Sojourn, verb: to stay for a time in a place; live temporarily
So today I explain the second reason for the name of my blog. Well, for a little girl who fervently prayed that she would never ever have to move out of the only home she knew, I have spent the last decade of my life relocating to new towns. After having spent my entire life in my hometown of Baltimore, Maryland -- except for four years of college in faraway Washington, D.C -- at age 30 I relocated for the first time to Franklin, Tennessee. My husband Anthony had answered the call to ministry at Strong Tower Bible Church. We were thrilled with the opportunity to serve the Lord and His people full-time.
I can remember the bursts of joy that I'd feel at any given moment. We had been given a clean slate, a fresh start, a chance to "reinvent" ourselves, if you will. What an awesome opportunity! For weeks, Franklin was a perfect place: a great place to raise our son Kalin (and the baby I was carrying). I couldn't imagine ever missing old Baltimore with its low-rated public school system and high-rated crime statistics. But one day the honeymoon ended, as all honeymoons do. Maybe it was when I realized I still hadn't made any close friends. Or maybe it was when I found out that ministry can be really hard sometimes, especially on Sunday mornings when your husband is working, instead of worshiping with you. Or maybe it was when I suffered my first miscarriage, or maybe the second.
It was around that time that I discovered a life-altering truth: moving is hard.
Fast-forward eight years. In 2009, after much prayer and seeking the Lord, Anthony and I moved from what had become comfortable Franklin back to the East Coast. This move felt different, like we were coming home. We were excited to be an hour from our family and so close to the nation's capital. Every chance we got, we hopped on the Metro to check out the beautiful monuments and amazing museums. Even though I missed my friends in TN, Northern Virginia felt like a great place to camp out for the next decade or so.
But that decade turned into one year. I now call God the "Great Flipper of Scripts", because that's exactly what He did to us. We thought our mission was to plant a church in Northern Virginia, but less than a year into the process God called us here to Little Rock, Arkansas. Honestly, just
six months ago, if you'd have blindfolded me, I couldn't have landed my finger on Arkansas on a U.S. map for a million dollars! But here we are, Anthony serving as a teaching pastor for Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas and campus pastor of their new church plant in nearby Conway. And me sometimes scratching my head saying, "What had happened was?!"
It's been hard, but it's been good. I've had days that I've cried the entire time in carpool line, hoping that my tinted windows kept me hidden. And it's been lonely, though our church members have bent over backward to make us feel at home. But I've walked this walk before, and I know I'll come out better on the other side. Sometimes I wonder, why the one year pit-stop in Virginia? And why couldn't we have joined the staff of a church back home? I don't know all the answers, but I know a God Who does. And I know that He loves me deeply. So even though I'm a sojourner here (heaven's my real home anyway) I have a Father who will never leave me nor forsake me. And nothing can separate me from His love. And as the psalmist says: