One year ago today, we pulled into the driveway of our house here in Fort Wayne. “Well, we’re home,” I said to the girls.
“This is NOT home,” Emma said quietly but forcefully from the backseat. This is a sentiment she would echo by variations for months. It was no secret: Emma did not want to be here.
It’s hard to believe that we have been here one year. Things looked so different then. We were raw with emotion, still stinging from how Michael had been treated at his last job, trying to reset our mindframe from thinking we were going into mission work overseas, and just generally mourning our beloved Kentucky, the only home my girls had ever known.
We were filled with worry over the unknowns: Michael’s new job, the girls going to public school for the first time, what kind of job I would find, and how we would make financial ends meet on about 40% of Michael’s old salary. Two or three of us were worried that we wouldn’t have friends here, and at least one of us was convinced she would never be happy again.
A year later things look very different.
The girls have thrived in their new schools. Sofia learned that she loves school lunches, for whatever reason! They both made plenty of friends. They have been involved in extracurricular activities that have stretched and grown them. They don’t dread the upcoming school year.
Michael has done very well in his job at Purdue Fort Wayne. His boss thinks he is amazing, and she isn’t wrong. He has a lot less stress than with his previous job, which is a major win. He likes what he is doing and is already looking at ways he can turn this job into a career
I have not one but two jobs I love, which I have waited more than a decade to be able to say. I really enjoy teaching at Purdue Fort Wayne, and the student evaluations from last semester were fantastic. And my job at the hospital…I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just the best.
Looking back, I can see God’s goodness and faithfulness. I couldn’t at the time, but I do now. He had already been preparing our hearts to leave, and He ended up giving us an easier transition than we had prepared for. He has provided protection, comfort, and everything we needed. Coming out of Purdue years ago, all I wanted was to be a college professor. He has even provided that, a dream I thought would never be realized.
I asked the girls for picture ideas about what makes this house a home. Emma suggested “Home is where the blankies are.”
Sofia submitted this picture of Beaker and Freckles in the midst of the move.
Michael volunteered the swing set.
For me it could be any of a dozen things that have moved with us from house to house, including this clock Michael bought in Greece 17 years ago that has hung in all 9 of our homes.
When it comes right down to it, home is wherever God has blessed us to be as a family.
Thanks for a first great year, Fort Wayne. We are looking forward to many more.