Four months ago, we packed up our house in Colorado to move across the country to Michigan. Dave drove a car here with our (drugged) cat and a baby swing and my succulent plant. I flew here with a three-month-old.
Looking back, I can’t believe we did it. I was barely over the hump of crying on my couch while breastfeeding and we moved across the country. Before we moved, I wrote a blog post about saying yes to God, even if it’s hard. I guess this is a follow up to that.
I think the first thing that happens in a big life transition is that the honeymoon period is mostly thrilling. The first day in Michigan, the house we wanted was listed for sale and we bought it. I filled my days with fun new things like the farmer’s market and trying different coffee shops. I felt like we were on an extended lake vacation and we would just pop back into our Colorado lives soon.
Culture shock is a real thing even when you’re just moving to a different state. It is crazy to me how states can be so different from each other depending on what part of the country you live in. This is hard for someone who likes to blend in rather than stick out because I don’t want people to perceive that I am different than them. But, different is good and it is part of my story. I’m learning to love Midwestern casseroles and trying my best to pronounce all the Dutch street names.
There’s grieving in big life changes. Even when you feel called to make that change in your life, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically better right away. That’s ok. It’s a grieving process, leaving behind the things you love. There were many sleepless nights when my heart ached for the things I couldn’t have like coffee dates with my best friends and time with Ruthie’s cousins. It was (still is) a hard realization that life is moving on in Colorado without me.
Finally, hope. As always. God never leaves us without this. I realize that I listed these things in an order, but the reality is that you can feel all three at the same time: grieving, shock, and hope. It’s bittersweet. And it’s so, so good. There’s usually still an empty seat across from me at the coffee shop, but someday that seat will be filled more often than not.
We’ve driven back and forth between Illinois and Michigan a few times now since my family lives in the Chicago area and every time we drive back into Michigan, I feel a fierce love for my new state. The definition of home is completely redefined for me. Home is Dave, home is Ruthie, home is wherever God goes before me.