New Roots

It began with a passing comment. I was laying on the couch, closing my eyes to fight off a headache.

“Hey, just so you know, I submitted an application for a job in South Carolina. I don’t think I’ll get it, though.”

Matt was in the midst of job hunting. He was mostly submitting applications to jobs that were somewhere within the mid-west—Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio–places close to the area of the US we’d called “home” nearly all our lives, but with few openings available, he was literally applying to any position that opened up for his line of work.

As he spoke those words, South Carolina, I felt a little churn within my spirit. In my grogginess, I brushed it off and closed my eyes for continued rest.

*******

Matt has always, always wanted to move far south in the US. I always told him, never. And I’d remind him to take a look at my red hair and fair skin, which meant God clearly didn’t make me to live in hotter climates.

I should have known better than to use the word “never,” because as we all know, God has quite the sense of humor. And of course, I now sit here, in South Carolina, writing these very words.

But God knew, you see. He knew that I would say yes to moving south, not only because of how clearly He orchestrated this wonderful new job for Matt, but because it’s Charleston. Charleston–the charming city of the south I had always longed to visit. A city filled with incredible history, architecture, beauty, and also just happens to be on the coast, too. Beaches, waves, water–these call to me. In all these things, along with the stirring in my heart, allowed me to say yes to South Carolina, despite never having once been there.

The journey to get here was long. There were many weeks where Matt worked down in Charleston while the kids and I were still living back in Detroit. There were many weeks of job training, which got stalled mid-way through due to COVID shut-downs. There was putting our house on the market in the midst of a pandemic, and being 800 miles away from a home we were building but never got to see the entire time it was being built. There was a few weeks of homelessness between moving out of our Detroit home and when we could close and move into our new home in SC. And after over thirteen months since Matt had received his initial job offer, our family of four was finally all together again in our new home.

I am a paradox of sorts… I love adventure, and yet, I do not like change. But in the midst of this huge life-change, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. From the start, God continually told me, “I will go before you.” And oh, has He ever. He faithfully made the path abundantly clear for us, so much so that we could never doubt His plan. He showed Himself in so many of the details of the many months as we wrapped up our time living in Michigan and preparing for the big move.

And He has also continually gone before us these few months as we have started to settle into South Carolina. God has put specific people in our lives, with incredible connections that can only be explained as “God Winks.” I feel abundantly blessed by the neighbors, teachers, and friends that we have in our lives. It is strange to say that in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we have had a year which has been abundantly blessed.

Now we find ourselves a mere two days away from Christmas. It will be our first Christmas here in South Carolina, but more significantly, our first Christmas spent away from extended family. In our 13 years of marriage, Matt and I have spent every single Christmas with family, altering sides each year. We wouldn’t have had it any other way! Sadly, though we wanted to return to Michigan this year, Matt didn’t have enough vacation days left to be able to make a trip to the north feasible. Thus, it is our first Christmas apart from our parents and siblings, and for our kids apart from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Now we settle in to a cozy Christmas, just the four of us. {Well, technically five, if you count our new sweet puppy, Luna}. We look forward to Christmas Eve service at church, prepping for Santa’s arrival, a yummy Christmas morning breakfast, and, for the first time ever, I’m cooking Christmas Dinner. We’ve ordered the meat from our favorite restaurant here, and I’ll make all the rest. And it will be nice to not have the pressure of hosting others for Christmas dinner, so I can give myself more grace if any dishes don’t come out as planned!

We have just passed our four month mark of living in Charleston and I certainly had intended to sit down much earlier than now to share about our move. But we’re in the midst of a pandemic still, so we must let the grace flow, yes? I so look forward to sharing so much more over the coming weeks and months, telling of our adventures down here in South Carolina. We know God will continue to watch over us, and we eagerly anticipate seeing God’s plans for our family unfold in 2021 and beyond!

Wishing you all a very merry and very blessed Christmas!

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