I haven’t had or taken the time to blog about the past few weeks in our life. It’s almost as if I can’t find the right way to tell the story. Do I record the funny, light moments of our journey to a new home in Florida or do I delve into the deep emotional undercurrents of the transition? These two extremes exist in a constant tug of war in this paradox we are currently living. Either is appropriate; neither alone seems quite fair. The “I’ll be seeing you” coincide with the “we’ve been praying for you” in every single situation.

I keep returning to the word bittersweet. Bitter and sweet mixed together in a singular sensation that cannot be separated from each other. Every part of this journey holds the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes at exactly the same moment. We’ve endured such monumental shifts on so many fronts in our world that I don’t even recognize the landscape anymore. There is no more normal. Even in that truth, I find relief and anxiousness, both sides equal as I set about to build a new home 1000 miles away from the only home I’ve really ever known.

Yet, I hold to the promises before us in the new land. The promise that has been whispered in my heart since this journey began to crack open in June was “every place on which your foot shall tread I have given it to you” (Joshua 1:4). Interestingly, three times after this promise is given in Joshua, God tells his people to “be very strong and courageous, do not be afraid or dismayed.” I guess God knew that being afraid and dismayed was easier than being strong and courageous. I know because I’m living this passage out right now. There may not be actual giants in Sarasota, but we’ve faced plenty of giant circumstances to get here.

But oh, how amazing is this new land we’ve been called to occupy! The promises before us are so rich, the area so beautiful, the work so promising, the new co-labors so welcoming. Although my heart aches for my daughter, our family, and our friends, I believe the bitterness will fade and the only the taste of the sweet will prevail. The glorious unveiling of a new (and unexpected) assignment and the lifetime fulfillment of our heart’s desire to live by the beach are both very sweet and very precious. Eyes ahead and not behind, hearts filled with courage and not fear – hold on friends, it’s time for a new chapter in our life story. I’m calling this one Begin Again.