem possible with all that has transpired. But through all the many ups and the many, many downs. The Lord has been so gracious. He has restored. He has blessed our relationship. He has brought us closer than I ever thought possible. He has changed our hearts as individuals and as a couple. He has brought us to our knees and held us close. He is truly an amazing God and He can truly rescue and redeem anything! How do you say thank you for such a gift? All I know is that I can't seem to stop smiling and rejoicing in my loving Savior and the husband that He has truly blessed me with. I am grateful and excited for our future together...oh our God is great!
And then there's Lyme, that has seen fit to take over my (and consequently our) life over the last few months. I haven't been really healthy since moving to Canada over 2 years ago, but the last year has brought things pretty low in the health department. It is so hard, as I sit here on the couch, barely able to type out this post because it requires so much precious energy. It is hard to want to invest in those here as I prepare to move back down to Charlotte. It is hard to have to leave my incredible job at Compassion and all those I have come to love so dearly there. It is hard to try and pack up a life in one country to move it to another all while hardly having the energy to walk up and down the stairs. But it is amazing the "bursts" of energy that come when I need them most. How gracious the Lord is to give my husband the dedication and servants' heart to come home from a long days work to wash the dishes and vacuum the stairs (as well as the rest of the house!). And how blessed I feel to not have enough time and energy to be able to spend with all of the incredible people that He has placed in my life over the past 2 years. It's truly an incredible gift to have so many people that have touched my life so deeply in such a short amount of time.
So through it all, through marriage, through Lyme, through moving, through long distance friendships and marriage, God is good. He is gracious. He is kind. He is in control and nothing ever takes Him by surprise.
For those who we will be "leaving behind" in Canada. We love you, and I will back to visit over the next few months as we enter into a long distance marriage once again. And to those who we're "coming back too" in Charlotte, we're excited to see you again and to build relationship with you as a couple :)