6.12.2012

Closure

Hello, sweet friends! I'm longing to connect with you and want to keep sharing our story, but I've been in a bit of an emotional coma lately. You should've seen me at the beach. I hardly spoke a word! It's a good thing my girls were so enchanted by the beauty God had to offer, because this mama didn't have a thing left to give.

Enjoying our first beach vacation.

For me, healing comes through tears and words. I so often fight back the tears, but they're starting to fall, and I'm convinced that's a good thing. Now it's time to let the words flow. Writing is like deep breathing for me: life giving and very much needed. So here we go...a good, long exhale of words.

We're officially in Franklin, but before I can embrace our arrival here, I've got to go back and process our departure. In a nutshell: it was gut-wrenching. Maybe that's how it's supposed to feel when you leave the only hometown you've ever known {I lived in the same neighborhood my entire life!}, but I think the harder thing for me is that we didn't have any real closure. I think I've been grieving that and need to write it out...to let it go.

We loved our movers, VIP Moving & Storage.

Laura Finley with Powell, owner of VIP Moving.

One of my nephews in the driver's seat.


The truck was a huge hit with our sweet neighbors!

And a big hit with my husband, too.
{His boyhood dream was to become a semi truck driver!}

Another of my cute nephews.
{And yet another boy excited about the truck!}

Holding a camera in my hands provided me with some temporary joy in our final days, but I'm still struggling with closure. I think it has to do with some of the strange things that happened at the end. First was the sale of my husband's clinic. When the deal was done, my husband was shown the door. No transition, no contact with patients, no seeing them one last time to tell them the news in person, no saying goodbye to the people who helped make him the amazing doctor he is today. I can't say much more about it without hurting someone {and to be honest, I still don't understand why it all happened that way}, but let's just say that the lack of transition was hurtful.

Saying goodbye to sweet Elsa was like saying goodbye to family.

A second strange thing: my parents left for their five months in Maine just days before we moved. I didn't know how strange that would feel until after they left. I don't blame them for wanting to escape to cooler weather and beautiful views, but I wish they could've been there to lend a helping hand {packing was a lot harder than I imagined!} and to say goodbye. It was weird to stay in their house that last night without them in it...and to drive away without anyone there to wave goodbye.

Our family room on moving day...with my husband still packing like a machine!

And a final strange thing: the new owners started moving in before we were finished moving out. In fairness to them, we expected to be out by the end of June 1, but a truck breakdown put our movers 5 hours behind schedule, so we asked for more time on June 2. When the new owners started brining things over in a steady flow that morning, I didn't know what to say. Looking back, I wish we had spoken up and asked for a few more hours of privacy. I never had a chance to do a final walkthrough or close the door behind me. No closure. {I ended up leaving church outfits hanging in the master closet, and didn't realize it until 6 days later when I was getting dressed!} I wish them every happiness in that beautiful home, but note to self: we'll let our sellers move out entirely before we drop a single thing off at the house...even if it means waiting a few hours longer.

Just writing all that made me feel a little short of breath, and I think my shoulders rose about an inch! DEEP BREATH. At least my husband had the idea of huddling together the night before the movers came to pray and give thanks for the years God gave us in our Arnold Street home.

Thanking God for the blessing of our Houston home,
and for all the memories we created there.

Laura Finley sprawled out in her empty room.

Hallie looking out her favorite window one last time.

Closure has always been a big thing for me. I like to have it. Not having it hurts. I know I've got to let the strange lack of closure go, but it's hard. I tried writing these things in the sand at the beach, hoping that as the waves washed my words away, it would wash my grief away, too.

At least I got to say goodbye to my sister and her cute family. We hope to see them in Maine real soon!

We've always been night and day.

The girls with Uncle Josh.


Hugs goodbye.

Writing in the sand was so therapeutic for me.

When we arrived in Franklin, I wasn't sure how to feel. The excitement of dreaming was hiding behind a mix of grief and fear. Grief feels good and normal; fear feels like a thief...a stealer of joy. I won't go into all the details, but here's what I know about fear: it's not from God. So I surrender the what ifs again and again and cling to words of truth.


