Wednesday, December 14, 2011


people have been asking me a lot lately if I like it here. if i am happy in harrisonburg. in all sincerity i do like it here and i think that like is turning to love. who would have ever thought? certainly not me.

sometimes i just feel like i want to be fair to chesapeake like i wanted to be fair to lexington, ky and how i wanted to be fair to grand rapids, mi. i felt bad saying i liked where i was living because then it meant i did not like where i used to be. nothing about that is true. however, there is a little pride when it comes to the places you live. friendships, school, growth, experiences, relationships... they are all a part of my life and my story and how one day a long time ago my dear young life leader told me...
you are becoming now who you are going to be forever.

so all those places and now this place are all apart of who i am becoming.

new friendships. new stories. new growth. i feel alive here. not all the time but most of the time.
when we found out we for sure moving i told myself that maybe if we had stayed living in the river
house it would have been hard. i only knew cancer there. would it be to hard to stay? would i feel stuck? i think i was trying to convince myself of that because i was so sad to leave the elizabeth river. but that house was full of so much more than cancer. it was full of healing, ava learning to walk, justin and i falling in love all over again, friendships, meals, a flooded mailbox, the blog, family, friends, sidewalk chalk, nights on the river, sisters cuddling with me in bed after chemo, my husband battling alongside me, and my baby growing up.

so you make it easier on myself that we were leaving this place i sorta told myself that the river house was too full of cancer and too much pain. some parts are true...i did fight cancer in that place but more than that...the part of our story i care so much more about and i want the world to know...

i healed in that house. i went from death to life in that house. that's how i felt at least.

so the truth is...i miss the river. i miss chesapeake.


i love harrisonburg. i love our little house on paul street. i love our new relationships. i love that justin and i are on the same page. same sentence. same word even. that does not happen everyday.

but i think you can have both. i love grand rapids. that is where i grew up. that place is where my story was formed and told for 22 years. some of my best friends are there. but i love lexington too. i got my master's  degree there. that is where i feel in love with the south. some of my best friends are there. i love cheapeake. we were newlyweds there. we threw ourselves into ministry there. ava was born there. i had cancer there. some of our best friends are there. and now i love harrisonburg too. i am adding it to the list of places where i am becoming who i am created to be.
i do like to choose joy. not in just cancer but in all aspects of life. however, i planned on choosing sadness and a little anger when it came to moving. does anyone remember that i had cancer this past year?
as we discussed moving i thought about how i really needed a second. i deserved a break. i needed a little normalcy after cancer and staying in cheapeake and living on the river would provide me that much needed break. a place to grow and reflect and continue to heal.

you see what i am learning about God is that He knows what's best. even when the thought of moving made me cry so hard i threw up. He knew what was the best and wow did He surprise me with this one.

but you see...what i thought i needed...what i convinced myself i needed was to be comfortable.
comfort is not bad. most of us love it. change is what we seem to fear. but i am learning right now is that if we believe the Lord we serve is for is and not against us and will never leave us...than i will go anywhere.

now is any of this easy? not really. starting over is hard. building new relationships take time. many times over this past fall i reverted back to a 13 year old middle school girl with thoughts of...
i just want people to like me.
i wanted to know where i stood with people. i wanted them to get me and i would get them. i wanted it to be quick and natural. i have not arrived. we never really do. we never stop learning and forming and becoming who we were meant to be forever.

but i am surprised. this little town is surprising me. i am making friends. good real ones. justin and i are more in love than ever. ava is becoming a strong compassionate beautiful little girl. she says, "bless you momma." when i sneeze. melts my heart every time.

i would not have picked to move this year. please no one take that personally. last year was just by far the hardest year of my last 28. i just want a break. i do not think that's too much to ask.

but because the Lord is good. all the time. even when we do not seem to see it or don't want to
or life is just too too hard. He surprised me with this last year and again with this move. even as i type this i feel this loyalty to chesapeake and people there that made cancer bearable. yes, you. you know who you are. we miss you. i hope you know that.

but...once again i was wrong. moving has not been awful or too much or too hard or too scary.
there were moments where it was hard and there maybe more to come. but for now i believe two things are true.
1. i trust the lord

2. i will go anywhere in the world if justin and ava are with me. seriously. they are my family. they are my home.

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  1. i loved reading this. you are an amazing woman. so full of joy and love.
    thank you :)

  2. this a a beautiful post. honest and really full of wisdom in seeing life for what it really is... woven, interconnected. You see the depth of what all of your homes have been for you. Ordained by a God who loves us. adores us. He sees us. He is God with us. Our Emmanuel.

  3. Thank you for writing this. My husband and I are celebrating our 1-year anniversary this weekend, and in our one year of marriage we have moved 3 times. The first 2 times were simple; mainly because I was finishing up college. We are both from IN, so for move #1 we moved from living with our friends in college to living together, then move #2 we moved to my hometown in IN, and then move #3 (this was the big move) we moved to Dallas, TX. Before moving to TX I had never lived more than 45 minutes away from my family, so the move to TX has been difficult for me. But I agree with your post. God has a plan for us, and I can see that His plan is much better than my plan for myself. God has opened doors here and I am learning to trust Him with everything. So really, thank you for your post. I have been dealing with the same feelings about TX. It is hard to love somewhere new when you miss your friends, family, and the familiarity of the old place. But I will continue to be thankful for God's plan and leading us in the direction where we can be more fully used by Him.

  4. Thank you for this post! My husband and I moved last year for his work with YL, and it was incredibly hard to leave the community and friends that we had formed. It's been a long year+, but we continue to see more and more blessings in this new home. It's encouraging to read your thoughts. Thanks, Libby.

  5. So blessed that u r able to embrace hburg, so joyful u & jus r on the same page & little ava is bringing smiles to ur face...makes my heart happy...but at the same time my heart still misses my little sis being GR...& I know other hearts in Lexington & Chesapeake feel the same...
    Amen-God is good all the time, all the time God is good!!

  6. Libby-so glad to hear you've made it closer to us! There is nothing like Harrisonburg. The mountains seem to be endless and he has truly made that area a beautiful place to be desired! I didn't get a chance to talk to you at the Young Life event in Orange, but saw you from afar. I've heard your story and continue to hear updates from my boss Donna Cason. There are many of us who followed your story, prayed for you, spoke of you in Sunday school and our bible studies. Libby you continue to amaze us. May God bring you peace in Harrisonburg. Fresh Air, new friends, more memories and new folks to witness too. Check out the Green Valley Book Fair-Ava would love it as there are so many books for her age! Blessings for a great 2012 for you all!
    ~Marsha~ (Culpeper)


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