What on earth?!!
Today’s post is a personal one. I thought you might want to know the backstory/explanation. Some have already asked us and I am glad to answer what others may be wondering. I can imagine the buzz…….. and I don’t blame anyone for wondering or questioning.
Why on earth would we move after 30 years?
Why change at this stage of life?
Why leave family and friends who are so dear to us?
Kyle and I dated in college at Florida State and married shortly after graduation. We stayed in Tallahassee because some of our family was in town and we enjoyed what the city had to offer. After a few years at one job, my husband had the opportunity to become a business owner. He built, bought and managed rental property.
After 20 years of this, he began to feel weary with the personal toll/costs of this profession. By now we were empty nesters (which is glorious by the way), so this allowed more freedom to consider other options. While he had toyed with the idea of getting out of his career, he always felt it would be impossible to do so because of the complexities of selling all the properties he had.
Early in the summer, we finally decided to see what God would do. My husband listed all the buildings on the market, mind you without a real estate agent. We thought it would take years probably to sell all the buildings because any one property can take months and months to sell.
Well God began selling them lickety-split! Suprised was an understatement of how we felt.
Then the next question became what my husband wanted to do for work instead. If you know Tallahassee, you know it can be a difficult town to find a job other than a state job. So the shocking question was addressed about moving to another city to find a different career. We concluded that it could be worthwhile to move for better work opportunities.
Having lived in the same area for 30 years, we had pretty much seen it all. Although we enjoyed what the panhandle of Florida had to offer, we were getting sort of bored with things to do and places to see. We found ourselves unexcited about our weekends as empty-nesters. Boredom was not what we wanted for the next 15 years or so until we moved somewhere else for retirement. (We had always thought of moving to a cooler climate for retirement.)
We found that boredom soon led to complacency in our lives. We weren’t excited about much at all anymore. We felt dull or restless in our town, our social life, even in our faith. One week was evolving into the next with little fruit to show for it. We had time on our hands because of the new season of fewer responsibilities with parenting but what were we doing with it?
We were not growing anymore as individuals or as a couple. We loved our community of people around us but there was something else that was needed. We finally figured out what- challenge, adventure, newness, vibrancy……..new life!
As we combined the list of what we were missing in life, we agreed that these were more reasons to make a change in more than just a career, but a lifestyle as well.
We had visited Jacksonville for the last 5-6 years because of kids in school at the University of North Florida. What we had always enjoyed about visiting seemed to line up with what we were looking for at this stage in our life.
- Healthy, growing economy
- New sites to see
- New activities to enjoy
- Water- river, intercoastal and beach
- A church we already knew we would enjoy
- Two of our kids living in the area
As we considered where to move, Jacksonville became a natural option. So we decided to begin taking the option seriously of making a major life change.
How God Moved
As God began selling off our business properties after Kyle listed them in the early summer, in mid-July we thought we probably ought to list the house because things seemed to be moving faster than expected. Within 2 weeks, we had a signed contract and 30 days to move out.
Now things were getting serious!
I left Tallahassee for the first of 2 trips to Jacksonville to look for a rental home. On the second trip, I found something more than just suitable, but fun and adventuresome!
We rented an apartment in a high-rise on the St. John River. From the suburbs of Tallahassee to the downtown living in a high-rise, we were headed for the city life!
What We Decided
After evaluating our current life in Tallahassee, we determined that the risk of the “unknown” was better than the “known” for us individually and as a couple. Although we loved our family and community of friends dearly, we were wasting away in a sense, with only a jolt of courage and faith to bring about the plausible remedy.
Because we were both in agreement and God seemed to be leading and providing as we prayed, we decided to be bold and “chase our lion” (for those who have not read the book yet by Mark Batterson, it is excellent). Life is too short to settle for weariness, boredom, and complacency. At 52 and 50, we had a whole lot of living left to do (God willing) and we didn’t want to settle for less than what God offered if we were courageous enough to follow.
I am so glad we opened our minds to what only God can do. Ony He could sell all those properties so quickly, or at all for Kyle. Only God could sell our home and unite our hearts in agreement on leaving and where to seek our new adventure.
We are having so much fun exploring this area and enjoying the new opportunities as empty-nesters. No longer are we weary, bored or complacent. We love the adventure and challenge of it all and look forward to growing in our new church community. It is life-giving to be challenged in a good way as we start over. New people to meet, new activities to enjoy, new places to see.
We don’t know how long we will live in Jacksonville or where we will eventually end up, but we know one thing……the risk is worth the chance!
Yes, life is too short to think God cannot do the impossible!
Chase your lion my friends, and see for yourself!