Since Nate and I will be moving around over the next couple years, I’ll do updates every now and then on life wherever we might be. Hence this week’s “edition.” Thanks to all our friends and family who have been praying for us and encouraging us in this journey.
Summer is quickly approaching here in North Carolina. One tell-tale sign: Thunderstorms have been in the forecast almost all week. I’ve never been a fan of storms – in fact, they make me really uneasy and want to hide under my bed sheets until they pass. Some people are scared of spiders or heights or flying – for me, it’s storms. The whole “counting seconds between thunder” thing? Definitely still in my repertoire of ways to cope.
But despite the forecast, the month of May has been full of sunshine, and not just in the sky, but in the faces of good friends, in exciting milestones in the lives of the people we love, and in God’s faithfulness through it all.
When I first wrote about moving to NC, Nate and I were getting used to being in a completely new place while missing the familiarity of where we lived before. Since then, we have both agreed we really like it here, but the fondness we feel for this place did not suddenly appear out of thin air. The people we’ve met, the places we’ve seen, the opportunities we’ve come across, the plans we intend to carry out – all of these things are answers to prayers we prayed in desperate moments.
For example, we knew going into this move that making friends would not happen overnight. And though we knew that, and people told us that over and over again, we were still naive about it. We even knew people who already lived here before we moved and knew which church we would most likely attend. We thought that if we tried really hard to find community right away, our efforts would be rewarded.
Things weren’t going the way we expected. I would get so anxious in social situations because I wanted to make friends, but couldn’t handle the pressure of awkward small talk…where we’re from, why we’re here, what we do, etc. It sounds silly now, but my expectations were so far ahead of reality, that I became angry and confused. My prayers reflected those emotions. When it came down to it, we were relying too much on our own effort, our own timing, and our perceived control of the circumstances.
In his perfect timing, he surrounded us with a wonderful community of all sorts of people. We have already learned so much from them by God’s opening of our ears and hearts to their honesty, struggles, and experiences of grace. There is so much freedom in letting the walls down and letting people in.
As my dad wrote in his blog post titled, ‘Fighting to Believe,’
“There is a desperate and daily need to make a case for the truth, relevance and power of the Gospel for the believer as he or she faces the daily challenges of living the Christian life…We need convincing on a daily basis.“
So, it is a daily battle with myself and the world around me to trust that God is in control, and I will fight to believe that for the rest of my life. But thankfully my wandering heart and wavering belief does not make God any less powerful, nor does it make him love me any less. The ultimate battle has already been won because he loves us so much. What good, good news.
This month has been busy, busy, busy, but also so joyful. Nate and I have been able to cross a few things off our NC Bucket List and had three weekends in a row of reunions with college friends! Plus, my sister graduated from high school, and oh man am I a proud big sister. :)
Three weeks ago, our good friend, Tim, came to visit and we hiked just over five miles on the trails of Hanging Rock State Park. I can’t wait to go back – the views are breathtaking.
Another one of our good friends, Greg, visited the following weekend, and we spent all of Saturday outside in the beautiful, sunny weather. Even though trying Brazilian Limeade for the first time wasn’t on our original bucket list, I think we’ll pretend it was. So delicious.
Reynolda Gardens are exquisite in the summertime, so, last weekend, I explored them with three of the coolest State College townies I know [shout out to fellow NC-dweller Allie for taking us and to Elly & Miranda for visiting!].
And just for fun, here’s a photo of our spunky cat, Watson: