Over the past few days I have been overcome with emotions. Taking an adventure to Cabot, AR stirred emotions in me I hadn’t acknowledged for quite some time. You see, when I drove away from Cabot nearly 3 years ago it wasn’t under the most pleasant of circumstance. Yes, the blessings that have followed have been abundant, and life in Abilene is filled with incredible joy, memories, friends and love. Please do not think for a second I am unhappy in Abilene. I am not. That being said, it was not our “choice” to leave Arkansas.
Three years ago our family dealt with a nightmarish year filled with lawyers, judges, court dates, legal interviews, and eventually the right guy at the right time to hear our story and help us be able to live together as a family, which meant moving to Abilene. (That’s the “Cliff’s Notes.” If you want details please feel free to ask I love telling the story because it is a part of the incredible testimony of how great our God is!)
So, three years ago I drove away from Cabot with no reason to ever return. So with that drive I treated it as if I were to look back I would be a pillar of salt, and I didn’t look back. I focused on the positive and left the trauma behind me. Fast forward to this past Friday morning as I entered Little Rock. I saw it’s skyline, and the River Market, then I passed the McCain exit in North Little Rock, the LRAFB exit, and finally I took the exit for Cabot, AR. The town my new marriage was supposed begin, where we bought our first home with the red kitchen I swooned over, the dream job teaching incredible kids at the high school, the church I said my vows in, the town I was ripped from three years prior. Needless to say as I entered Cabot I realized I had emotions with which I had never come to terms.
The funny thing is I never had a reason to come back to Cabot, but nearly three years ago God placed this amazing friend in my life, and her husband in my Zach’s life, and one year ago they left us and moved to…. You guessed it, Cabot.
The trip this past weekend was not one meant to help me come to terms with anything, except maybe how to properly ride a zip line, but through quiet conversation, loud boys, hot coffee, and one drive to a beautiful house I will never live in, I let go.
I didn’t even know I needed to let go, and I really didn’t expect it to be this hard. As I walked the perimeter of a house we own I cried. I cried as I mourned a life I never got to live, neighbors I never got to know, and memories that were never made… I said goodbye to the life I had been holding onto for three years, and knew that that life was never mine. While our plan was Cabot, it was not God’s.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11
The weekend reignited hard memories, but it also filled me with the knowledge of the blessings I have in the life God has planned for me. The life I am living is all in God’s plans. If I am truly trusting my heavenly Father, I must let go of my past, because it is dragging me down, and keeping me from fully living out God’s plans for my family, my marriage, and my life!
As I drove away this time, I was not mournful or bitter; instead I was just bummed to be driving away from my friend. Good thing about friends, you can always make plans to see them again soon! Even better thing about letting go of bitterness and sadness, it makes room for joy!
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Psalm 16:9