It's taken years.
Lots of hard work.
Lots of weed-pulling.
Lots of fertilizer (read: lots of crap).
Lots of trimming things back.
Heck, there's even been a time or two we when thought about just excavating it all and buying sod.
But we didn't, we pushed through.
And we finally have green grass.
And we're leaving it to have a yard full of dirt.
This past week Bill & I have been realizing how much things have been coming together for us lately. We're finally (pretty much) debt free (aside from student loans and one car). I'm working a part time job that allows me to bring O along. Photography business is booming. And now I'm selling Norwex, falling in love with the product and loving changing peoples' views on cleaning chemical free. Our house is pretty much fixed up the way we want it - we recently painted our bedroom, worked on the landscaping, etc. Bill's job is transitioning into a place that will be much better than where it has been. It's under new management, they're going to be giving out company cars now, etc. We're really getting back into leading at the church, since taking a year off after O was born. We're branching out and making tons of new friends and building some amazing relationships. The relationships we've had this whole time are blossoming and really taking on a whole new level.
And we're getting ready to leave it all behind and move to Africa. Where we will have no steady income. No church to call home (at least not right away). New friends whom we hardly know. No place to call our own. No cars to call our own. We're starting over.
And it's going to suck. Why not stay here in the States? Support local missions? Just wait a few more years. Owen is so little, if he moves now he might have trouble and get confused learning/hearing two languages. Just stay in the States until he's a little older. We need to build up our savings more so we can be more comfortable when we leave. Stay here where our friends are and where we can be helpful and serve within our own (amazing) church family. We say we are going to Tanzania with the main two goals of serving with an attitude of excellence. We can do that here. Why do we need to give up everything we've worked so hard for, pushed through so many trials for, and fly half-way across the world to a new continent where we will have nothing?
Because God said so. And it's NOT going to suck. It's going to be awesome. But those lies ^ up there, that's what Satan has been telling us this past week. I mentioned it to a girlfriend via Facebook message the other day. Then today Bill mentioned it to me casually. And I looked at him. And I said, "That is exactly what I've been feeling too." And we know it's Satan and his lies. And that makes it so much easier for us to say NO. It's not going to suck. It's going to be Awesome with a capital A.
Yes, it feels sucky to be meeting with a family today who's considering taking Oliver (our cat) when we leave. He's a part of our family and has been since he was a baby. We're going to miss him.
Yes, it feels sucky to know that we only have 12 Sundays left at our amazing church.
It most definitely feels sucky to have to sell Owens toys, some of which he hasn't played with yet because we were saving them for future birthdays/Christmas, but they're too big to take with us.
At times it feels sucky to be starting new relationships with friends, and growing deeper relationships with old friends when we're just going to be leaving them in three months' time.
But faith isn't about the feeling. It's about believing. Believing that God's got a plan for us and that his plan has our very best interest in mind. And that's what we cling to. Yes, moving to Africa has been the desire of our hearts for several years. But now that it's here. It's happening. It's not all sunshine and rainbows.
When it feels sucky to go through our house and label everything we own with "sell," "storage," or "take", and when most stuff ends up with the "sell" label on it, we cling to our belief that this is going to be Amazing. Capital A. Amazing.
When it feels sucky, I remember the conversation I heard Owen having with himself after he woke up from his nap the other day:
"Couple months. Fly Africa. Move Africa. New home. It's fun! Papa come. Mama come. That's Africa. Fly airplane."
This kid knows what he's talkin' about. It will become our new home. It will be fun. And we'll be together. That's all that matters.
So, I'm okay with the grass being greener on the other side. Because you know what? The dirt over here makes some pretty awesome castles when you add a little water.