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New Beginnings: Reflecting on Days Gone By.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:6

Now that Christmas is officially over, I’m putting away the decorations and packing more than I expected to as the year comes to a close. I’ve never moved out of a place slowly. Every time I’ve moved in the past, it has been in a hurry; either from rebellion or fleeing circumstances (some brought on by my initial rebellion).

Since leaving my mother’s home I have never lived in a place longer than a year or two. I’ve lived with various gracious families, in my car, in three apartments, on or near three military bases, in three trailers, and in 5 states over the course of about 10 years. Each time I left one of those places it was fast, and with the exception of the two times I moved as a military spouse, I only had a suitcase or two or a car’s worth of possessions.

This time, I’ve lived just about seven years in this house by the great blessing and generosity of my aunt and uncle who own it. I moved into this house after fleeing my then-husband’s abuse. The move happened because of my grandmother on my mother’s side being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia and needing some help clear across the country. The timing of my being able to leave was nothing short of a miracle, although the circumstances of my miracle came about because of sickness. I can’t tell you in one post how God orchestrated my refuge, but I can attest that He is faithful and creative and truly can do the impossible.

After a month (or so) of living with my maternal grandmother, I was offered a place to stay in this house (my uncle’s) with my paternal grandmother. She had been diagnosed with vascular dementia and would need help around the house, though I think in both situations my family wanted to help me without making me feel like a burden or a charity case. Either way, I was grateful to have a place to stay.

Although it wasn’t always easy, this house provided stability, protection, and peace most days. I dealt with CPS, Victim Witness, National Domestic Violence groups, military investigation groups, and the sheriff’s department in this house trying to tell my story and find some semblance of justice, of which in human terms I found very little.

Many nights of tears and fears ensued, trying to find a job, wondering if I would be able to keep my children safe and emotionally stable, helping my grandmother, filing for divorce and dealing with lawyers and the courts, therapy for all of us, and questioning whether we’d ever get out from under the government aid system.

Looking back, I can see how God has been faithful to us. God made it possible for me to have full custody of my children, gave me a job that has been more than helpful, got us off government aid completely, helped us heal from abuse and trauma, gave us a church and family and friends (all of which I am so incredibly grateful for and love dearly), gave me an avocation, and gave us hope.

Now that we’re in the process of packing and getting ready for a move (where we don’t quite know for certain yet where we are headed), I’m feeling all sorts of emotions. Taking pictures off the walls, reliving memories in this house, and considering that this will be the last Christmas in this blessed place, I find myself fighting back tears of both sadness and joy. It’s bittersweet, but I’m glad to have finally had this experience. Rather than painfully rushing through, grabbing whatever is most important to me and leaving much behind, I get to take it all with me. I get to feel everything, praise God for the fact that no bridges are being burned in the process of this move, and feel thankful that we have been so immensely blessed and well cared for during this stay.

I don’t know exactly what His plan is for us moving forward, but what I do know is this: God is good and His plans for us are good. I trust Him completely. Whatever your will Lord; as for me and my house, we will serve You – wherever, whenever, however.

Here’s to the New Year and new beginnings. May they both be blessed for you and for me.

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