Six years ago, Dr. Band Geek had just gotten a new job, about an hour north of where we were living. Houses were not selling quickly. Flat screen TVs and upgrades from builder standard lured buyers into homes but didn’t always mean a quick sell. Foreclosures dotted the nicest of neighborhoods.
But we sold our house in three days.
Then we put a contract on a house in our new city only to have the sellers demand we drop our contingency at the eleventh hour.
We couldn’t do that.
Our buyer was high maintenance, to say the least, and we couldn’t risk the buyer backing out and leaving us with two mortgages.
So six years ago, Dr. Band Geek and I fought a for real fight (and we rarely fight) over going on vacation or not.
Because to quote Dr., “WE DON’T HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE, ROBIN.”
The amount of time I spent praying abundant blessings over the sellers who backed out of our deal in favor of more money?
16 hours a day.
I slept the other eight.
We signed a lease on a ridiculously expensive two-bedroom apartment near the new job and headed out of town for our first family-of-three vacation.
Six years ago, we left for the beach in the middle of a mess.
We delayed packing. We avoided thinking about a cramped apartment with a toddler. We skipped out of town all TRA-LA-LA about life when really, life was treating us a little more like the Jaws theme.
But we went.
And it was good.
Good for our souls. Good for Pumpkin. Good for our family.
(Is it not amazing how much younger we look?)
(Like, it’s only been six years, Crow’s Feet. Why you gotta be all aggressive?)
At the time, we couldn’t have known what was to come.
We saw around 200 houses until we finally bought one we’d seen before. Only, completely indicative of the economy, the sellers had replaced the flooring, painted, and had the house professionally cleaned and staged, so it was a totally different house than the one we’d originally seen. For zero change in price.
Two weeks after we moved in, we got our first and only natural positive pregnancy test.
Skillet was free.
We couldn’t have known we would find ourselves in a church that would literally change our entire walk with Jesus.
We would never have asked to go through a season of pruning and end up moving to a new house only to have to move again a year later.
And we couldn’t have predicted that move would bring us back to the exact same spot we’d just left six years later.
But six years later, here we are.
And now my beach baby looks more like a beach big girl.
He’s giving Pumpkin a run for her money in the cute department.
Six years ago, we couldn’t have known how much time, energy, and so.much.sweat would be sacrificially given to Dr. Band Geek’s new job. It was a whole other level on the band success ladder.
But those sacrifices led us back here. Back to a place we never thought we’d be again. And a job we never really considered.
And we love every single part of that story.
Because it brought us to this place where we had only dreamed of before.
A neighborhood bursting with friends. A job offering equal amounts of challenge and time to be with family. A church teaching the finished work of the cross, preaching freedom from legalism through grace that goes too far. Every time. A house we are turning into our dream home one project at a time.
God brought us back here changed people.
So even though those six years were hard, they stretched us and produced perseverance and a surrender to Christ.
Thanks to those six years, I am ready to receive the blessings of our neighborhood and the friendships we are building. I appreciate the time together in ways you can only recognize as a gift when you have gone without. Jesus has become every moment instead of only every day.
And the biggest lesson I learned over these six years, every journey, even when it brings you back to the exact spot you left, is worth it.
Hard, messy, sacrificial, sweaty.
It is worth it.
Following Jesus is worth it.