life in NC.

It’s been one week. One week in North Carolina and it’s been extremely exciting and extremely hard all at the same time. Everyone keeps asking, “Is it all that you expected it to be?” And the answer is YES! And no. I have struggled this week. There have been tears and doubts and arguments and moments of loneliness (even when surrounded by people I love), but that was to be expected. I have great expectations for what North Carolina will become, but I knew that it would be hard at first. It is very different actually being in it rather than just thinking about it and mentally preparing for it, but I’ll explain more later.

We officially moved last Sunday. It was sometime earlier that week that we found out the sale of our house didn’t go through, after over 45 days of being under contract. It was a huge disappointment and a cause of some stress because I did not have a job set up down here thinking we wouldn’t have a mortgage to pay over the summer thanks to our very generous and amazing friends that are letting us crash with them until we figure out where we want to settle. We also had to figure out taking care of the house while we weren’t living here..keeping up with the lawn for showings, etc. But again, we have incredible friends and family that are stepping up for us in a big way and we couldn’t be more grateful. Anyway, we got over the disappointment (sort of) and just knew that I would need to find a random summer job when we got down here. On the way down, about two hours into our trip, Mike’s car broke down! It was quite the shock and in the moment I definitely did not handle it well. You don’t want to be with me in a crisis. We ended up getting his car towed to a repair shop, shoved as much as we could from his car into my car, and kept trucking on toward NC. We refused to go back to MD even though it was closer. It was MOVING day, and dang it, we were going to MOVE. Even if it meant having 40 pound Daisy on my lap for four hours.

We finally made it and were thrilled to be here. Wake County is beautiful! There is so much to see and do and we are super pumped about getting to know and exploring the area. Mike started working Tuesday and LOVES his job. He has great hours..we get to see each other in the evenings AND he has off on Sundays. It’s perfect. I spent the week applying to well over 100 jobs (nannying, chic-fil-a, catering, working at a kennel, EVERYTHING) and starting on some of my summer homework I was given for my teaching job in the fall. We saw some old friends, helped out in a brewery that’s opening soon, and I joined the Y. Those are the highlights. OH and I went to a staff event at a brewery and got to meet a bunch of the teachers I will be working with. Don’t worry,  my blog is NOT becoming a place where I just tell you what I do all week. I have a point (kind of).. and the point is, it sounds like a normal week in the summer. Regardless of being in NC or being in MD. It was good and it was fun and I was pretty productive. But it was also challenging and a little disappointing. My anxiety came back in a big way. Just like we knew it would. Just like I talked about it my last post.. I am putting myself into a situation where it is natural to feel anxiety. So I’ve been feeling it. Every thing I did here this week brought out insecurities: meeting people at the gym, going to classes alone, meeting my coworkers for the first time, etc. The nights of little sleep have been full of thoughts like this:

What are we going to do about Mikes car? When are we going to go get it?
What if I don’t hear back from any of those jobs?
Why aren’t my coworkers asking to get coffee, what if I don’t form great friendships with them?
What if Daisy starts acting up again? What’s going to happen when we have to start leaving her alone?
What if our house doesn’t sell?
Do my friends at home miss me? Will our friendships be strained with distance?
How long until we need to find our own place?
What if I need my mom?
And yes.. I’ll admit it.. what if we weren’t supposed to move?

With the house, the car, the substituting job (I didn’t even mention) falling through.. I definitely had moments of doubt. We had been looking forward to Sunday all week. Sunday.. church, relaxing, a day off work for Mike. Finding our church home is a priority for us, as I know it’ll lead to our community and our ministry and the feeling that we actually have a place and a purpose here. I’ll spare you the long (and pretty dumb) story – but basically, we weren’t able to go to church this morning. And I finally had my breakdown that was coming all week. I cried because I missed my friends. I missed my family. I missed the familiarity of home. I missed feeling like I had a purpose and a schedule. And I missed going to church knowing that I would see people I loved. I was comparing a life I JUST started in North Carolina to a life I had taken YEARS to establish in Maryland.

It wasn’t until I let myself break down that I was really able to get some clarity. To stop thinking about everything that could go wrong or things that had already gone wrong, and just focus on Jesus and pray. It was like I was bottling up my feelings this week, afraid to say I was struggling, and once I let it out I gained some perspective. All week long my prayers had been selfish – about jobs, money, friendships. Basically my comfort. I was praying for all the things that would make me feel comfortable here. I finally was able to shift my prayer today to a simple: Lord, bring me closer to you. Whatever it takes, I want to be closer to you. 

I’m still going to struggle. We are transitioning, and it is natural to struggle. But I was able to take on the rest of the day with an overwhelming sense of peace about being here. I went on an interview and got a summer job – one that starts now and ends August 1st and gives me some time to prepare for school before I go back on the 16th. Exactly what I was looking for. I was able to go by and see my school and pray over where I’ll be teaching.  Mike and I went to a 5:00 church service where the worship was real and beautiful and brought me closer to God. The car situation is figured out and we are going to pick it up tomorrow. Gods goodness is overwhelming.

My point is not that you can have a breakdown and refocus and God will answer all of your prayers. Our story today sounds that way, but it’s not always that way. It’s just ANOTHER story of God’s faithfulness. We can struggle and we can doubt.. but God is faithful. I tried to maintain control all week and figure everything out on my own. I had no interest in losing that control. It took completely letting go for me to start to feel any peace and for me to realize that God IS there and He IS good. It always brings me back to this..

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

I am thankful for my challenging week that brought me closer to God. I am thankful that things aren’t always easy. I am thankful for the constant reminder that I cannot do this on my own – and I’m not meant to. God is good, you guys. And North Carolina WILL start to feel like home.