Jeremiah 29:11 tells us God plan is to give us a hope and a future.

Speaking of powerful words, we visited this church on Sunday, and the pastor said something I'm still digesting:
"Genuine faith is nothing but an increasing desperation for Jesus Christ."
One thing's for sure: all the strange things we experienced during our final days in Houston along with all  the disorientation I'm experiencing in a new hometown has increased my dependence on Jesus more than anything else in my entire life. And if that's the gift of all this strangeness, then I receive it and give thanks for it.

And there it is, my sweet friends. THANKSGIVING. With a steady stream of words and verbal processing, my heart has finally arrived. And one thing I've learned:

Thanksgiving is where the heart becomes truly free.

As we move forward, putting one foot in front of the other and walking by faith to embrace this huge change in our lives, I know our hearts will begin to overflow with thanksgiving.

Today, I'm thankful for friends who have opened their hearts and home to us here in Franklin. We'd be falling apart in isolation without them. It feels safe and good to be in their midst. And I'm thankful for the friend who helped me pack my most personal spaces {my studio, bathroom and closet} on the last day. There's no way I could've gotten those boxes on the moving truck without her.

And YOU, sweet blog friends. I'm thankful for your steadfastness as you follow along and encourage us in this dream. It's funny...during a time when everything feels new and unfamiliar, you feel so familiar...despite the fact that I haven't even met most of you in person! I'm happy to be in your company!

Hugs and love,
 

55 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing about your move. It is so hard to leave the familiar behind and move forward into the unknown. Just keep reminding yourself that the Lord has great things in store for your family!

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  2. Hi Linsey,
    Oh how my heart and prayers are with you and your family in this time of transition!! And you have every right to feel upset over the strange things that happened during your move. I surely would!
    But remember, that God has led you to your new place and the beginning of this new chapter in your life and he will surely see you through.
    It will be a big adjustment, but you have God and your beautiful family to lean on! And soon the excitement of new memories will shine upon you.
    All the best to you and I look forward to following you on your new journey!
    Sincerely,
    Melinda

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  3. I'm in a puddle of tears, and I'm not even kidding a little bit.

    I need closure, too, so I could feel your heart's ache for the lack of it.

    I'm praying for your husband as he works through the way it all ended. We've had situations like that in ministry, and it is so hard on your heart.

    I cried harder when I read that your parents left before you did and that you spent the last night in their home without them there to wave goodbye to you guys.

    The beach pictures! I cried even harder.....what a beautiful image of you writing your heart's hurts and letting the waves attempt to wash them away. I wish that had worked for you. :)

    I'm so grateful for the friends that you have in Franklin, and I'm so glad for fresh starts and a blank canvas! It helps me when I feel overwhelmed to listen to as much worship music as possible...it fills my mind with truth instead of all the lies that the enemy is so faithful to throw my way.

    Praying for you guys!

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    1. Sweet Tara, the blog friend I've never met but who's heart feels so similar to mine, thank you for your compassion on every level. It blessed me! xoxo!

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  4. I've only recently found your blog, but love it already. Your honesty shows in your writing, I only wish I could write the same way... maybe in time it'll come. Meanwhile I send you good wishes across the sea to you and your family, wishing you well as you start your new adventure. I look forward to watching you build yourself up again as I know that you will. xx

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    1. Welcome to the blog, Katherine! Thank you for your sweet words about my writing. Sometimes I read back over my posts and wonder what prompted me to be so honest in PUBLIC?!?! Only God! You'll find your voice. Keep listening to His!

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  5. Hi Linsey! So glad to see you posted an update for us as I've prayed many days for you and your family. We too are faced with making a similar decision...so I have been able to relate to almost every word...do we move to a place where our heart feels is "right" and leave my life-long hometown OR stay put and not follow a dream. I admire you for making a decision and going for it!! What may feel oh so wrong (or hard) is probably truly oh so RIGHT. I like closure too and my feelings can be easily hurt, even if that is not the intention of the other party. I know you must be exhausted (especially emotionally, not to mention physically) so I continue to pray. Focus on HIM who has all the answers and don't let fear steal the JOY from you! He will try! You are a blessing and I love seeing the big smiles on your girls at the beach!!! Blessings to each of you!!!

