They say memory is one of the first things to go as you get older. And I will admit there are days I don’t remember what I had for breakfast or what I walked into the room to get or to do. But, I remember exactly where I was five years ago today, and the journey my family was about to finish. We were starting the fourth day of a cross-country journey we had just done four weeks previously. That first time though we were traveling westward, and my husband had no job, while this time, we were traveling eastward with the promise of work in Birmingham, Alabama. I was more relieved than you could possibly know. We were on our own again with the promise of something new around the corner. I just wasn’t sure what that would be.
We were in Fort Smith, Arkansas that morning, and I could tell we were all getting tired. Patience was low, and we were all eager to be done. We made a brief stop at Wal-Mart to get something for the car and then we were off. The day was spent traveling across Arkansas, crossing the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee, and then heading southeast towards Birmingham. We made the obligatory stops for meals and other necessary tasks. By the time we passed the exit for Tupelo, Mississippi, we decided to push and see how fast we could get to Birmingham. It was six-thirty that evening when we approached the outskirts of Birmingham. When we took the turn off the interstate, I remember saying, “Oh, the traffic won’t be that bad. Everybody should already be home from work.”
The four of us looked at the wall of traffic on the road that the sign called 280 and shook our heads in disbelief. It was stop and go. It took us an hour and a half to get from the interstate to our hotel. We found out later that Route 280 was considered one of the major traffic arteries for the area and that there had been a few accidents on that particular evening.
But, we had arrived. We were in Birmingham and ready for our new start. The next morning, my husband went to get the keys for our corporate apartment, and his new work computer was delivered to him. He was excited about starting his new job the day after Labor Day. We spent the weekend becoming acquainted with our new city. The one thing we did which would be the most instrumental in how future events would play out was to go meet a family in person where I had only known the mother online as part of a website for homeschool moms. We hit it off. Their children and my sons were close in age, and everyone spoke enthusiastically as we became acquainted. During the following weeks, we did things as a family and with this other family as we started getting used to being in a new city.
And now, five years later, Birmingham is home. All has not been tea and roses. I lost our third child shortly after we arrived. We’ve dealt with so many difficulties I can almost not name them all, and we are dealing with one now, in particular, that has knocked us off our feet. It is doing a good job of hurting my heart, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen.
But, our older son has graduated from high school and gone on to college, we’ve made friends, we’ve found a church, and we’ve gained a family. Most importantly, God has come back into my heart and into my home, and even with all the difficulties; I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’m so grateful for a Lord and Savior who never gave up on me!
God’s blessings on all of you today!