I moved to Arizona in 2013 hoping for a new adventure. 5 years later, I’m leaving with a newfound respect for the US and all it’s natural wonders, new friends that feel like family, a job with people who inspire me every day to be better and who remind me that nothing is impossible if you’re willing to work for it, a future husband who I still cannot believe is mine, and a sense of peace and gratitude that I have never felt before. I have hiked mountains, woken up to the sound of the waves on the coastline, gotten lost in the silence of the desert, been challenged by time and distance, and eaten way too much authentic Mexican food…. But with every new adventure and every terrifying risk, I peeled back a new layer and revealed a truer, stronger, purer version of myself. I moved 2400 miles away from home to a city I knew no one and nothing about to discover who I was and to remember where I came from.
I think it’s safe to say I got much more than I bargained for.
As Joe and I prepare to drive across the country (literally the exact reverse of the way I came) and move back to the East Coast, we are headed yet again toward a future we know nothing about. But this time, I return with the comfort of knowing I am not alone, as I am certain that something much bigger is guiding me; guiding us. Though I didn’t know it at the time, God guided me once, into the dark and back again, only to lead me to the brightest presence I’ve ever known. For the first time, I can make sense of the past and see all of my experiences, however painful, as necessary predecessors to the present and future. And because of this, I fear nothing. In this dusty, dry city, I have finally learned how and what it means to breathe fresh air.
Thank you to those who have been a part of this leg of the journey. The journey going forward will no longer be mine, but ours, and I am filled with nothing but appreciation for the past, gratefulness for the present, and hopefulness for the future; our future.
“Be not afraid; I go before you always; come and follow me, and I will give you rest.”