As I write this, I’m sleepy and nervous.
First, I have to apologize. My posts have been a bit less than riveting lately. But there’s a reason, I promise, and hopefully it’ll all make sense soon. Ready for it? Here it is:
I’m moving back to England.
Stay with me, I’ll explain. My friend’s mom has this thing she does when she needs to make a big decision. She just makes it. And lives with it. Kind of quietly for a little while, making all the steps that the decision requires, but just all by her lonesome for a while. It’s a way of kind of testing the decision out, making sure it makes as much sense in the cold light of day as it did in the moment you chose it.
That’s kind of what Simon and I did. Except, we’ve been living with this one for, oh, say, about four months. Longer than that, really, if you want to get technical.
Maybe I should start at the beginning. Or, at least, not at the end. When we moved here in February of 2008, after less than our first married year in England, we felt quite strongly it was a temporary move.
I have to admit there was a part of me, upon moving here, that hoped we might change our minds, that we might end up staying. But we haven’t. Even while I was working for skirt!, I was frequently thinking about how long I should stay there before I quit and we moved back. When I lost my job in April, it was a slap in the face – a moment to stop thinking about the what-ifs and start to really think about the when. The following months brought a roller coaster of emotions and locations. Our lease ran out on our cute little house, we moved in with my parents temporarily, visited Simon’s family in England (where he interviewed for a job we felt quite strongly he was going to get) and then, when he didn’t, we made the decision to move in with our friends Steve and Sarah, who’ve been tempting us with offers of their spare room and nonstop partying for over a year.
Again, when we decided to move the two and a half hours from Raleigh to Winston-Salem, we had thoughts of digging our feet in and settling down. But we weren’t here a couple of weeks before that old familiar tug set in. The thing I love about God, and the thing I hate, is that He won’t leave you alone, no matter how hard you try to ignore Him. Truth be told, I love it here. And this season we’ve spent here has been a season of rest, of relief, of basking in the glow of His Big, Bright Love.
But I feel the pull back to England. The truth is, I’ve felt the pull for years. Since 2003, definitely, when I met Simon and knew I was going to marry him. And maybe, truthfully, longer ago than that. Much, much longer. Maybe I felt it at age 5, sitting on my Grandma’s brown plaid couch, running my fingers over the picture of Queen Elizabeth at her Coronation in a 1950s-era Encyclopedia Britannica.
That’s why my writing here may have seemed a bit distant of late. You see, my mind has been full of the dreams and fears and excitement and pain of making this big move, and I haven’t been free to share it with you. So I’ve written about other things that are happening – my new-found love of baking, my pregnant friends – but have left out all the parts about what’s really going on in this little heart of mine. And I’m sorry. Because so many of you have written to me and commented here and said that’s what you like about Great Smitten. And that’s what I want to give you. My wee little heart, full of its fears and sorrows and dreams and excitements.
So now that you know, I’m free to tell you all about it. About all the packing I have to do before I load 20-something boxes of kitchen utensils and Christmas decorations onto a ship on Friday. About the way we’ve been praying for my Visa to come back from the British Consulate in time for our flight out on December 16. About how I’m looking forward to public transportation and good Indian food and pubs with fireplaces.
I want to share it all with you, and I hope you’ll follow Great Smitten as I rediscover the land that gave this blog its name.
I love America, I love North Carolina, and I love Winston-Salem. I won’t follow that with a “but.” I love it here.
I’m being led now, to a country where the Lord has plans for me. And I’m doing my best to follow.