For those of you who follow my Instagram feed, you know that for the past year I’ve lived at a peaceful little ranch (the road to the ranch is pictured in the photo here) out in the country that is almost too beautiful to be real. And you might be surprised to learn that I’m leaving, given how much affection I have for this place, this magical place, that saw so many ups and downs and highs and lows in my life over the past 365 days.
I hit the New York Times bestseller list here.
I finally (FINALLY) closed the door on my relationship with Mr. E here.
I wrote my third book here. One that I am possibly more proud of than anything I have ever written.
I was invited to speak in front of 20,000 women at one of my biggest heroes’ conferences (and did it!) here.
I almost lost my grandmother here.
I fought yet another battle with my long-time foe anxiety (one I will tell you more about in the coming days) here. And won. (Or at least called it a draw.)
Beyond that, I learned how much I love and value nature here. I picked up a new hobby – taking pictures – here that I hope to learn more about and perhaps even grow more skilled in. (Or perhaps not. Maybe it will remain a hobby I do simply for the joy of it and not to be “good” at it.)
I discovered that it’s okay to be sad here. That it’s healthy and even necessary. That you have to allow yourself to cry and grieve and have bad days without apologizing or deflecting or frantically searching for the upside of every situation. Some situations have no upsides. Some situations are simply hard, and sad, and painful…and you have to allow them to be. Because if you don’t, if you deny yourself those moments or hours or even days to feel whatever it is you’re feeling – you become numb. Stunted. Robotic. To numb yourself to great sadness is to numb yourself to great joy. Sadness and joy are yin and yang. You simply can’t have one without the other.
This ranch welcomed me with open arms a year ago. I had no idea when I moved here how much I needed it. How much I would need it over the coming months and trials and triumphs and prayers and tests and endings and beginnings. I needed the peace. The quiet. The space. The room to think and breathe and grow and change. I knew when I moved here I had found the place my soul belonged. And I know now, a year later, that it’s time for me to go. I am finishing final edits on the new book and finishing my move at the same time. I don’t believe that’s a coincidence. I think God has a way of using the moments and the experiences and the happenings of our lives to gently let us know when it’s time to move forward.
What a beautifully uncertain year it has been.
I had no idea when I moved here what would happen in my life over the coming year. I have no idea what is in store for me at my new place…a delightful little condo off the quaint town square in my hometown…a place where I can walk to the library and the Farmer’s Market and experience all different types of beauty on my morning strolls. Will I meet the love of my life there? Will I write a new book there? Will I get married there? Will I become a mom there? Only time will tell.
So now I will pack up my life and trade all this beautiful certainty for beautiful uncertainty. And I know God will meet me there in the middle of the questions with the answers in His perfect timing, in His perfect way. Because that’s what He does. That’s what it’s all about…this single thing. This surrendering thing. This walking with Him thing.