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    1. I am truly touched that you would pray for me and my family. You are right that what feels crazy and "wrong" can be so very RIGHT and GOOD. Go for it, sister!

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  6. A beautiful post Lins! I needed some closure as well as it was so strange to jog by your house this morning and know you were gone {even thought of your church clothes still hanging in that closet!}. ;)

    With each day you'll gain strength and the momentum will increase. When I saw the word 'thanksgiving' at the end of your post it gave me butterflies to invision how you'll celebrate that holiday this November with your sweet family in your new home. In just a few months time you'll be settled and in the groove there.

    Sending you lots of love and hugs~
    T

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    1. Aww. Makes me misty eyed to think of you jogging by my house and I'm not there. We were blessed that our blog friendship became a real life friendship. With your love of travel, I'm hoping you'll come see me on the farm! xo!

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  7. oh friend. how raw & tender & beautiful & transparent & with such a moldable heart.
    there is so much grace and love in your family.
    i am a closure person too...i can just imagine your heart with the "all" of everything right now.
    sending you love
    sorry i missed ya'll if you cruised through atlanta
    but i know i'll see you soon!

    prayers and love & hugs for you as your new dream continues to unfold!

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    1. Skipped ATL this time, but don't worry, when I come someday, it will be to see YOU! xoxo!

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  8. I'm fairly new to your blog. Oh I feel for you all. But days ahead you will look back and see that you have made new memories in your new home.
    Look ahead, not back.

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  9. I am lifting you and your family up in prayer right now!

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  10. I'm sorry this has been so hard. I've lived here my whole life as well and while I dream of sunny location living I can't help but wonder if it might break my heart to leave. I know Becky had a terrible time when she first moved to VA but now she says it's amazing and she's loving it so much. She might be a great girl to talk to!

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  11. I just started reading your blog and I already want to give you a hug! One day at a time.

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    1. Thank you and WELCOME! I'm feeling very loved by all the new visitors! Thanks for taking the time to be here.

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  12. One big hug for you! I hope one day you can look back and think; I made it!

    Wish you strength to make it through the time ahead!

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  13. Oh wow! I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago. I'm in tears. My sister did the same thing 2 years ago. She and her family moved from the small town in LA. we grew up in. They moved to Houston.=)It took her about a year to adjust. She is finally happy! The kids did fine!!! You and your family are in my prayers. We are here if you need to vent! One day at a time~God Bless! April

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  14. Thank you for sharing this... great post with such depth. Look forward to your future, it's gonna be wonderful!

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  15. Wish I were there to give you a hug. We also moved away from our hometown of CA and left all of our family and friends there to begin a new journey here in VA. I was pretty much numb when we arrived and definitely felt out of sorts for a while. Everything seemed to click into place once we moved into our new home (ironically the day before Thanksgiving.) I instantly felt at home and connected to our new surroundings. I still miss my family and the ocean breezes but am blessed to have created a wonderful life here and I wish you the very same in Franklin. It will be wonderful! I loved the pics of you and your sister. I'm the opposite of you. I have dark hair just like your sister and my sisters and brother are all blond. :)

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    1. I think moving into our home in a few weeks will definitely help me feel more settled. The nester in me feels like a drifter without a home! I didn't know you were a California girl!

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  16. I, too, am new to your blog, but oooohhhh, I feel for you. Your post was written beautifully without soliciting sympathy--just telling us how it feels. I appreciate that and offer my prayers and thoughts to you during this time of transition. Growth never comes when we're comfortable. Welcome all you're feeling and learn. Blessings, Robin

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    1. Amen, sister. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Blesses my heart more than you know right now.

