Justin and I are about to embark on a new adventure. I penned my thoughts Thursday evening after we’d heard the news and wanted to share our story here.
Ten years ago, God spent a summer turning my life upside down. At the end of the summer, I landed at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA. I left home that August, moved into a tiny college apartment, and never looked back.
I met Justin in this small, sometimes sleepy town in middle Georgia. I graduated from college, bought a house, got my first real job, paddled the river countless times, kept many local restaurants in business, wore down the sidewalks around campus with our evening walks, learned, grew up, and dreamed in this town. We were excited to find full time jobs right out of college here, but hated staying around for many years. We’ve tried to leave numerous times.
Somewhere along the way, we fell in love with this place – with its sweet people, beautiful lake and river, delicious food, sense of community, and memories. Our house become a beloved home as we painted each wall, replaced flooring, redid the bathroom and kitchen, and lived our life.
And today… today we learned we are leaving. Justin has been selected as Chief of Police at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia – a town that will one day be home but is currently a place I’ve never even visited.
Truth be told… My gut told me this was coming. Weeks ago, a sweet friend and I were texting about the possibility as Justin interviewed, and I told her I knew in my gut he’d get the job and we’d be leaving. As we hosted friends and family at Thanksgiving, I took in each moment knowing this mag be our last year celebrating our thankfulness in this place. As we decorated our home for Christmas last weekend, I savored each moment knowing this year might be our last in this beloved home.
My emotions are all over the map. Initially, I took the news in stride, and even relished the idea of an adventure. Later, as I walked the terminals of the Philadelphia airport, I thought of home and burst into tears. I knew then this will be hard but good, bitter but sweet, sad but exciting.
I’m writing this on the plane, and I paused just now to check our progress on the flight map overhead. I realized our flight path goes right over Dahlonega. Tonight, this is meaningful.
Truthfully, my relationship with Milledgeville has always been complicated. I’ve learned, truly, to love this town and call it home, but I’ve never wanted to stay forever. We hope to have children one day, and the public schools here, despite having many sweet, caring, wonderful teachers, are not good. There are certainly options, but I’ve always felt strongly about sending my children to public school. I attended a small, rural public school, not unlike those in Dahlonega, and count one of my biggest blessings as having grown up with friends of all types and stops on the social scale. Knowing we’re moving to a town where I won’t have to think twice about those things is an answer to these thoughts. I’ve also struggled with the church options in Milledgeville and, though we’ve finally found a home church, I’m looking forward to a new crop of churches as Justin and I have learned so much about what we want in a church.
I’m writing all this, rather incoherently, because I want to remember this feeling. This wary excitement, bittersweet anticipation, facing the unknown in the face, room to dream big and wide and deep.
I’ve never done something so big without a step-by-step plan, and I’m already putting the pieces together I my mind of what needs to happen how and when and where. These are the thoughts that don’t breed emotion, so I plan to spend quite a bit of time planning this adventure. I’ll get to meet our new town next weekend, and I’m looking forward to moving along. I’ll keep posting our updates.
Thank you, sweet friends that know us and have been praying for us. I know your prayers have helped as God works in both our hearts.