This lilac bush is the the back left corner of our yard. It’s huge and overgrown, and in desperate need of some pruning. But, the top of the bush is covered in big, puffy lilac blooms. And let me tell you, every time I look out of our new kitchen window and see those purple flowers, my heart bursts a little. Let me tell you why.
When Lover and I started talking about moving away from upstate NY a couple of years ago, we tossed around all sorts of destinations and discussed what our life would look like. We strongly considered moving to Portland, Oregon for quite a while, thought about moving south to the Carolinas (like the rest of Rochester, NY) and even considered moving overseas. In the end, we decided to take a year off of our commitments, recharge emotionally and spiritually, and really rely on God to direct us where he wanted us to go after the year was up.
I’ve mentioned before that Lover’s job offer came in at 11:50pm the night of Peanut’s first birthday, which was exactly 365 days to the day after we had started our sabbatical year. That was our first sign that God was involved in this move in a major way. I kept a doc on my laptop of all of the ways He was showing us that this move was his plan for our future. Little things like the fact that we had purchased a van months before (which was a serious star player in our cross country trip), to big things like deciding to close down my photography business that year.
People helped us in droves during our last month there, watching our kids, running our enormous yard sale, selling things for us, making meals… the list goes on and on. As someone who has difficulty asking for help, the fact that I asked and people showed up – that meant so much to me.
I’ve continued to look for signs that this move was God’s will once we moved out here. It makes the hard days, the days where I desperately miss family and friends, a lot easier. I made note of the fact that the 2nd church we visited was the perfect fit for us, and we’ve only become happier there. It’s like a breath of fresh air. I haven’t let the fact that Lover no longer has sleep apnea go unnoticed. That God waited to let us get pregnant again until we were out here, established and with an apartment rented, and timed it just right so I could still attend my brother’s international wedding.
And throughout the long, arduous house hunting process, I kept all these things in mind. When I despaired that we would ever find a home we would love, that would fit our criteria, I reminded myself of all the ways that God has walked with us through this adventure so far. And at the final hour, a house came through. And not just any house, but one that we had absolutely fallen in love with, and was perfect for us in so many ways.
Once we had signed the contracts to purchase this house, I was talking to God one morning, a morning that I was particularly missing my world in Rochester. And I said “God, wouldn’t it be just perfect if, in our new yard, there was a lilac bush just waiting for me? To remind me of my friends and family in NY? A little sliver of “home” here in our new home?” Well, lo and behold, my friends, God moved the owners years ago to prepare this home for us by planting that pretty, sweet smelling bush in the back corner, just for me. I hope they enjoyed it, but I don’t really worry about that, because I know that all along that bush was actually just for me. God was saving it for me, keeping it as one of my “signs” that he’s walking right beside me, loving on me and spoiling me. And now I have the perfect visual reminder that He loves me – right in my own backyard.