"God is thoroughly committed to finishing the masterpiece He started in us. And that process means one major thing: change."
I've always been pretty resistant to change. I'm one of those people that typically likes things to stay exactly as they are, even if those circumstances are less than favorable. The year leading up to Brighton's birth there was change all around me. Friends were moving, jobs were changing, it felt like the world around me was a bit chaotic and I was stuck in cement with nowhere to go. It was the first time in my life where I was wishing for a change for myself. So not only were circumstances feeling a bit unknown, but I was also becoming a mom for the first time and that in itself was extremely overwhelming.
Almost 18 months later, here we find ourselves on the brink of a big change and a storm of emotions tends to well up inside of me, but continues to be silenced by the peace that only God can give.
My husband Jon was offered a full-time position at Saddleback Church in Orange County, which will move us from our San Diego home, family, church, community, and everything I have known for 29 years of my life. Jon spent 5 years in the Marine Corps, so he is no stranger to moving and spending time away from family. The longest I have lived away from my hometown was the 4 months that I studied abroad in Italy. Now I know many people may be reading this thinking, "Vittoria, Orange County is an hour away" and let me assure you that I am very aware of it. But this means change and change and I are not friends.
At the beginning of the year, Jon and I did something we had never done before and spent some time thinking about the year and wrote down a few prayers we had and committed to praying about these things and seeing how God showed up. Well, He showed up. Not in the way we imagined, but ask and you shall receive. Jon is an incredible artist and craftsman and has been doing a great job running his own business, but being the people person that he is, he was noticing a big void in his life that comes from being a sole proprietor and that is working with people. I, even though I love my current job, want to spend as much time as possible at home with Brighton while I can. So we knew something needed to change.
Enter: Saddleback. Jon's best friend who currently works there mentioned a position that opened and Jon felt like it would be a good idea to look into it. Months would pass and we would go back and forth on whether or not it would be a good decision. I was extremely apprehensive to make the move so I asked God to give me some confirmation about this. Over the course of the next few weeks, I would hear from multiple sermons, friends, and books that I was reading, different quotes or encouragement about the upcoming season being a season of "change" and how many people would be "moving". I couldn't deny that God was speaking to me.
In her book, Love Lives Here, Maria Goff says, "Jesus left his hometown. Mary left her reputation. Moses and his people left Egypt. Noah left everything. All of these heroes in the Bible let go of something in order to grab hold of something else. They got rid of what was convenient to make room for what was necessary." I actually cried when I read this because it hit home. I knew that God was asking us to leave what was convenient and comfortable to make room for what was necessary: His Will.
There are countless other confirmations we received and favor that has been poured on us through this process that can only be explained by God. (This post is already terribly long, so if you want to know more, let's talk!) So, here we are at the end of September 2017 getting ready to move to Orange County with still a lot of unknowns. Let's face it: God never said He'd give us all the answers, He just asked us to trust Him and be faithful. So here we go. As terrified as I feel, I also feel like I am on this brink of a profound freedom; Freedom that can only be found when we are fully trusting God and leaning into His promises because it's all we have to hold onto; Freedom that can be found from taking risks despite my cautious nature; Freedom that can be found with a totally blank page as we start a new chapter.
I'm excited to take everyone on this journey with me as Jon and I navigate some uncharted territory in our marriage and as parents. And friends, let me encourage you that He is good and faithful. Following God is not easy. It's often difficult and painful. But it brings me to tears to think of His goodness and the fact that He's got it under control. Ok, maybe the tears are because I'm thinking about moving. But you get it. I know despite the challenges we are inevitably going to face, it's all going to be ok. It's going to be more than ok because He wants to give us more than we can imagine!