2015 was a tricky, but wonderful year. It was full of adult decisions that required many months of hand wringing, second-guessing, and ultimately faith.
We moved from Memphis, my residence of 4 years (8 years for my husband), to Chattanooga. Four years of close relationships, a carefully built career path, and comforting familiarity. Four years of investing my heart, soul, and mind into a good city that was more than eager to pour back into me.
On several different levels, leaving Memphis was devastating. I knew that God was pushing me to Chattanooga, but I so loved the gifts He had given me in Memphis and wanted to hold onto them as long as I could.
It was our first truly adult decision to move to Chatt; no institution or job was forcing us to go and uproot our lives. It was a complete leap of faith, one we both hoped would bring us closer as a couple and allow us to start fresh and focus on the things we truly find important.
My Best Yes
The Lord had convicted me long ago that my ridiculously busy schedule was killing me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I tried earnest steps to make it right in 2015. I gained a wonderful mentor, read books on saying no, and tried to temper my enthusiasm for everything around me by saying yes only the things that would further my long term personal and professional goals.
I was convicted that the things I claimed were most important to me — God, my husband, and my health — were the things I was most willing to sacrifice when a new opportunity came into play that would serve me professionally or financially.
On the one hand, I was having a wonderful time stretching my horizons and loved every minute of it. On the other hand, I was exhausted and emotionally spent and devoid of the wisdom and self-discipline to rein myself in.
I made steps to correct this while I was planning for the latter half of my year in Memphis. But when outside circumstances and exciting opportunities presented themselves, slowly my thinking began to consider the possibility of remolding myself in a new city.
In a new city, I could become who I wanted to be. I could pursue the path I wanted without apology or restraint because there were no expectations set based on my prior identity. This was an appealing thought. It was not what ultimately convinced me to move cities, but I knew it would allow me to refresh my life and start off slow and work my way up.
In Memphis I started off fast and busy and it only grew from there; in Chattanooga I could start off slow and keep it slow, if I so desired.
I spent the summer traveling and in the presence of many close friends and family members. They did not let me down. Their wisdom and their encouragement is what gave me the strength to say my Best Yes — to embrace bravery and move to a city that was offering us endless possibilities and exciting new paths.
I have not once regretted moving to Chattanooga. I miss Memphis and my friends terribly, but I know in my heart we made the right decision.
Caleb and I have never been happier or stronger as a couple. We were never struggling, but we didn’t realize how much stronger we could be as a unit and how much delight we bring each other in friendship and love.
I am finally living intentionally and in control of my life. I am allowing myself to slowly pursue opportunities, carefully accept responsibilities, and passionately develop the gifts God has given me. I am prioritizing the things I say are most important to me: my relationship with the Lord, my marriage, and my health. I have no doubt that other good things will follow once I learn to responsibly and healthily live my life.
The Lord led us here, provided for every need, paved the path, and answered every prayer. He has blessed us mightily already in this city. I am so excited to see how we can serve in 2016.