Craig was transferred to a store 45 minutes from home. With traffic in this area, it usually took much longer. However, he was only there for about a month before being transferred again to a store only 15 minutes from home. This time it included a small promotion. However, he was not happy there. Being closer to home was great, but there are a lot of other factors that go into enjoying your job. I could see the difference in his demeanor and experiencing some things myself in that store, I could see why he didn't like it. Finally, in September, Craig got transferred (AGAIN!) to a store 12 minutes from home. It's much larger, closer, and he got to work with his old store manager again. We get to see him all the time. he doesn't have to fight traffic, and he is so much happier.
I continued my college education, but this time I had to attend classes on campus for the Fall semester. The first couple of weeks were so hard! I wanted to cry, I kept asking Craig if I was doing the right thing (he assured me I was), and I felt like our normal family life was thrown completely off track. I just kept pushing on and realized this school schedule would become the new normal for us. It was tough for us to get through. Some weeks were easier than others. Unfortunately, I had a night class on Wednesdays so I would be gone from 7 am to 9 pm at night. We just kept telling ourselves it's for a good reason. Thankfully, my wonderful in-laws are not too far from campus and I was able to go to their house during my downtime. They let me nap, study, fed me dinner and sent me on my way again. :) I finished the semester with a 3.75 and will continue to study hard for many, many more semesters.
As a family, we made a huge decision together. After many months of prayer and seeking God's guidance and wisdom, we decided to change churches after 10 years. It absolutely was not an easy decision. It was not a decision influenced by anybody else. But rather, we knew the time was coming for this change. We just did not know when.
We had tried a few other churches throughout the years, but never felt at peace. This time, I can tell you exactly the day, the time, and where I was when I distinctly felt God telling us it was time to leave. Although we were all a little sad to leave the church family and the comfort we were familiar with, we knew we needed to be obedient to God.
God has led us to a new church not far from home that is just perfect for us right now. The first few weeks, we were just in tears every service over the peace we felt with this difficult decision. The second service we attended was a message and interpretation in tongues (1 Corinthians 14) about God bringing restoration to our lives. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
It was a smooth transition, but not always easy. Old friendships have seemed to die off as we try to make new ones. The kids have loved this church since the first week we attended, which is a huge sigh of relief for us. Sometimes change is scary, but the outcome can be beautiful.
Despite these big changes in our lives, we also enjoyed some great moments. We celebrated God's Creations with beautiful vacations to the Great Smokey Mountains and Atlantic Ocean, celebrated love with weddings and anniversaries, celebrated family with memorable holidays and family reunions, and celebrated life with peaceful and enjoyable birthdays. We stayed positive throughout this rocky year and God has continued to show us that better things always lie ahead.