Pit Stops

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

I considered sharing this news in several ways but decided that being direct was the best route.

We’re moving.

In mid-December, JJ got an offer for a position that he had applied for over the summer, and he decided to accept it. We’ll be moving to a small town around seven hours east of here in early March.

Although I’m happy we’ll be living within a couple of hours of my family in San Antonio, I’m saddened to leave El Paso for all the momentous highs and lows we’ve experienced here.

El Paso is the city that JJ and I moved to as newlyweds. It’s the city where I went mountain biking with him for the first time, we had countless of barbecues over the grill outside our first apartment, I spent numerous hours with a friend swimming in our apartment pool, and where I got a job as an interpreter that provided me the most breathtaking view of the Franklin mountains each morning I drove to work.

It’s the city where JJ and I discovered that we were going to be parents and where we attended birthing classes and began to prepare for and anticipate life with a little baby. It’s also the city where our baby boy was finally born, where I became a stay-at-home mom, and where we discovered the hardships and joys of having a newborn and then a toddler who is now almost four.

JJ and I bought our first house here and turned it into a home, and we’ve seen a lot of firsts here ever since. First steps. First words. First holidays as a family.

It was here in El Paso that Liam was admitted to the hospital for a couple of nights and diagnosed with an illness that caused him to be on medication for nearly an entire year. Much of my social life was stripped away from me during that time as JJ and I sought to protect Liam’s immune system as best as we could. But it was also here where God blessed me with incredible friendships during that period of time. One friend came to visit weekly, and another group of dear friends came monthly for a Saturday afternoon potluck. I came to realize how life-giving friendships could be during that time, and I’ll forever be grateful to these friends (and others) for how they helped to bring me through a rough year.

It is here where, after Liam fully recovered his health in December 2019, we entered into the pandemic with the rest of the world a few short months later. Despite all the restrictions life threw us at that time, however, my friends and I still found ways to connect, doing Bible studies together or baking and doing crafts together online. And then there were the drop-offs of baked goods or presents to each other at our front doors in 2020. We connected even more deeply over our shared hardship, and God used these challenges to cause us to experience spiritual growth.

As I remember all the epic moments that my family and I have personally experienced here thus far and all the beautiful reconnections of 2021, I recognize how much God has both blessed JJ and me and stretched our faith as He has taught us to trust Him more deeply. Much like the actual wilderness that El Paso is, God has brought us through a wilderness experience in our spiritual journey here these last few years. We’ve been reminded more profoundly that He is enough and that He is faithful. As uncomfortable as our journey has been at different points of time here, He has continued to provide for us and to remind us that He has journeyed with us every step of the way.

When I think about all of the incredible moments that my family and I have experienced here in El Paso, a popular saying comes to mind. All good things must come to an end. Fortunately, as believers, we know that this phrase is not really true. As much as this good thing of living in El Paso is coming to an end for my family and me, another popular phrase rings truer for those of us in Christ Jesus.

The best is yet to come.

The truth is, any place in which we make our dwelling in this life is only a pit stop on our spiritual journey here on earth. Our Forever Home awaits us, and we know that only what is good and true and pure will welcome us in that place.

As my family and I begin to pack and prepare for this next move, and as I deal with my own uncertainties and fears in the process, I am comforted to remember that this next place is only a pit stop on this road trip of life. Furthermore, it brings me greater comfort to know that God has placed this specific town on the map of my own spiritual journey. He knows exactly how He will provide for my family and me in this new town, and He knows what treasures we will unearth there and the friendships we will gain.

As bittersweet as it is to say farewell to El Paso and our friends here and everything this place has represented to us, I trust that God is leading our every step to this new place, and I trust that He is good. So, we will move forward by His help and through His strength, looking forward to all that He has in store.

9 thoughts on “Pit Stops”

  1. I’m saddened that you are having to move away from cherished friends in El Paso but excited that you’ll be closer to me! I have no doubt that you will find your way as you and your family follow the Lords leading. You are a blessing to so many and I know you’ll find those to bless in your new place. Love, hugs and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sandy. It will be fun to finally meet you in person and hopefully to have a Bible study reunion I’m SA one of these days. It really is bittersweet, but God is good and knows why He’s leading us in this way.

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  2. “The truth is, any place in which we make our dwelling in this life is only a pit stop…” Amen and amen. I am repeatedly telling myself this world is not my home. As this world spirals more and more into darkness and chaos I preach to myself that we are sojourners passing through! God is Just and Faithful. God is with you and He will help your heart with this move. I will pray for God to prepare you and to prepare where y’all are moving for you. Jesus loves you Colleen and so do I.

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  3. I can understand the feeling of not wanting to move from a place that means so much to you both and the cherished friends you have there.
    As you said each place God is leading you to is only a pit stop on our spiritual journey.
    I pray that God will bless you with wonderful community in the new town. And that Liam and both of you would thrive there.
    Also keeping in prayer, as you keep preparing for the move, it will not be overwhelming as it can often be.
    Happy new year to you and your family. Have been busy this month with so much going on and hence have not followed up with you via email. Will get back to that my friend. Take care and blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your reflections on the time in El Paso. So many major life moments with so many precious memories. Hard times too. God’s mighty hand over it all.
    It’s so true that it’s all just pit stops along the way to our true home in heaven. This is all temporary.
    Enjoy the next pit stop. I know God will provide everything you need in your new town. May He bless this move and journey with peace and joy.
    God bless you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

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