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Texas? Texas!

Of all the moves I’ve made since 2009, I think this one has special meaning. The move from Indiana to California had to do with feeling unsatisfied in various areas of my life and wanting a change. For close to a year, I planned and prepared as best I could and after enduring some bumps, managed to land upright for the most part.

In 2017, noticing that things were beginning to dry up in California, I made the move from Spring Valley, CA to Las Vegas, NV. I didn’t like Las Vegas during my first visit a year before. Not at all! Yet, after interviewing for a very promising position doing something that I loved (training), and seeing how excited Candace was to live there, I put some plans in place. I was even told that my ministry regarding relationships and premarital work was needed given Vegas is known as the Marriage Capital of the World.

Well, after a second interview, going through a background check, and finalizing the steps to move, I had my first experience of being “ghosted.” I never heard back from that prospective employer… like not even a “we don’t like you anymore” break-up letter. Nothing!

In fact, for the next four years or more, I never had a full-time job… anywhere! I was hired for one, but I quit after the first day! Let’s just say, there was something rotten in the state of Denmark! (And why Denmark? I’m sure it’s a very nice place!) Closing in on five years of being in Vegas, my daughter asked, what did we expect to grow in the desert?

Cruising through a pandemic, becoming a grandmother, reeling from some church hurt that was on a whole-new level, experiencing more body aches and pains than I could count… I was doing my best to adjust to what was my new normal. I was getting accustomed to the thought that all the wishes and wants that had stayed afloat in my head for the past 15-20 years were just that, wishes and wants. I even entertained the thought that although I had resisted it, I really was in retirement (that was SO hard to write).

At the same time, Candace was reaching for and achieving her dream job position… a fully remote writing job. This meant she could live wherever she wanted… Wherever! We looked at going back to California. Still too expensive. We looked at Atlanta and Savannah… Crime on the rise and too much talk of haints and secret societies. For some reason we forgot about wanting to live in Mexico or Belize.

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Being that I was 13 years older than I was the last time I had to deal with the stuff, my ONLY request was to avoid snow and black ice. So, tell me WHY are we in North Texas in the middle of winter?

Moving to Texas wasn’t out of necessity. It had nothing to do with love, or better employment, or seeking cheaper rent… (Lord knows it wasn’t about cheaper rent!) No, the desire to move was simply about wanting a change for change’s sake. It was about having the ability to make a choice that wasn’t driven by outside forces. We weren’t running from something but choosing to walk into spaces that would hopefully bring about peace and abundance.

In preparing for the move, I spent time being intentional about what I wanted this move to mean and be like. I had my soft music, my journal and pen, and focused on devotionals that talked about trusting God to lead me to what God wanted to do with my life. Moving forward we outfitted the car for the trip, packed the remains of our things away in a Pod to only be reintroduced to a thing called windchill. Umm, why are we here?!!

I never had a desire to, or inkling that, I would ever live in California or Nevada before moving there. The same is true for Texas as well. Other than an invite from a friend who had recently moved to Texas, moving there was NOT on my radar. Not at all! But here I am. Here we are! And my achy body is revolting big time! BIG TIME!

Within the first three weeks of living here, I had to remember how to dress in layers, how to avoid frozen pipes, how to really warm a car, and how to walk and drive on ice. I also have to give Indiana its props on knowing how to clear the roads of snow and ice (North Texas you get a “D-“). And oh, how I regret throwing away my ice scraper after holding on to it for 10 years. Cause you see, an old CD you find in the car doesn’t quite do the same job! Nope!

From Cherise’s personal pictures

Am I regretting this move? You would think so, but no. I’m more intrigued than anything. Intrigued to learn what this bumpy start will bring. Homelessness in California lead to a career that flourished and lasting relationships. Sketchy employment in Nevada lead to innovative ways to generate income and connect groups people during a pandemic. So, what will an icy welcome to Texas bring?

One of the main things I kept hearing and coming back to in my devotional time prior to the move was: “Don’t doubt, believe.” This led me to firm up what it was that I was believing and what I was doubting and why? Was I basing my thoughts about the future on the hiccups and trials of the past? Was my desire to be hopeful and grateful being overshadowed by the reality that sometimes things don’t go as planned?

As I sit in my new studio apartment looking out at an ice-covered and bare tree, I continue to pray for growth. When it comes to asking God for instructions on what to do next, I have to trust His Word. I have to believe what it says in James that I can ask for wisdom, He provides it generously without giving a side-eye because I’m asking again… for the 100th time.

I’m not sure what all this 60+ year-old is to do in these here parts of Texas, but it may start with buying some thermals!

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