Tuesday, March 20, 2012

from the heart of Molly

Today's post comes from Molly. She is one of the first ladies I became "blog friends" with a couple years ago. I love her sense of humor and her sense of style (I'm thinking a Chicago version of Leaving the House in That?! is in order :)

I hope you enjoy her wisdom today as much as I always do. There are quite a few things I can learn from her in this post alone!


In 2006 my life took a u-turn. In January I accepted the proposal of a man that I loved and respected. Although marriage was never an appealing idea to me, marriage to him was a different story. In the midst of our wedding planning we learned that we would be moving to Chattanooga. If you're anything like I was, you might not know in what state Chattanooga lies. {It's Tennessee for those keeping score.} I didn't know anything about the place, but I figured I'd learn. How different could it really be? When we discovered we would be moving the day we got back from our honeymoon, I wasn't fazed. Always up for adventure, I looked at the move as a gift that I happily accepted.

Until we got there.

From the start, things were difficult.

Newly married and newly relocated, it was a confusing time. We were excited to be together. We were excited to start a new life. But very quickly I decided that our life story should NOT be set in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I spent years (seriously, yeeeeeears) wishing we could just move back to our hometown. I just knew that if we lived there we could be blissfully happy. Thankfully, God patiently and lovingly convinced me that He was in control. He showed me that Chattanooga wasn't a mistake. He showed me that my circumstances were not what were to blame for my discontent. He bound my husband and I together and opened our eyes to the good Chattanooga had to offer us. Unfortunately because of our stubbornness the process took a long time. It was slow and sometimes painful. Eventually though it became clear, that although Chattanooga would not be our forever home, it was our for now home. So we settled in, made friends, made a life and waited patiently (and not so patiently many days) for whatever it was He had next. You see, it was never a question that He had something else for us. That much was clear. But neither of us could ever get a hint or a picture of what that next would look like. Through tears and growing pains and occasional moments of blissful peace, we held on to hope. We came to a place where we recognized our utter powerlessness and His incredible grace. One day at a time we trusted that He would care for us. And one day at a time He did.

"Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." 

Romans 8:24-26

After five years in Chattanooga, my husband landed his dream job in one of my dream cities. The whole thing was no less than miraculous. We couldn't believe our good fortune. We celebrated and dreamed and prayed mad prayers of thanks. But then came the transition process. Of course it was filled with excitement, but it was also filled with stress. There were so many unanswered questions. There was so much to figure out. But through every moment of the transition, we were reminded of the same thing, "Trust God and take it one day at a time." Our day to day existence seemed to be a battle to hold on to that one single lesson. Constantly I was encouraged to, "Stay present." From the day he was officially offered the position until the day we packed the moving truck we had to live just one day, just one moment at a time. Every time there was temptation to jump ahead or make decisions about what was next, we were sloooooooowed down by circumstance. It was uncanny. Whenever we would try to take control and forge ahead, we were gently led to our knees to pray, to trust and to stay in the moment. As annoying and frustrating as that was for a control freak like me, through the process I felt rough edges being sanded away. I actually felt character development. I experienced a deeper, more profound trust in God. It was clear that He was in control of every step of this process. And frankly, there were times when I'm convinced He was just showing off. I mean, He's good and through this we saw it. I'm so thankful that this experience is something on which we can look back for the rest of our lives. When things get tough, and they will, this experience will be a beacon to remind us that God is good.

But, before you think I've got that whole, "Trust God and take it one day at a time" lesson down pat, let me come clean. Old habits die hard. Yes, God has proven Himself faithful. Yes, He has taken care of every little detail of our move. Yes, He's done it far better than I ever could have done (and far differently, I might add). Yes, I recognize and praise Him for that. But do you think that stops me from trying to grab the reigns and tell Him what's next in other areas of my life? I promise that it doesn't. Thankfully, He remains steadfast and long suffering. When I have moments in which I forget, He gives me gentle reminders to just trust. He reminds me of the miracles He's worked in my life. He shows me His strength and grace. And my inner control freak is quieted for the moment and I'm free to rest in His arms.

To follow along with what He has next for us and watch me go from Chicago newbie to native, stop by my blog A Foreign Land.


  1. {Imagine me nodding my head emphatically, eyes closed and waving my hand in the air} Preach, sister!

  2. Molly said to stop by and wish you a happy spring - so here I am!

    Love this post (Molly) and yes, while learning the lessons can be SO HARD (personal experience), looking back on those lessons is priceless. :-)

  3. Jessi girl, thank you for allowing me a little space to write on your beautiful blog! I appreciate your hospitality almost as much as your friendship.

  4. Such a cute post and love that wedding pic! Happy spring :)

  5. What beautiful thoughts. Growing in Christ is hard, but man, is it worth it!