Just over two years ago, we moved to the house on Courage Street. It seemed fitting- like a banner proclaiming the courage we had mustered in the hard years leading up to that move.
Little did I know the courage it would take to move in here, welcome our third baby a month later, help her endure surgery and 2+ years of treatment for hip dysplasia, find out Brian had an aneurysm, leave our ministry calling and church family after 12 years, survive 8 months of unemployment and then decide to move away from our people and our home of 20 years.
But we did it and in less than a week, we will leave our little house on Courage Street and move a state away. A state I had never even been to 3 months ago. Our first moving container is packed and gone and the second one comes today. There is a goodbye party on the calendar, we are in escrow on a house and we are committed to a new (fabulous) church family. Now we just need to figure out how to say goodbye.
It takes a lot of courage to go. And in some situations, staying would require even more. But ultimately, living out my role in my story with confidence and grace demands the most courage. Not the story I wish I had or the one I think I should have, but the one in front of me. All the beauty and pain and privilege and disadvantage. All the ways life is not what I hoped and all the ways that it is.
If I were the story writer here, I wouldn’t have come up with this stuff. I would not have put our family in such hurtful, stressful and exhausting places. I would not have chosen this timeline or even this new adventure. But trust me when I say, it is good. Like “I just ran a marathon with killer hills” kind of good, but good. The kind of good that reveals what we’re made of, the strength of our relationships and the provision of God.
We will never be the same because of this season. We have walked the fine line between discretion and speaking truth, we have dreamed new dreams, we have spent our last dimes. We have probably aged 10 years. And the most tears I have cried this year have been over the generosity of others. Seeing people respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit on our behalf has changed my life.
And although I look back and call it good, good doesn’t necessarily mean uncomplicated. It has taken courage to pull myself out of anger and fear and see the golden threads for what they are. At times I found myself bitterly refusing to admit that something hard or wrong had produced something golden, as though it somehow robbed our situation of justice. But all it did was rob me of joy.
And then the fear. Not only fear during the hard stuff, but fear in believing that good things are to come. This past month has been so good. A new ministry calling, a house we can afford, a great adventure ahead and finally hearing Poppy’s orthopedist say that her hips look perfect!
But I realized the other day that I am holding my excitement like you’d hold your breath. Just in case the bottom falls out. It reminds me of how I felt each time I got pregnant after a miscarriage. Afraid of disappointment. Afraid to celebrate. But God always calls out to me, telling my heart to embrace the story I am in and live it with confidence and grace no matter which way it turns. And that takes so much courage.