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  17. I love how you poured your heart out and shared your feelings, I hope this clears the hurt somewhat. A move is never easy and I'm sorry you had to experience the hurts along the way. I can't understand why the new owners of the clinic were so cold about the transition, and I pray that those feelings can be healed in your hubby's new venture, that God will show him that you're now where you belong! I LOVE LOVE LOVEthe pictures of the girls in their rooms- you captured priceless images! Please take your time with ALL your feelings, with your love of writing you will be able to survive this move with God by your side! Keep us posted, you're in my thoughts and prayers! I'll forever regret not being able to purchase the table from you because we were in Co. springs.

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    1. Thanks for every word, Bobbie. You are absolutely right that I will survive this move. I'm feeling better already...just by having written my heart out. Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement.

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  18. If it's any consolation, I'm weeping with you - so heartfelt and beautifully written. In time, your healing will begin, and as your new life unfolds, my prayers and best wishes go out to you and your precious family...

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  19. Oh my goodness, this post made me so sad. Saying goodbye to your sister and her family must have been so hard. Good luck to you and your family as you make new memories in your new home.

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  20. Such a lovely post, Linsey! I can only imagine how hard it's been for you but it sounds like you're getting a handle on everything. I know God has some amazing adventures ahead for you and your family. I'm excited to see them unfold.:)

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  21. Beautifully written Lindsey! I felt every emotion you did. I just know when the dust has settled you are going to love your new life. Hugs!

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  22. What a lovely post! I felt every emotion as you described all of them beautifully! Once everything gets settled and a new normal routine is established, then the healing truly begins. Blessings, thoughts and prayers sent to all of you as you segue to the next part of your amazing journey!

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  23. It was just in the last week that I found your blog. I am feeling your pain and praying for your family. Change isn't easy and then add the endings yov've experienced and POW, pain and tears are present. I am praying for healing for your entire family. 0_0 I am excited to read about your new journey and from all the posts, lots of others are too. God blesd you <3

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  24. and we...dear Lins...are happy to be in yours.
    my heart hurts for you. I have never lived in a place longer than 3 years at a time so I cannot even imagine what you must be feeling.
    It is a dream of mine to live somewhere that long:)
    Write and write..let the words flow out from your heart and bring healing.
    Before you can forge ahead in this beautiful new dream it is ok to pause and digest and grieve and then let go.
    Praying you are open to all the new things God is doing in your lives.
    We are all walking with you on your journey...just look around:)
    love ya SO much
    xo

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  25. I am sorry for your sadness, but rejoice with you in the things God is showing and teaching you.

    I am about an hour and a half from you in Tullahoma, which is between Nashville and Chattanooga. I know you don't know me, but if you have a need for a new friend who loves the Lord and is fairly close by, let me know.

    May God continue to bless your family and use you all for His glory.

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    1. Hi Amy! I remember you telling me you lived fairly close once before and it warmed my heart! I always need a friend, so please give me a shout ANYTIME if you are headed this way. WOuld love to meet in person!

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  26. Hiiiiiii Linsey!!!! Oh, girl, the times I've sat down to email you!!! First to tell you my jaw dropped seeing your new place and then again seeing the detailed pics of your Houston home, to wish you luck on your move, to tell you I've kept you all in my prayers these last couple months....and on and on...time is so short lately and I've been very disconnected from blogging and the computer in general. At the moment I've got the bath running for no. 2, I need to get myself looking decent for a night out with some girlfriends and I promised no. 1 I'd download 300 pics for him before I leave. But I couldn't not write after reading your post. Please know I've been thinking of you and praying for you too. It seems like you could have used the additional encouragement and I'm sorry I've waited so long to leave a note!

