“You know this was our first house together?”
I was standing on the stairs carrying one of the last of our items down to the moving truck when Sarah said this to me. Today, we are three days shy of our sixth anniversary – when I moved in to Sarah’s two story condominium in Central Florida…our first place together. At the time we thought we were only going to be there for a few months, convinced that God wanted us in New York City. Six years later, I sit in an old court house in downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina with Sarah—about to dive into leading an arts organization.
We are humbled, we are grateful, we carry trepidation and excitement mingled together like change and gum wrappers in our pocket.
God uses time and wilderness to bring about change, and He did so for us. I am not saying Orlando was a wilderness—if it was it was a very steady one. The wilderness was in our hearts, because our desire was to be in one place and yet we were consistently deterred from fulfilling that…and so we “wandered”. I am reminded of Tolkien’s song in The Lord of the Rings about Strider, who later became the King Aragorn:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
We wandered, but were not lost. Why? Because our roots are deep—not in some personal principle or values we carried…not in anything devised in our own hearts or minds and held up by our weak wills. Our roots are sunk in a transcendent and personal God who is mysterious, good, loving, and a lion.
This “rootedness” was visibly reflected in the relationships and in the work we participated in while in Orlando. And we are so grateful to God and to you all—our friends in Central Florida—for helping us cultivate our roots deeply.
We are grateful for all the movies we went to see with our friends, for biweekly porch gatherings every other Thursday, and for the design of cultural artifacts like the Perspective Cards and the Bridges in a Box. We are grateful for the rehumanizing conversations and the classes at Reformed Theological Seminary. In the midst of all these activities are the names and faces of people we love and cherish, some of whom also sink their roots deeply in this same transcendent and personal God.
Now our roots will be planted in South Carolina, but they will echo with the timbres of Central Florida.
I miss the porch already. Love y’all!
It is hard to believe all that transpired in 6 years. Lifting you both up as you start your next “Great Adventure”. Looking forward to seeing how God will direct and bless your ministry there in S. Carolina. God is worthy to be praised! Susan
Sorry we never got together while you were in Florida, but God’s richest blessings on your new path with Him!!
I envy you two you now have more cool weather than us south Florida birds.
Live it up. Love you both.
So grateful to have gotten a few porch-sittings in before you left to build the dream homestead! You two are quality humans will always be kindred spirits to us and the way you have followed the LORD through these heart wanderings in Orlando is a terrifying inspiration. 🙂
“The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you. Amen”
Well kids, off to a new adventure! I’m glad you took the step of faith to try this.
AND I think your new porch sounds even better!!!!!!
Thanks you two! You are dear to my heart and I shall miss seeing you around here and there. I’m so grateful for the salad luncheon and studio visit you squeezed into your schedule before you left. Only wish it could have been more. Saw Stephen at IAM and met his pastor, Andy. I know you’ll be loved and well cared for in your new place. But don’t forget to come back for visits to O-Town!
Sweet! Thank you LIbby and Carrie—we miss that old porch too, but we hope to have a new one soon…and yes, Deb, an even more expansive one—ever open to friends (road-trip anyone?). Dave and Joyce I can’t believe we never got to see you while we were in Florida—definitely a miss on our part…thank you for the encouraging words. Love to cousin Sandy…thanks Chickie for the very fitting celtic-esque blessing and Phyllis for the sweet send off.
We have been very blessed with good friends…our heart over-flows with gratefulness.