Its been over four years since I have felt at home. I know that sounds crazy, but its the honest truth. The last time I felt like I was “home” was when I was in college. As soon as I graduated, I felt homesick. And I’ve been searching for the cure for it ever since. I think its fair to say my husband has felt the same way.
Life after college meant being thrown into the adult world and finding our way. As soon as I graduated, I moved back in with my parents to finish planning our wedding. In March before we got married, John was laid off of work. The housing market crashed and his job was one that was affected. In a way it was a blessing, because it meant we could move closer to our parents. But it was also a huge challenge.
After five months of living out of suitcases at their house, John and I got married. We moved to Winston Salem where I started my first real job as an oncology nurse, working night shift, as the sole income for our newlywed selves. We struggled to adjust. I struggled to adjust to night shift and my new, really challenging, really scary job. John did a lot of side jobs from carpet cleaning, to finishing his sisters basement, to make money while he was unemployed. I worked like crazy, and slept every chance I got. And I craved “home.” I begged John to get us back to Greenville. But it didn’t work out. There were a lot of tears, a lot of anger, and a lot of praying.
A year later, John was offered a job almost two hours away from where we lived. So we moved half way between my job, and his new job and we both commuted to work. My commute was 45 minutes, his was an hour, sometimes more. I also went to dayshift, which was amazing. We finally felt like things were turning around, we finally had two incomes, and I felt so much better on dayshift. But we still didn’t feel home. We contemplated moving to where his job was, where I could easily find a job and we’d be more centrally located. We’d be able to buy a house, find a church, build a community and finally settle down somewhere. I went on a couple job interviews. I was even offered one, and turned it down. It just didn’t feel right. We were so, so frustrated, and still felt like something was missing. We still didn’t feel home.
Two years after that, we welcomed Landon into our lives and started the huge journey that is parenthood. It became even more important to me to find that “home” that we were craving. So, after a lot of praying and a stroke of good luck, I got a job at the cancer center ten minutes from our house. I gave up my commute, my weekends, my holidays, and welcomed consistency. I started my new job last November, and immediately felt relief. I felt like it was the right step, that it was what worked for us. I could drop Landon off in the mornings and pick him up each day, I had every weekend home, and every holiday home. Something that was so important. Finally, things were working out. About the same time, John was moved to a neighborhood only 30 minutes away from us, cutting his commute in half. We finally could begin conversations about settling down, getting out of our rent house, and finding something of our own.
Last weekend we made an offer on some land nearby. And our offer was accepted. I can already tell a difference in our stress level. We both are so at peace and so happy about this little piece of land that we can call ours.
I finally feel home.
I can honestly say that the past four years have been the greatest blessing, and the biggest challenge I’ve ever gone through. I’m pretty sure God taught me more about patience, and waiting on His timing for my life than ever. And I can honestly say that it was worth it, because it makes this time for us even more sweeter knowing what we overcame to get here.
Hopefully, next spring we can begin building our first real home. The place we can raise our family. The place we can watch our kids play in the yard, plant flowers, and watch the sunset from the back porch.
I can hardly wait.