    I cried reading your post. I'm sure it felt so good to write. Moving is stressful. Picking up the only life you've ever known and moving, even more so, and I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do it. Deep down you probably have doubts and worry you've made a mistake. And was all this worth it. Yes! You have the people you love most with you, you can live anywhere and be happy. You are following a dream, but you know what ? There are no guarantees, ever. If in a few years you do have regrets, no one is going to blame you or think any different of you should you move back. Not that you will. I think you will love it and create the life you've always dreamed of, but if {BIG IF} it isn't all you wanted you are free to change your mind. That's the beautiful thing. And I think once you acknowledge that it makes it a bit easier. You and I are not risk takers. I know EXACTLY what you are feeling. I get it. We are in the midst of making a very different decision {more on that in a few weeks. not a move, or baby though} but still a big and risky decision and it is nerve wracking. But I had to remind myself that should the risk not pay off, we change course and that is ok. Just know you have a friend you've never met before, praying for you and your happiness in Cincinnati, Ohio. Much love, Tessa

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  27. Hi Linsey,
    I am sending big hugs your way and lots of prayers. I identify with all that you wrote and remember myself in my first days on my island, unable to process or enjoy the beauty all around me. I was curled up inside myself in grief and fear as well. It just didn't look, feel, taste or seem like what I had envisioned and it was terribly lonely. I felt stripped bare. God took me somewhere amazing though, just like where He is taking you. You are at the beginning of the journey, but you are already through some of the roughest waters. You are going somewhere wonderful, and I am not talking about Franklin, I am talking about where God is taking you through this journey. God is growing you right now, and it hurts to be pushed so far, but you can do it Linsey. I adore your thankful, tender heart and will continue to pray for your journey.

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  28. oh my my eyes filled up reading this too...I know that I will cry {& I am not usually a crier :)} when we pack up & move in a few months & it is just a few miles away!Praying for you on this journey & REMEMBER: HE who has called you WILL give you the strength!Blessings to you & your little family!~ & yes there is something sweet & tender about leaning hard on HIM when we actually have the faith to step outside our comfort zone!

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  29. oh my, I had no idea you were moving. I am so sad, part of me thought one day I would make one of your kitchen chats since we were both in Texas. I hope you get the closure you are looking for and find a wonderful life in Franklin. I know you will, it will take time but not long and in the mean time you have your beautiful family and us to connect with. Can't wait to hear more about your journey to your new life.

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    1. Well, Miss Stacy, Franklin is a FABULOUS place to visit! Come see me me here someday! I'd love to meet you!

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  30. thinking if you guys and love that beach typography!

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  31. I wish you could have had the closure you wanted and your last experiences of your Houston life to be wonderful, not upsetting. I wanted to let you know how you helped me (actually my husband) through your blog. When you mentioned your husband was a sports chiropractor in a past post I started looking around on the web at what sports chiropractors do and read that they can treat groin injuries. My husband will periodically suffer from a groin pull which is quite debilitating. We never thought of going to a chiropractor. He just gets a powerful anti inflammatory and hopes it recovers enough that he can go to work. He just had another flareup a week ago. Unfortunately we live many states away from you can can't go to your husband, but my husband is now looking for other treatment options with a chiropractor. I'm sure as a blogger sometimes it can be scary to share personal information on the blog, but I'm so glad you mentioned what your husband does because it triggered something for us to look into something new.

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    1. Awesome! See if you can find someone who is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). At the very least, someone who understands how important releasing muscles is, not just adjustments. This is what allows the adjustment to hold, and the pain relief to last. {Can you tell my husband has taught me well?!?!} Hope you find someone fabulous!

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  32. Hi Linsey....welcome to Nashville! Wanted you to know about a really fun event...swing dancing at Centennial Park. We went last Saturday and it was magical! Fireflies dancing in the grass around the pavillion even:)
    http://www.meetup.com/Music-City-Swing-Dancing/events/21611211/
    I loved reading your words and cried along with you at points. You know how to express your heart well. Once you have grieved, I believe God is going to bless you beyond measure here! I hope we pass each other at the Farmer's Market one Saturday morning:)

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    1. Another local friend! Hooray! I'm hoping to go to the Franklin Farmer's Market this Saturday morning. Would love to meet you if you're there! Of course you'll probably recognize me with my family after seeing pictures on the blog. Please say hi!!! It's not stalking or weird, I promise!

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    2. I look forward to that meeting, but it will have to wait until the end of August...we are headed to FL for the next month. Savor every wonderful thing....there really is so much beauty in Nashville...including the hearts of the people!!

