It is very hard to believe we’ve been on Long Island for 5 years. When we arrived from Massachusetts, we had a 1 year old and 2 ½ year old, both in diapers. We were in deep over our heads with Sesame Street, nap schedules and toddler battles. Since then, we have bought a home, said a tearful goodbye to our beloved dog of 16 years and adopted a new (ridiculously affectionate) dog. I went back to work after 4 years at home with the kids. We watched dear relatives walk through floods, strokes, births and deaths – all from 1000 miles away. We have learned to celebrate everything via Skype or send family group texts of silly kid shenanigans. These babies we brought with us are quickly turning into bookworms, musicians, animal enthusiasts, hockey & soccer players and math whizzes. They have had so many opportunities in the past 5 years – and are continuing to amaze me with the things they do. TJ has picked up the sax again, often practicing late at night and subjecting me to music theory and improvisation videos. (It’s okay, honey, I’m glad you love it.) It is exciting for me to see him return to jazz even just for fun. Just a few months after moving here, I met a dear friend at the local library while we were there for a toddler story time – she actually attended a rival high school of mine in Georgia! It took about 5 seconds of hearing her southern accent to figure her out. In many ways this friendship has made Long Island home for me.
I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the past 5 years and I’m quite amazed at all that has happened, both in our lives and in the church. A lot of new things have started, older things have stopped. And a ton of on-going activity that continues to grow and get better each day/month/year. My heart has been filled and deflated. Filled again, deflated. Filled….you get the idea.
5 years is pretty overwhelming. 5 years has also reminded me of God’s faithfulness and love for me. In the beginning I was lonely, so I prayed about everything. I prayed for a new friend, I prayed for my children to experience new things, I prayed for a family-schedule-friendly job, I prayed for my husband to be strong and to love Jesus deeper each day, I prayed for my family far away that we would not lose our connections, I prayed for the heartache after our dog died, I prayed for the church to fall in love with Jesus, I prayed that the SWR community would come to know our church as a loving place for families/singles/retirees/widows/etc. I prayed that our sanctuary doors would open to “welcome the foreigners, as we were once foreigners”.
All…..ALL…. of these requests have been clearly answered in some way. ALL OF THEM.
Thank you, Lord! You are so much better to me than I deserve. You love me so much you provided people in my life who also have been praying for these things, who are also searching for these things, who share your heart with me. You have set people around me who love me and care for me (and my family). I am so grateful that we are home.
Look at the nations and watch– and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.- Habakkuk 1:5