Last week I shared that the strong women in two of my favorite books moved both figuratively and literally as they accepted the challenges of life. I mentioned they were women who refused to allow past circumstances to hold them hostage, to keep them from become the women God intended them to become. They are good models for me.
This week I have been packing boxes in preparation to move into a new house. I know this is the right time. I know God has a plan for me. That helps. Knowing I am living within God’s will makes life decisions easier.
Easier—but not without a crazy mix of emotions. It’s not that I have a problem leaving this place I’ve called home for twenty-four years. I made the decision shortly after Tom’s death to never be held hostage by a place or event. I made it a point to eat at some of our favorite restaurants. I went to the movies with my kiddos to see the new Star Wars movie when it came out—something Tom would have loved.
Tom and I had planned to move in 2014. The intent was to spend the winter camping in Florida. We planned to return to Ohio in the spring when we would find some property and build a new home.
In fact, we had a contract for selling this very house. The closing was set for November. Tom died on October 29th. The buyers, people chosen by God because he knew they would do the right thing, were gracious and helpful. They let me out of the sale. I wasn’t ready to go through Tom’s things—to sort through his clothes, tools and sports equipment. And I had nowhere to go.
Earlier this year, a little over two years after losing Tom, I came to the realization it is time to move. Time to downsize. Time to pack up the life I’ve known and move toward the plan God has for my future. I prayed about it. I found a house that suits me and my needs. The new house is smaller and everything is on one floor.
Every step of the buying and selling process has been affirmed by God in multiple ways. Perhaps that is another blog post. For now I am packing.
When I tell people I’m moving I receive mixed reactions. Close friends understand and have offered to help. Some people ask me how I can leave this house since it was the last place Tom and I lived together. A few other widows have called me “brave” or “courageous.” But the remark that strikes me most is when people suggest that by moving I am leaving the memories behind. “You have so many memories in that house. How can you leave it?” they ask.
Here is the simple truth. I’m packing up the memories and taking them with me.
By the way, if you missed last week’s post, here is the link. I call it Beyond Wonder Woman: