Next Wednesday, May 2nd, Amy, the kids and I will leave behind us the city, the church and the home we’ve enjoyed for the last eight years. It’s felt like getting ready for another birth, making all of the plans for our move to Portland and everything that comes along with it. And in a way, it is.
Once again, we’re reinventing our lives. We’re starting over with a new church and in a new part of the country. We’re leaving behind the certain (more so than where we’re headed at least) in pursuit of the largely unknown. nearly everything about our daily lives will be different in the coming weeks, days and years.
Everything except us.
The old cliche about no matter where you go, there you are, is well-worn for a reason. If we were making this move to escape something, I’d expect it to fail, regardless of our efforts. But we’re feeling drawn out, pulled toward the new. Because of that, we’re enjoying an emotional admixture of equal parts exhilaration and terror.
Most of the time, this combination of feelings, at least for me, means it’s an actual “call.” No, I don’t thing God is playing concert master, shuffling the players from time to time to keep things interesting. But I do think we’re embedded with certain tools, certain gifts, all of which ripen and manifest themselves according to their time.
This readiness, in combination with the needs God makes clear to us we can and should address, in what I understand to be a call.
So we’re hitting the road, leaving all of our stuff behind, save for a couple of suitcases. After dropping the kids at grandma’s place near Taos, New Mexico, Amy and I will head for Vegas for a couple of days. From there, we’ll stop in LA to catch up with some friends and family, and then up to San Francisco to celebrate our friends’ fortieth birthdays on the bay.Then comes the long and winding road – literally – along the Pacific coast to Oregon. We’re not exactly sure where and when we’ll stop; only when we plan to get to Portland. Once there, we’ll hunt down a furnished apartment (barring a miraculous sale of our Pueblo home in the meantime), call for the kids and get ready to start in our new roles at First Christian Church in the heart of the City of Roses.
I’ve been working on a third memoir in recent months with the working title, “Face the Strange,” in anticipation of these big shifts, among others, coming in our lives. As part of that process, I’ve decided to use my blog as a sort of travel log during the weeks we’re in transit and getting settled in up in the Pacific Northwest. I may still post on topical issues as they come up, but my plan is to post essays and/or photos along the way to keep track of what happens during what I expect will be a once-in-a-lifetime journey.
It may all end up in the book. Then again, who knows? That’s kind of the mantra for our family right now. We’re preparing to let go, without full knowledge of what exactly it is we’re grabbing on to on the other side. But I’m resolved not to lose this in-between time to either mourning what’s been left behind or planning for what’s next.
I hope you enjoy following along the trip with us.