after 11 years in the same house, we moved.
from all outer appearances, our old house was simply that—a house in a neighborhood filled with many variations of three to four floor plans.
but in those 1800+ square feet, it was a place filled with so much life, so many memories.
leaving behind a place like that is hard.
sure the home had flaws.
as my children have grown, the walls seemed to be closing in.
but despite the imperfections, it was filled with memorials to God, to friends, to family.
the day that house became our home 11 years ago, we had family and friends helping us move. my friend joey and his wife set up my oldest son’s room with all of his action figures, like a magical world of make believe so that when he saw his room for the first time, he would know that room was all his. ken and sue set up the twins’ cribs and room. the then two-year-olds would never remember living in our previous home. my aunt made chicken soup for everyone.
not long after, my wife’s grandparents came up to see a specialist in atlanta. when the diagnosis of cancer was confirmed, we determined that there were better treatment and care options here, than back in their home in Florida. so they stayed in the downstairs room, until eventually jennifer’s aunt and uncle bought a home down the street for them to live in. jen’s grandmother would never live anywhere else. but during her declining health, there were many wonderful memories. hard ones too as we juggled young children and chemotherapy. but it was a time in our lives we wouldn’t have traded for anything in the world.
i could write volumes about that home.
like the water that would rush through when the rain was heavy, and i would walk out in ankle deep water between our home and the home next door. i didn’t know how to fix that, and looked for many solutions. God provided one when the county bought the back of our property and put in a drainage easement.
we were the envy of many of our friends because we knew our neighbors. it was a subdivision, it was a community.
pam and buck.
robert and sarah.
ron and erin.
michael and jennifer.
brian and kim.
cul-de-sac cookouts in ron and erin’s yard.
helping ron build a retaining wall.
watching young couples begin families.
huddled around a firepit on halloween eating chili, and handing out candy together.
sitting in the living room surrounded by teenagers and coffee cake every Sunday night.
sunday nights with a house full of teenagers, eating brownies and coffee cake, and talking about God.
sometimes i wonder if the Israelites felt this way along their exodus from Egypt.
God did really great things along the way so they built altars to remember.
but they weren’t altars that they would stare at every day.
they were altars that were left behind for others, altars to declare something God did.
my altars are being left to someone else who will come across and not really understand their story.
but i know.
there’s a part of me that wonders “what now?”
there’s fear and uncertainty if God will continue to do great things in our new home.
that maybe that time has run out.
or God is done and moved on.
or that He just worked in that place.
what more can God do?
hasn’t He already done enough?
but i believe He has more in store.
because every person, every situation, every moment in that house shaped who we are.
we loved, fought, cried, mourned, celebrated so much in that home.
and even though living might look a little differently in our new home, we will continue to do so.
and notice the hand of God at work in the people and things surrounding us.
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