I’m pretty sure I used this title in a previous post, but I never meant it quite the way I’m using it now.
We have moved back to our home state. After less than two years in the south, my husband has accepted a job at a small university only 30 minutes from the college where we met and fell in love. I feel like we’ve come full circle as we begin the search for a home so close to the place where our lives together began. To some blog readers, this might seem sudden, and…well…it kind of is.
Cory first heard about this particular opening last summer. The university officially opened the job search in early fall. Cory applied, even though we both felt happy and comfortable in our community. The prospect of a tenure-track professorship closer to home sounded promising. It couldn’t hurt to apply, right?
And then silence. We heard nothing. The potential job was no longer on my mind. Cory continued working hard in his position. He connected with interesting and challenging students. He enjoyed his relationships with the faculty and staff, and I deepened my friendships in our church and homeschool communities. We were not thinking about jobs or moving. We were largely satisfied and thankful for the life we were building.
I try to avoid clichés, but “out of the blue” is exactly where the news came from. In mid April, a voicemail message told me that the committee wanted to talk to Cory about “the faculty position.” A few days passed before Cory was able to talk to a real person and find out what that really meant. We were nervous! Perhaps for different reasons. Yes, I wanted to be near family badly, but did I want to start over again? We would be near family, but we wouldn’t be neighbors! We would still need to take that emotional leap of making new friends, finding a new church, and hunting for a new homeschool group. Could I do that again? That’s tough stuff for an introvert. And I was sad to leave our pretty house. Cory saw all the practical benefits: the better insurance coverage, the potential pay, the college opportunities for our children. After much prayer, thought, and pros & cons analysis (a funny sort of back and forth dance), we knew even before the job offer that we would accept the job if it was offered. And it was. In mid-May, we had the news that we were saying good-bye, moving north, and starting a new segment in our family’s story.
We returned to our home state about two weeks later with as many of our belongings as we could possibly tow. We enjoyed our vacation and a few other planned activities. During the first week of July, we headed back to Florida again to do the final pack-up and clean-up. Whoa…that was hard work. We returned home again with more of our belongings (I wish I could say all.) and a spirit of readiness–ready to find our new normal, ready to settle down and breathe, ready to start over.
I will never regret those two years in Florida. It hurts to say good-bye to some very special friends. In Florida, I finally answered the call to homeschool. In Florida, I reaffirmed my convictions in parenting and had the room to work out some kinks. In Florida, I figured out a little bit more of how to live out my faith in my household and in my community. I learned that I can reach out to make friends. I learned how to accept help, to say yes to the kindness of others, to receive with grace instead of rely on an “I can do it” attitude. These were all great lessons to learn, and I worry that I won’t stay on these positive paths when I am back in my old environment. Will I fall into old habits when I’m too comfortable?
For now, I only have to watch my children giggle and explore and sing in the presence of their grandparents to know that we’ve made the right choice. All of their faces tell me so.