"Neither go back in fear and misgiving to the past, nor anxiety and forecasting to the future; but lie quiet under his hand, having no will but His..."
~H. E. Manning
Our amazing church family has once again showered us with love this weekend. We were thrilled that some of our friends came to our moving sale just to say hello and support us. We had a very good turn out, despite the rainy weather, and sold almost all of the furniture that we are not taking. I think it will significantly lighten the load on moving day. The very best highlight of the sale was not how much we sold, but when three of our friends from the high school/college group at church came over. They decided to hang out with us and cook us breakfast! They actually figured out where our dishes were and made our entire family omelets and grits for breakfast! And then to top that off, they cleaned the entire kitchen. We can never express with words what the youth group at our church means to us. We "signed up" to serve them, but they have blessed us beyond what I would have ever imagined. Isn't that always the way it goes? Later that day, Andy took the kids to eat with one of the dear couples in our church who are like adopted grandparents for our children. Mr. S is especially dear to Lydie. He came to our house when I had a miscarriage and stood in the driveway crying and praying with me. I fondly remember him afterward handing me a fruit tray telling me in his South African accent, "I didn't know what else to do!" From that day forward he prayed for us to have another baby. So when Lydie was born he adored her and he tells her every time he sees her that she is beautiful. In fact, he sheds a few tears every time he is around her. We adore his tender heart, and we trust he will visit us at the farm and continue to watch Lydie grow into a young lady!
While they were at dinner, I took some time alone to get my hair highlighted and go shopping. I have a whole bunch of unspent Christmas money and it seemed like a good time to spend some. I have been trying my best to process this move with my children in mind. I needed some time to have a go at it alone. But before the night was over, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. I still have that peace that only Jesus can give. But I am so very sad to be leaving. So I called my best friend Liz and she came to my rescue. She sat with me in Panera as I scarfed down a sandwich and moped. (By this time it was after 7 PM and I realized the omelet was long gone.) After an hour or two my spirits were lifted. I am so deeply grateful to God for a best friend.
Today we were again overwhelmed with the love of our church. They had a reception for us after church. It was so thoughtful because it enabled us to really take our time and say our good-byes. I can't express how helpful it was to me to be given this gift of time to speak to families individually. This church has been our happy place for seven years. We will never be the same!
After church, we went to a restaurant to discuss the day and connect with the kids. Our pastor happened to be in a nearby booth. When it was time to pay the check the waitress told us that he had picked up our bill. Seriously? I was too much. The entire day has been lavishly too much.
Tonight we attended our last fellowship night with our small group. We have been so blessed to be a part of this community with 5 other couples and their children. Not only are these the people who know the depths of our hearts and pray for us regularly, but our children have found best friends here as well. They decided to have a farm-themed party for us. They all dressed up, which is so us. They had little farm decorations and cupcakes. They served chicken pot pie and apple pie, and sweet tea. It was so thoughtful. Our leader chose a theme of verses for us. He used the acronym "IDEA" to stand for inheritance, delight, enemies, and abide. (IDEA was chosen because this idea of moving is such a crazy one!) He took these four themes from Psalm 37, which has been a special chapter for us. After reading the Bible, he lovingly exhorted us through this passage to cling to Christ. Then we sat on a bench and our group prayed for us, so individually and lovingly. Afterwards, Andy and I had some time to express our gratitude. It was a wonderful, bittersweet, and very touching night. I am so honored.
We came home with a binder that is filled with letters collected from people at church. It will be a precious treasure to us for the rest of our lives. Andy and I continue to ask God why two ordinary people are receiving such gifts? I believe that he is doing this for us to prepare us for the days ahead. I fully believe that His desire for us is to take all that we have been given and serve well in our new community. My deepest prayer is that all these gifts will overflow into the lives of our new (and old) friends! And that is something I can get excited about. May He receive all the glory! Lead on, O King Eternal!