Two days after Christmas, almost everything I own was moved from Marietta, Georgia to St. Louis, Missouri. It rained almost the entire drive, but it always rains when we are together, so we begin to expect it now. William so steadily drove the 16-foot Penske all 9 hours and I was either emotionally ranting about how I couldn’t believe this was finally happening, trying to sneak another Taylor Swift song on, or sound asleep.
William would argue that I wasn’t awake enough to notice but this particular drive to St. Louis was so significant to our relationship. It was our first step towards living in the same context and a symbol of a lifetime of adventure quickly coming our way. It was watching William graciously provide and care for me as he drove me and mine out of my parent’s driveway. It was me bursting at the seams excited to soon make our little rental house a home and to make Facetime a thing of the past. It was the last time we would travel together before becoming husband and wife. And as I stared into the rain covered side mirror, it was the perfect picture of change and all the good, bad, and scary that 2015 would bring.
As I watched my (soon to be shared) belongings start to fill up my (soon to be) home, I was in disbelief. We were 3 days from the New Year, 95 from covenant marriage, and it was all starting to feel real. Although I personally wouldn’t be moving here until April, my (overly thought over) throw pillows now had a spot on the couch and that alone was enough to stir up my emotions.
I was excited yet anxious. I’ve never been good at change. Only pretending to be. I love a routine and a plan and things and people that are comfortable and I know the Lord is laughing as He calls me to this military marriage. I usually try not to think about how far away from home I am and that I really don’t have any best friends in the Midwest yet, but then New Year’s Eve comes and slaps me in the face with the reality of it all.
I’m standing in a room of smiling and glittery strangers people and I’m trying to feel at home. I don’t. I take a sip of my champagne. I hate champagne. I continue to make small talk with really nice girls and wonder if we will be friends after tonight. Occasionally, I scan the small loft to make sure William is still near. I spot a red crew cut standing near the cheese dip and can take another deep breath.
It’s now 2 minutes until we welcome 2015 and I start to wonder if I will have open arms. Yes, I want to marry William and yes I want to finally move out of my parent’s house, I just didn’t know it would all happen at once and feel so scary. Suddenly, the clock strikes midnight and everyone begins to cheer, toast, and kiss. I act accordingly but I wonder how it’s possible to feel so lonely in a room full of such joy. I missed my ‘usual’ New Year’s Eve group and I wasn’t feeling social enough to make a new one. William leans in to kiss me and I remember that this isn’t just about me and that I want to be supportive of him and strong for us. But truthfully that’s a tough act when your New Year means…
New “hot spots”.
On New Year’s Day I finally stopped pretending and cried. I say finally because I think I wanted to all week but didn’t know if I should. William curiously asked what he did wrong. I assured him he has done everything right but my heart is more anxious than I knew. Although I had been counting down the days, this New Year snuck up on me [emotionally] and the more I thought about all that was changing, the faster my heart raced. Because worrying is my specialty. And where Satan is starting to poke me more and more. And where I need Jesus the most.
So now it’s the first Monday of the New Year and I have 6 more days here in St. Louis. Our church in St. Louis starts a three-week prayer & fasting today and I thank the Lord for His perfect timing. Oh how I need more of him during this difficult time. I’m reminded that our hope and trust is not in the New Year but in Jesus, our Creator and constant Cornerstone. How foolish I have been to [for even a second] think I have been alone and to think that the Lord hasn’t planned the days that are ahead of me. I feel my heart calming as I rest in His truth and in His promise of walking with me into this New Year and through every New I will encounter in it.
If you, like me, have any anxiety about this New Year, I challenge you to pray and fast with us over the next 3 weeks. I don’t promise it will be easy (especially when The Bachelor starts the very first day) but I’m confident it will be worth it. For there is nothing greater than communicating, desiring, and needing the One who made you and unconditionally loves you…
Week 1 (January 5-11) —> Fast from “screen time”: TV, Movies, Video Games, etc.
Week 2 (January 12-18) —> Fast from social media
Week 3 (January 19-25) —> Fast from food for at least one day during the week
“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” ― John Piper, A Hunger For God
Here’s to another New Year with the same Great God.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” – Romans 5:5
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18