Something really strange happened today that really caught me off guard.
I planned to meet a client couple in their home this morning for our last prenatal appointment before baby day. It was my first time traveling to their house, and I was so excited as I jumped in my car to go. This year has taken many of those close, in-person connections away, and I couldn't wait to visit with this sweet mama face to (masked) face. It was a really nice drive just outside of town, away from the crazy traffic we're accustomed to living right off Highway 280 in Birmingham. The two-lane road with uninterrupted landscapes was such a nice change, and as I pulled into their neighborhood, an fresh feeling of nostalgia came rushing in. As I drove past the first few streets, I caught a lump in my throat, realizing that this neighborhood seemed so similar to the sweet little neighborhood we left in Northport just two short years ago. Tears welled in my eyes as I remembered pulling out of our old driveway for the last time Halloween night in 2018 after quick goodbyes and photos with our beloved neighbors. I still remember the echo in our empty house as we locked up for the last time, our babies falling asleep in the backseat, and traveling the short distance to spend the night in a home I had only visited twice.
Moving only an hour up the road didn't seem like such a big deal, and then a huge deal all at the same time. I lived in Tuscaloosa/Northport longer than I lived anywhere else in my life. I had a job I really liked with co-workers I got to see and be silly with twice a week. Our neighborhood was an incredibly special place with the best people and too many fun times to count. Our families were able to come visit for the day, and we could easily meet up with friends in town or those back home. We loved our church, and our kids were finally both doing great in daycare. Not to mention I could walk the campus of my alma mater any time I wanted. I knew it would be hard to leave, and I often still miss all of those things. But having those emotions stirred up today immediately gave me peace and a spirit of thankfulness. I know in my heart that we were so comfortable, too comfortable, in our old home, in that life. I know that if we had not been shaken up a bit and needed to move here, to trust with everything we had, we would not have experienced all of the immense blessings we have in these two short years. I had no idea what was in store for us here - what renovating a home would look like (kind of a real mess, actually), how our kids would adapt, how working 100% remotely would happen, how I would nurture my brand-new-still-in-the-building-stages business, and how the whole heck I was ever going to be able to drive downtown during traffic times (it still freaks me out a little, tbh). And honestly, I still don't have clarity on all of those things. One thing I do know is this - I don't have to know. And that's such a relief. I'm glad that I don't have to plan for every little thing, but instead, have the opportunity and ability to abide in my Creator and trust that his path is better than anything I could come up with on my own.
If we said no and stayed back in our sweet first home in a town we adored and where felt safe, we may have never pushed ourselves in our careers, learned what it was like to rebuild, explored so many special and unique places as a family, and branch out to create new relationships. And more than that, I know that I likely would not have had the opportunity to connect with the dozens of beautiful mamas and families that I have met through my growing business. I once had a clear vision when we still lived in Northport of a small mountain scene, and heard "hold on" in my heart. I was sitting in my son's room and had no idea why or what it meant, but it felt hopeful in a season of overwhelm. And months later as I drove down the small piece of Oak Mountain where we live now for the first time, it clicked. We are right where we are supposed to be in this season. Getting choked up before walking into a client's house wasn't something I expected today, but I am thankful for the reminder that sometimes we leave good things behind for the unknown, and although it can be scary, it can also be completely amazing. Many times, in my limited experience, those unknowns hold so much more than we could have ever imagined for ourselves.