A person can’t get to their fifties without a considerable amount of challenges in their lives. Those challenges often make us who we are and sometimes define how we will handle problems in the future.
My dad and I didn’t get along from the time I was 13 until my mid 40s. To say I am blessed that God saved our relationship before my mom and dad passed away is an understatement. Mom was so afraid we would never connect and she cried for days when we finally did. Pride and misunderstanding was the root of 30 years of anger and heartache, and we both allowed those horrible things to rob us of many years of love. But God had another plan for this father and daughter, and when I found myself spending days and nights at his final bedside, I found it hard to wrap my head around how much I truly loved my daddy. I cannot thank God enough for the blessings in this and that He chose to heal us in our lifetimes. It’s as huge today as when I first realized it.
When we moved to Savannah we left our daughter behind so she could attend her senior year of high school at East Coweta. I do not know what gave me the strength to drive away that day but what I do know is that regardless of the fact that she would live with the absolutely most precious friends anyone could ask for, this momma’s heart was completely broken to leave her baby girl behind.
I had nothing to pull from, no life experiences of moving and leaving people I loved. I grew up in College Park and with very few moves in between, settled in Moreland. Leaving never occurred to us. We built our forever home, nestled in the woods of acres and acres, with family all around. We had plans drawn on notebook paper outlining where we would add on to that little country house one day. We made lifelong friends, and we would leave it all behind.
Life in Moreland was so sweet and we loved our home. I hung Sheetrock in that house when I was pregnant with The Boy. We spent a huge percentage of our lives on the sprawling porches, swinging in the huge porch swing, swimming in the little pool that was just off the back porch. The great room was our gathering place. And at night we’d sit around our little table and eat dinner together. Because I worked full-time and we were always in a state of chaos, I’d ask everyone to name three things that went well in their day. Sometimes “it didn’t rain” was the best someone could come up with but the majority of the time we would enjoy the small treasures of everyone’s day.
We’d lived every day for nearly 20 years among our family and friends when Ninja Man got word that his company was closing. He had 90 days to find a job. We didn’t panic. I was a corporate girl and could hold down the fort in case it took too long for him to find another job nearby. And then he began to get offers.
Though we thought we would continue life as we were, the offers that came were all far from home. Among those were Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida and then Savannah. We drove to Savannah and he was offered the job on the spot. We sat in a hotel room and literally made two columns on a page; pros and cons. It was decided; we would move.
And within days our little country home was on the market. In what seemed like a blur we had a moving truck in the yard and our daughter was moving in with our friends.
The following months were spent sobbing in my bed. It was more than my heart could hold, but it wasn’t too much for God to heal. Once I began praying about it God gave me what I needed to stand strong and be thankful for the overabundance of blessings in everything.
Once again, His plan was so much better than my own. We were able to send our daughter to her dream college, The Boy thrived in his school and the job has been a huge blessing to us.
The kids are grown with kids of their own, she returned to Newnan, he lives an hour away. Ninja and I are looking toward our retirement which will bring about another move in a few years. When the time comes, once again I will miss my home and friends of nearly 20 years. But this time I find that Paul’s words to the Thessalonians encourage me. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16) Following my husband and honoring my family is a good deed, wherever it takes me.
Eternal encouragement? Yes, please.
Kathy Bohannon is a weekly contributor to the Newnan Times-Herald. Purchase her ebook Dyson the Terrible Puppy at BarnesandNoble.com. Kathy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .