It's been almost 3 years and 3 months since we moved back to Watseka. For those of you who were with us during that journey you're thinking "wow, time flies." For those of you who weren't with us, well, you missed quite the adventurous time in our life. Just a quick recap: Andrew wanted to move back to Illinois to work for his dad's company. I had no desire to move back. I loved my life in Iowa: close to my family, job I loved, friends, a church that had cared for us through a difficult time...but I also felt that I needed to follow if he had strong feelings about moving. So we made a compromise. We would put our house on the market, and if it sold we would move. I thought the housing market was in my corner, so I felt confident we'd be able to stay in Orange City one more year and maybe by then Andrew would change his mind. God laughed at my plans. Two days after our house was on the market we had an offer for full asking price. Because I was 30 weeks pregnant with Aaron at that time we decided to move right away rather than move in my parents basement until after baby was born. So at 32 weeks pregnant, we loaded up the truck and moved to...well, not Beverly.
I have two verses marked in my Bible that really hit me in that week that we put our house on the market, Isaiah 43:18-19: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."
I would like to say that as soon as we moved here I was able to let go of the past and praise God for the new thing He was doing, but I was far from being joyful about the situation. Aaron was born about 6 weeks after we moved there and I remember rocking him in a chair, reading those verses, and weeping that I felt like I was in the wasteland. I kept trusting that God was doing a new thing, but I didn't see it. And as time went on I continued to dwell on the past, holding on to the dreams I had wanted.
But God is so good. He was doing a new thing, He does provide streams in the wasteland. Three years after moving I can see where He was working. He has provided in so many ways. But part of what I needed to do was forget the former things. Not a literal amnesia (although that might have been less painful), but to let go of what I had wanted. It was a process. It didn't happen overnight or with one prayer. It was a process of making a new life and relying on God even when I would have rather taken life in my own hands. Trust me, there were plenty of times I had thought about packing the van back up and moving back to Iowa.
Don't we all hold on to parts of our past that we really need to let go? Some things were good things, some not so good. We want to look how we did at 18, be the athlete we once were, have an old relationship back, have a chance at a do-over in our career, to have taken a different fork in the road at some point. There are some losses in our lives that we do need to grieve and allow time and God to heal that pain. But we also need to forget some former things and look to the new thing that God is doing.