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So we made an announcement a few weeks ago to our friends and family that we are moving from Southern California to North Carolina. (Just in time for the hottest month of the year!) While we waited until about a month before our move to make an “official” announcement on Facebook (because we all know that nothing is official until it’s on Facebook), we had told our parents and siblings back at the end of May. There were so many unknowns back in May that we just knew there was no way we could answer the influx of questions we were bound to receive upon making our announcement.
Well, it’s funny because even though we have everything mostly planned with the big move only a couple weeks away, we still lack answers to many questions that people have asked. Now, I have to clarify that neither Josh nor I believe we “owe” anyone an “explanation” as to why we are moving, but we feel that we can provide some information to avoid any speculation as to why we are leaving.
“Why?” is such a difficult question for me. I am more the, “why not?” type of person, myself. I should say that it was never my intention to spend the rest of my life in Southern California. If you wonder why, just read this post that I wrote back in April of 2012. I think that will answer a lot of the “why” questions about leaving Southern California. Ultimately, I think it is most simple to say that Southern California is not for me. Josh and I even had a conversation once that included something along the lines of, “Even if we had unlimited funds and could afford to buy our own home here and do all of the things we would want to do, I still wouldn’t want to live here. The things that make me not like Southern California are things that money cannot change.” Southern California makes about as much sense for me as a hairless dog living in Alaska. We don’t fit.
That being said, I LOVE our friends and family here (And Disneyland). Our choice to move has only been delayed because of our friends and family. Nothing happened. There was no falling out. There isn’t a big fight or argument or underlying issue going on here. We LOVE our friends and family. We are so thankful for all of the support, encouragement, and love that they’ve given us over the last 5 years of living here. It took me a long time to make the friends whom I have here and I am going to miss them all desperately. We love our church family…I just pray that we find one where we can fit and feel as welcome as we do here. We have shed many tears as we anticipate our last days with our friends and family here, but take comfort knowing that, without a doubt, we will be back to visit. It also makes us more thankful than ever for social media so we can stay connected on Facebook and Instagram.
So, why North Carolina? Well, we spent a lot of time (probably a good part of the last 4 years) talking about moving and WHERE to move was by far the most simple and most complicated question of them all. It was simple because we had already determined in our minds that we didn’t want to be somewhere without one of our sets of parents within an hour of wherever we would live. That left us with 3 options: California, Wisconsin, or North Carolina. That was the simple part. Of all the places in the country where we would have maybe wanted to live, they were all narrowed down to just 3 options. Now, we have already made it clear that California wasn’t at the top of my list. Wisconsin, while it is a state I love and feel attached to, isn’t really at the top of Josh’s list. While his reasons are his own and I don’t necessarily share his feelings, I can completely understand them and would never want him to live somewhere where he would be unhappy. I know that he has nothing against my friends and family there and I know that he recognizes the pros and cons and, for him, the cons just outweigh the pros. It makes sense to me and I am on board! So, that left North Carolina. We had been, for a while, a bit hesitant to move to North Carolina because neither of us have any roots there. We were concerned that, after the novelty of our closeness wore off, my dad & step-mom would become weighed down with being the sole people we could depend on for tangible help and support as we raise our 3 children. We would hate to destroy a relationship with our parents because they feel used and abused. We realized, though, that while Josh’s parents are the only two family members who have been very close and capable of babysitting or sharing in meals with us, we have made friends here in Southern California who have become like family to us. They have given us an infinite amount of love and support, babysitting, listening ears, hugs, encouragement, advice, truth, grace…the list goes on. Our friends have turned into an amazing support system and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to find some amazing friends who will be dear to us in North Carolina as well.
Now that we had all of our logistics cleared up (the “where” we would move and “why”) we wanted, ultimately, to be sure that we would be within the will of God. Regardless of the logistics we didn’t want to go if God wasn’t at the forefront of everything. Was God blessing the idea or closing the door? So we began to pray for wisdom and clarity about if and when we actually took the plunge. The best counsel we remember receiving was, “Is God using you here? Yes. Absolutely. Will He use you in North Carolina? Yes! Absolutely!” I think God cares a lot less about where live than how we live and who we are living for. We can live anywhere and live with love, compassion, grace, truth, and serve God and our community wherever we are!
So when we started to look at our options God opened doors. We went through them and here we are: 2 weeks away from our move to North Carolina. We are so excited and so overwhelmed all at the same time. So much is yet to be done, and yet so much cannot be done right at this moment. So many dates and appointments with friends and family, and yet none would be enough to prepare us to say, “see you soon,” to any of them. I don’t know that I will ever be ready to say “goodbye” so I am glad that I won’t have to. I’m glad to know that we will be back for visits.
What it boils down to is that we feel that this is the best decision for our family. We know that some friends and family are very excited for us and have been really encouraging and supportive with comments of how beautiful it is in North Carolina and how some of their favorite cities and restaurants are there. We also know that others are left feeling lonely, hurt, and just plain don’t understand. We respect that. I can see, I suppose, how it may seem like the move is coming out of left field even though we have talked about moving someday in our home and with our closest friends for a long time. No amount of “talk” can really prepare one for the day when the “talk” becomes the “walk.”
What we really want everyone to know, though, is that it isn’t personal. This was a decision that Josh and I made together for our family because we believe it is the absolute best thing. We believe that North Carolina offers both of us what we are seeking: clear seasons that aren’t extreme, affordability, friendly atmosphere, plenty of green space, lots of variations in the weather, big cities nearby, recreational activities, proximity to family, small towns, career opportunities, family friendly…etc. We would appreciate your prayers, love, and encouragement. We pray that you would keep in touch with us on Facebook and Instagram and let us hang out with you when we come back to visit! We love you all! 🙂