At the end of this month, this week really, my family and I will no longer be residents of Illinois and will, instead, by newly minted Tennesseans. We are moving to Nashville
I have joined the Ministry Grid
team at Lifeway as a Content Marketing Strategist – social media, blogging, web content, etc. – and I am excited about it for all sorts of reasons. The team, the mission, the organization, the position fit itself are all wonderful. In short, this seems like the ideal fit at the right time for a good purpose with a bright future. It has been remarkable to see how God has lined everything up to make this happen. I have a deep confidence this is good direction. But moving is a big deal too.
I haven’t made a major move since I left Minnesota in 2001, and my wife is a born and raised Chicagoan and has never left. That means since my last major move I have finished college, gotten married, fathered two kids, and had three full time jobs. In objects, I have had three churches, four cars, and four apartments. But all those things happened in a single community and a generally homogeneous locale.
Now we’re moving three states away, and not just any three states – we’re going to the South. I’m giving up the steady boredom of the Big Ten for the SEC. Those folks are crazy, and proud of it (emphasis on “proud”). Instead of hip hop and deep dish pizza we’ll get fried stuff and country music. On the plus side all those times I say “y’all” will make more sense now. And it will be loads of fun to watch my extremely Chicagoan wife acclimate to the South, or rather watch the south acclimate to her.
More sincerely, though, we will miss Chicago, specifically the people we will be leaving behind. It’s my wife’s home, and it’s been ours for all 8+ years of marriage. The entirety of our life together has been here. Parting from friends is no fun no matter how you spin it.
It is scary to do the unknown. We go from a place where we know the shortcuts to everywhere to one where we don’t even know the best place to get a gallon of milk. We’re going from a church where we feel like part of the family to a town full of churches, none of whom are family yet. We leave behind decades old relationships for the prospect of new friendships. And making friends can be intimidating and exhausting. (It’s not you; it’s me.) Now our daughters will be the “new kids.” They’re bright, resilient girls, but that’s not such an easy thing.
Our feelings are decidedly mixed. As we look down the road, both figurative and literal, we know we’re going the right direction and are thrilled about it. But looking behind us we see the good we’re leaving behind. We can’t simply be resolute in our moving ahead for that would be to ignore and forget so much. But we can move ahead with hope excitement because that’s where the next good lies, whatever that may be.