I’m gonna take you back to the fall of 2017, a cool November day (I’m pretty sure) in New York. That day, I had plans with my lovely friend Caitlin for a much needed and way overdo get together. What I didn’t know was that the Holy Spirit would whisper a little something to me while I was chatting with her in her kitchen. Had I known, I probably wouldn’t have gone. Really. I’m not even kidding with you.
I. Would. Not. Have. Gone.
Standing in that kitchen, we were talking about the incredible friendships God had given me and how I felt so blessed to be part of such a support system of amazing women, FINALLY! I was telling her how I had waited years and years for the kind of relationships I had at that moment. They were (are) the kinds of friends that love you so much that they’re not afraid to call you out on your junk, the kinds of friends that strengthen you and build you up, the kinds of friends that really listen, the kinds of friends that don’t go around gossiping about the things you’ve shared but instead, cherish the intimacy that you have with each other and would never do anything (at least not intentionally, I mean they’re not super human) to break the bond you share. I told Caitlin all of this. No sooner did the last word leave my lips, I heard a whisper, “and now it’s time to leave them.” I’m pretty sure I cried. Caitlin could tell you whether or not that’s true. But I’m pretty sure I did, right there where I stood in her kitchen. Okay I’m definitely sure I cried because I knew what that whisper meant. My heart broke. So I had to have cried. And even if I didn’t cry then, I cried rivers after.
You see, over that summer, my husband had gotten this insane idea to move to Texas. This was no shock to me because every year or so we’d end up having a conversation where Paul would tell me that he hates Long Island and he wants to leave the state and blah, blah, blah. (I never actually said, “blah, blah, blah” cuz that would be rude but it is kind of how I felt.) So I heard him this time too but I thought it’d be the same as all the other times. Well, it was NOT the same. This time it kept coming up. After all, there were 6 of us in a 2 bedroom 700 square foot home with only one bathroom and a very tight kitchen. We knew we’d been exceeding max capacity for a while.
[A little off topic here, but when Paul and I decided that we’d homeschool the kiddos, I did crazy google searches for “homeschooling in a tiny house” and “homeschooling 4 kids with no space.” I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the smallest home I found was still DOUBLE the size of mine. It was hysterical. Really, I would find myself laughing out loud, reading some of the space problems people were writing about, and I’d wonder what in the world God had me doing. I was surely crazy. Also, another quick sidebar. As I’m writing this I’m listening to my kids play on our stairs, some game they made up 2 seconds ago and I hear my 3 year old all of a sudden let out this “whaaaaaaaa.” This is not uncommon for her. She’s the youngest and she’s a little bit of a monster, so there’s a lot of whining and crying that comes out of her tiny mouth. But can I just tell you, that “whaaaa” that usually turns into a cry and a “mommaaayyyyy” just stayed a continuous uninterrupted “whaaaaaaa” for a solid 20 seconds! Ha! Her pitch was unchanged the whole time! I did not see this, but I can just imagine her, sitting on a step, head cocked all the way back, mouth open, yelling at the ceiling… “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” The best part is that after she was finished making that elongated siren sound, she got up, whizzed passed me and ran out into the backyard where she is still playing. I’m pretty sure this kid gets her crazy from her momma. I apologize if that’s not as funny to you as it is to me. Okay, now back to the story.]
So anyway, I knew that God was asking me to submit (ahhhhh, dirty word) to my husband, let him lead us and leave the life I knew. This was especially difficult for me because it’s not the first time God has asked me to leave or sacrifice something for the sake of my husband. And if we’re being honest here, I felt like God was asking way too much this time! How in the world was I supposed to leave my family!? Why would God give me such awesome friendships if only to take them from me!?
See, there’s this thing about my husband. He doesn’t believe the same as me. The bible would call us unequally yoked. Naturally, 1 Peter 3 is my jam. So, I’m kind of living in this space where I am totally imperfectly and clumsily executing 1 Peter 3:1-2, “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” I pray this verse a lot. God has given me this really special gift in my husband. He knew that Paul is the exact man I needed and it is truly because of him that I am so in love with the Word of God. My husband has unknowingly forced me to be a better, more Godly woman. At the end of the day, I’m just over here loving him to Jesus y’all. Ha!
I’m not going to pretend our situation isn’t a bit unique though. There is no animosity between us because of my belief or his unbelief (though sometimes its a bit lonely not being able to share a huge part of myself with him) and it doesn’t seem to bother Paul at all that I love Jesus more than I do him. He has always, for the entirety of our marriage, come to church every single Sunday (with a few exceptions usually related to football). Not only that, but he has continuously supported me in any ministry I wanted to pursue and for the last few years, he’s not only gone to church, but actually come with me EARLY to church to watch our kids for me so that I could lead worship. I’m pretty sure there was even a year that he got a ton of votes from teammates on the church softball team to receive the “Christian Conduct” award at the end of the season. He didn’t ultimately win, but it speaks a lot to his character. So, he doesn’t love Jesus, but he sure loves me and he loves our kids and he’s really great.
Okay, back to my selfless sacrifice for the sake of my husband. Just kidding. I went kicking a screaming. who am I kidding, I’m still doing some kicking and screaming. I have no friends!!!!! In truth though, God gave me my New York ladies, and he’ll give me my Texas ladies too.
To recap: In November I knew what God was asking of me and by the end of March, I was leaving it all behind (be reminded, I did this begrudgingly, I am no saint) and heading home to Texas.
I still have no friends and more importantly, no local babysitter (applications are being accepted for both), but I have high hopes! Oh, and also, our new house is beautiful, that helps to ease the pain.
Alrighty, till next time, I’ll just be over here running on Jesus and coffee. Pray for me y’all.