Though our relocation to Columbus will be complete in three days, I am still in denial. We are no longer living in our house, but with Troy’s parents who graciously opened their doors to us on February 22. The majority of our stuff is sitting in a storage unit in Ohio. I’ve been meeting with friends, arranging play dates for my kids, and taking care of the mundane tasks that accompany moving such as setting up utilities, having mail forwarded, etc. It still doesn’t seem real though.
After a short stint living here in high school, I boldly proclaimed I would NEVER live in West Virginia again. Fast forward six years, when I became reacquainted with a guy from high school. Six months later, we were engaged. I moved back here in 2005 and never believed we’d leave the state. Our roots were planted. In 2006, Troy became a state delegate. In 2007, our first little miracle entered our lives. In 2010, we welcomed our second miracle. In 2012, God blessed us with the means for me to be a stay-at-home mom and we moved into a house in my old neighborhood. In 2013, I became unexpectedly pregnant with our third miracle and Troy gave up his legislative stint. In 2014, I experienced my lowest low, found God, and was blessed beyond measure. In early 2015, a job opportunity made us rethink our situation. After accepting, then declining, the job we moved forward only to discover God had something in mind for us. In the fall of 2015, this same job opportunity became available again and we trusted in God’s plan. On November 9, 2015, Troy started his new career in Columbus, Ohio.
A move four and a half months in the making…I should be more prepared. And I am, in some ways. Having our family separated for this long, I cannot wait for us all to be together again. There are so many wonderful opportunities that await us in Columbus. I believe with my whole heart that God called us to move, and though I am still not sure why we have to relocate, I believe that He has good things in store for us. I am excited to see what He reveals to me, to us as a family, over the next few months and years.
I’m also nervous. I’m so nervous for my kids I can’t even think about it. Lauren is such a sweet, sensitive soul and she will have some hard days ahead. Colin doesn’t talk much about the move, but when he does it’s to say he doesn’t want to leave his friends behind. Caitlin is too young to get it, though she knows something is up and is becoming more attached as the time grows close. I know in my head that everything will be okay, but my heart physically aches when I think about them starting a new school. I mean, my kids are awesome and will make lots of friends, but I also know how it feels to walk into a new school knowing no one. It’s not the best feeling. It’s shaped me as a person, though, and I try to focus on this instead of the emotional part of it.
I am incredibly sad to walk away from a community that has just been so amazing to us. That’s the hardest part for me. I lived here for years and never really felt a strong connection, until we got pregnant with Caitlin. We had such a difficult pregnancy with her, and this community showed up in big ways. So many blessings came out of that trying time. I found God – REALLY found Him. I discovered the amazing peace that comes with placing my faith in Jesus. I developed amazing friendships with beautiful women who really stepped up when they didn’t know me that well to support me through meals, encouragement, prayers, and visits. Our church rallied around us, and meals were brought to us for a whopping 9 weeks of bed rest and 3 weeks adjusting to our smallest miracle. I led a women’s group, something that I never thought I would do, and made some beautiful friendships through our time with God. I feel like even in the last few months, God has continued to place amazing friendships in my life. I’ve struggled at times with God’s purpose for planting these friendships and then taking me away from them. You all better keep in touch. God works in big ways though, and I know He will bless us in Ohio.
It is hard for me to put into words how much I am going to miss this little town. I never wanted to move back here, and now I am struggling to say goodbye to a place that feels like home. “Country roads, take me home to the place I belong” – these words feel true, and West Virginia will forever feel like home. Thank you, amazing community, for making it so hard to say goodbye. Thank you for your kindness, your prayers, your support, and your love.