Almost three years ago, we made the big announcement that our family was moving from San Diego to New York City, from America’s most beautiful city to America’s most exciting city. And today, we make another announcement. We’re moving to Houston, Texas, the home of America’s best Mexican food! SHOCK! WHAT?! WHEN?! WHY?!
Yes. I’m still in shock. But when a church you dearly love invites your husband to be the worship leader and your husband is offered a teaching job without even finishing the application, you know God is leading.
When your 7th grader voices that he hoped to finish 8th grade with his friends, but is excited to live near his grandparents, (because Papa is really fun), and cheer openly for the the Astros when they play the Yankees, and can hardly wait to join the 8th grade football team, you know God is calling.
When your 12th grader feels like you do, that she needed one more year in NYC, the place that is now home to her, but is willing to embrace this move with her family and see the mission in it, you know God is on the move.
And when your heart knows deep inside that this makes your husband’s heart soar, you know you must follow the stepping stones lighting up one at a time before you.
If I’m honest, and those who know me well know I’m almost always too honest, sometimes knowing where God is leading and finding all kinds of joy in it isn’t easy. Sometimes, God moves too quickly or asks you to consider the needs of others above your own. Sometimes, you’re filled with fear and apprehension at the thought of leaving a place that has brought healing and freedom and deep down joy, even if you know God is at work.
But when God leads, the Cook family follows. I have often said that when faced with two choices, I always want to do what takes the most God. HMPF! Those words haunt me this time. But, here we go…
In July, David will pack his clothes and head to Houston First Church of the Nazarene, one of God’s best churches. The kids and I will carry on with life in NYC until we move Kori to college in August. At that time, Matthew will move to Houston and start those awful August football practices in Houston! (I wonder if he’ll still want to play after a week of that kind of suffocating heat!) And then, after this enrollment season is complete at Nyack College, I’ll say goodbye to my dear co-workers, my neighbors at 75 Saint Nicholas Place, our Little League friends, and finally to our NY family we call Harlem House Church. I’ll travel to Houston via Kentucky to see our Anna and pick-up our sweet Stella and then journey to join our at our new home in Houston. Breathe, Beverly. Deep. Yoga. Breaths.
Some will say I’m moving home, after all, I did move to Houston as a budding pre-teen. I have countless best friends there and some all-grown-up-teenagers from our youth ministry days that I dearly love. I can’t wait to love and kiss their babies! (One just had triplets. I wonder if I can just nanny them for a few hours a week!) But home for me is wherever my family is and in 50 years of life, I’ve found home in five states, seven cities, and ten homes…and everyone of those GPS dots has felt like home.
I think I like the adventure of moving, of carving out a new life and making new friends. But I don’t like leaving behind a place and a people that become deeply rooted in my soul.
O, Jesus. You’re on the move in our family’s life again. I’m not ready. I’m a little afraid the pain that comes with leaving, and my agenda-driven self has no idea what I’m going to with the next chapter of my life. But I am clinging and hoping and ttrryyiinngg to trust in the promise that better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere.
So, Lord Jesus, hold us tight. Hold me close.
And watch out Houston. Here comes the Cook Family.