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  33. Sweet blog friends, I want to reply to each and every one of you. For today, please know that you have blessed me tremendously with your words. THANK YOU!!! Love and hugs to all of you!

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  34. Sweet friend, my heart hurt especially when I read your mom left early. I'm sorry :( I know that hurt.

    xoxoxo

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  35. God has taken me to your blog today for a reason. I do not visit your words regularly, but in all fairness, I rarely am able to visit any blogs with work, children, husband, house etc. I also live in Houston and had almost the exact same experience as you in regards to the new owners moving into the house we just sold. In our case, we leased the house back from the new owners for a week after closing. On the last day of the "lease", the new owners showed up in our (their new) yard early in the morning. I was alone in the house and my husband and children were somewhere. Very quickly, the owners family members and friends joined them in the yard and at one point, I had about 20 people staring into my house until eventually the mother of the new owner knocked on the door and asked if they could come in (I guess I should be grateful they knocked). I too had to make a hasty goodbye, with no shutting of the front door, no one last walk through and backing out of the driveway, holding back tears, with strangers looking at me while they were moving in a bed and washer/dryer. This was the house that I brought all three of my girls home to, where they all learned to crawl, walk and run. It has a lot of memories contained in that house and to this day, I do not feel I got to properly say goodbye and give the proper respect to them.

    Goodness, it does feel cathartic writing about that day. So from one native Houstonian to another, I know how you feel. You will make a new home with new memories, but it does still sting when you think about that last house.

    Best wishes in your new adventures and lifestyle!

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    1. I'm so glad you got to write that out and give voice to your hurt. I know writing helped my heart heal. I don't harbor any bitterness toward the new owners, but had I kept silent, I know I might have. That's just the honest truth! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  36. such a sweet and honest post...what a great way to be introduced to your blog! We lived in Nashville for 10 years...married and had our first child there...now live back in the Dallas area to be near family. I know of the ache you speak of...but now, mine is for my adopted hometown...Nashville. It will take time, but you'll be very happy in Franklin. Just wait until Fall...and there's usually snow in the winter! :)

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    1. I can't wait to enjoy Nashville and Franklin in all its fall glory! Thanks for chiming in and welcome to the blog! And thank you for expressing compassion for the ache. I know it's normal...it's just all so new to me! Blessings to you in Dallas!

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  37. You made me cry, Linsey! Your words and your photos... I know this move was tough for all of you, but it sounds like you were ready for a change, and you made it! I know your mom and sister (and many others) will miss you guys more than words, but you are being true to your own dreams and desires (and JD's). Franklin looks beautiful!

    Big hugs from New York!
    Amy (nee Blum, I don't think it's clear from my screen name)

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  38. My grandmother was born in Texas and moved here (Tennessee) when she was a teenager. She NEVER stopped speaking of Texas! She told me stories of pledging her allegiance to the TEXAS flag in school each morning and signing 'The Eyes of Texas are Upon You' (I don't know if that's the name of the song)...she told me the story of celebrating Texas' Centennial celebration when she was just a young girl. The point being, she told me these stories up into her 80's when she passed away. She loved her home state and her little town right outside of Dallas (Bonham). She said the only thing that made it bearable for her was that the people of Tennessee loved their state as much as she loved hers. She finally got to the point where she could say that she had TWO home states and that she loved them both. She loved Texas for it's flat rolling prairies and she loved Tennessee for the mountains (we are in east Tennessee). I know that you will be able to find some good Tennesseans to show you the way. Good luck here!!

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  39. awwwww...made me tear up! Changes are good for the soul!! Houston will always be here but, seriously it's been raining like crazy and sticky as heck..miss it? lol I Love how the girls embraced their new home in your other post!! Country Girls at heart!! My sister move from Houston to La Vernia..still in Tx & her kids instantly adjusted just like your girls...it's great! Have fun & look forward to seeing you in your new enviornment!! Enjoy it and Houston will alway welcome you back anytime!! xo nancy elizabeth

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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