It is hard to believe less than a year ago I was still living in Swaziland. SO much has transpired in a very short amount of time. As you may remember leaving Swaziland was one of the hardest things I have ever done. When I left I felt as though my heart was torn in two.
Being back in America is wonderful and not so wonderful at the same time. I love the sense of comfort and how easy everything is here. And yet everyone here seems in such a big hurry, not really happy, and not really grateful for anything. (Ok…Not EVERYONE of course, but just a sense I get as I’m driving down the street.)
I know I am different. I know I do not really fit in anymore. My outlook on life has changed. I think anyone who has spent any significate time in a 3rd world country would understand this. You just don’t see things the same as you once did.
So here I am trying to fit back into a life that doesn’t really work for me anymore. And so God once again had a big plan…a crazy big plan for my short amount of time since I’ve been home.
As you know I got home in December. There was lots of processing going on that month. January my dear cousin took me on a super fun trip to CA and I went to Colorado Springs for a debriefing time. I also was just trying to get myself in order. February I worked on my resume and applied for a couple jobs in the Tumwater / Olympia area. I interviewed and was hired with the Tumwater School District as an ELL Para Professional. ELL stands for English Language Learner.
I started work March 1st! I mostly work with Children who speak English as a 2nd language. Most of these children have recently come from another country such as Saudi Arabia, Korea, Mexico, India, Japan, and even one from Fiji. I work with them one-on-one or in small groups. I can’t tell you how much I love working and building relationships with them. I love to help empower children and build their confidence for success. Being in a different country with a new language is very intimidating, which I totally get after living in Swaziland.
I was rehired with a one year contract for the following school year. This job is such a blessing to me as I have full dental, medical, life insurance, and retirement benefits. This is something I have never had in my life!
My Personal Life
I became engaged on Feb. 14th! All I can say is when you know something is right…and God appointed…well there really is no reason to wait. Tim and I know God brought us together in only a way he could and I’m so thankful to have him in my life. We have similar life experiences, wounds, and faith. I seriously never saw Tim coming. It is so amazingly outrageous how God brought us together. Is our relationship always perfect or easy? No, not at all. But life and relationships aren’t meant to be that way. It is a constant battle of dying to myself, asking God to change my heart, and helping me do the right thing.
Let’s face it I’ve been single a LONG time….a bit set in my ways. And Tim was a bachelor just long enough for him to have some interesting life habits. (Such as…. a diet of pizza and donuts.)
It was The Swaziland Princess meets the Rogers Rodeo… And Let’s just say there has been a little bit of adjustment time for all of us. (And there still is)
So as we were engaged and I was working for the Tumwater school district I moved in with Tim’s Mom (Bonnie) in Olympia. She was so sweet as she made a room for me. But here is the problem….My life was with Tim and his boys at his house… So I had many late night drives back to Bonnie’s house. SO much back and forth with not much sleep and let’s face it….I’m not 20 anymore. This process about killed me. It was so hard to be constantly going back and forth but I kept telling myself…It’s not forever. A bright spot was Tim’s Mom and I really got to know each other well which probably would not of happened if I didn’t live with her. She is such a kind dear lady. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for her family.
A New Home
After Tim and I were engaged we started the process of blending our stuff together. Tim and his boys were living in a 900 square foot home with 2 bedrooms, one bathroom. A great bachelor pad…but kind of tight for a princess to move into. (3 boys in one bathroom…ewwww!)
Tim and I started looking at houses…but I really had no peace about it. As I was praying about it…I felt God telling me… You have more than enough. Yes… we do. We have more than enough… So we decided to make the best of that small house. We had plans, we went to Ikea and got all sorts of storage options, and we were both purging our things big time. Then the darndest thing happened.
I received a notice in my email from Zillow about a house. I don’t know why I looked at this house but I did. I had a weird feeling that Tim and I should go look at it in person. To make a long story short, we went and looked at it and I knew it was for us. A lot of crazy things happened in the process of buying this house. You could call them coincidences but I know they are God-incidences. You may wonder why God told me I had enough….then the change. But this is what I have learned about God. He wants our obedience. He wants us to let go of our own agenda and trust him. I truly believe God had it all planned out…but it gives Him great pleasure when we surrender our lives and will to His. I’m not perfect at it…but trusting God to His timing and plan is so much better than what I can do in my own flesh.
One of the coolest things about this house is…. Tim and I both left our family homes in our divorces. People don’t really talk about it much but it feels pretty traumatic when that happens. All of a sudden you don’t have a home. Your “spouse” did not have to leave or figure out where to live. They get to live in your family home with the majority of your “things” and I can tell you….it sucks. My story and Tim’s are different but we both were a bit traumatized through that process. This new home feels like God giving us back what we had lost…and not only that but this new home is better than what we both had before.
Even though I knew God’s hand was on us through buying this home, I still had so many fears and doubts it would actually happen. I was so scared it would fall through at any moment. It almost felt like it was too much to hope for. Satan loves to whisper lies in your ears…and I had to fight his constant whispers. I didn’t want to tell anyone that we were buying a house just in case it didn’t happen.
But guess what….Our house closed on July 21st. Exactly 9 days before our wedding. Tim and I are so thankful and feel so blessed to have this home. I’ve been divorced over 15 years and have lived in 8 different homes in that time! There have been many tears of joy and thankfulness for this beautiful home that has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms! (Woo-Hoo…I don’t have to share a bathroom with 3 boys!!!)
Moving into a home one week before your wedding is not something I would recommend but we did it. We literally threw everything into the house. We had friends and family coming from out of town all week long and really had very little time at the house before our wedding. It really was nuts!
Our wedding and honeymoon was so beautiful and special but I think I will save that for my next blog.
Thank you so much for your love and investment in our lives. We are so blessed to call you our friends. Thank you for seeing me through this process God called me to. I honestly could not of dreamt this if I tried. (And I have a pretty good imagination. Ha!)
Romans 8:28 And we know….that in all things….. God works for the good …of those who love him….who have been called….. according to His purpose.
Friends we’ve all been called to His purpose. Let me encourage you…. God is working for the good for those who love him! I have been on a LONG journey. You may be on a long journey too but stay strong in your faith. God is working for the good. It is in His timing and in His place. Wait for it… It is so worth it.