I woke up Thursday, like I had for several days, with a knot in my stomach. Four weeks before, when we'd accepted an offer on our home, we agreed to let the buyer take possession on Friday, the 21st. Our realtor was confident that our home could close by then, and so we agreed to this. If all had gone as it should, we'd be long past the inspection period and the appraisal would have been given to the lender at least a week prior to us having to move out. Even if the sale wasn't final, we should have been past the point of it falling through. Instead, as sometimes happens, the whole process had been delayed. The appraisal had been done very late and still hadn't been sent to the lender. We were in a position of having to honor our contract and move out of our home before we even knew if it would appraise. Because we're not moving into another home, this also meant selling off the bulk of our furniture and possessions and stepping out completely in faith.
As I glanced over my Facebook newsfeed on the morning of Moving Day, I came upon the image of this beautiful butterfly. Whoever shared it had added the words, "It often takes a leap of faith, a deep reserve of patience, courage, and trust, and the desire to create possibility, something better, for your child, your family. Once you find your wings, the world is yours to explore." It was just what I needed on that weary morning, a reminder that the labor must continue, and that like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, so we must struggle until we find our wings. Due to the uncertainty of the appraisal, it certainly was and is a leap of faith. Patience is needed, as we still haven't heard anything. Courage? Yes, it can feel pretty scary to move out of a spacious home and leave a secure job in order to pursue a different sort of life. Trust. I've thought a lot about this one. We are not trusting that everything will happen the way we want it to. Rather, our trust is in a loving God, and in His promise to work all things for our good, to care for us and give His peace regardless of the circumstances. We make our plans but it is He who directs our path.
And that last line about the desire to create something better for our family, it certainly rings true. To give our children the experience of seeing things they would otherwise only hear about, to let them experience firsthand what it's like to live in different cultures, to teach them to follow their own dreams and explore the wide world; this is what we want for them. We want Erik to get to spend every day with them as long as we're able, to create memories that will last a lifetime. We want to do these things while they are still young, before roots grow too deep and make it harder to go.
And so we pushed on through, packing, sorting, making endless decisions. What to keep, what to get rid of. Sell, give away, throw away, put into storage, take with us. I watched as my home was stripped of it's decorations, its furniture, the things that had been part of it for so long. I tried not to think of someone else living there. I held back tears as the memories flooded over me. Two college guys came and took away the red loveseat where I snuggled my kids every morning, where I spent countless hours breastfeeding hungry babies and reading stories to my kids. Little Pearl watched as they drove away with it in their truck. When all was done, Erik and I walked through a clean and empty house, dark and quiet. All that was left were a million memories of a life shared. I let the tears flow freely as I entered rooms with no sleeping children to kiss, no toys to step over, no cheerful drawings gracing their walls. I pointed out a little chart Poppy had drawn in the closet, one that will probably live on beneath a new coat of paint. The sink, for once, was clean, with no dirty dishes left for a moment with more energy, no remains of a meal cooked with love. My dear mother in law remembered that I said I wanted some leaves from our cherry tree. It was the tree we planted in honor of a baby we never knew. I will never taste the sweetness of those cherries, just as I never knew the sweetness of that baby's smell or the feel of her in my arms. Someone else will pick the fruit of that tree, never knowing what it meant to me. I tucked those leaved beneath the pages of a book that will come with us. It truly does take courage and trust to walk away from all of that, to believe that we are creating something better.
Right now I'm sitting in the sun, listening to the waves roll onto the Oregon coast. It's a gorgeous morning here. We've come to get away for a few days, to leave our cares behind, enjoy one another's company and that of Erik's parents, who worked alongside us for the days leading up to our move. There was a timely reminder in my inbox this morning to keep my mind from worrying about the future and simply enjoy the grace of this moment, for it's all I've been given. God has brought us this far. I will hold dear the memories we have and look forward to our future. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, let alone the next day. But today there is a wild coastline to explore and precious people to share it with. And that is enough. Today I can choose to fly, to let my heart soar like a wild seagull and enjoy this moment with my family.