Yesterday was our 2nd Anniversary, so maybe that started my mind rolling. Then this morning, I went to my old journal to find some stuff and ended up reading through a few old entries. I'm thinking of where we are now and where we've come from, then I begin to realize what those around us don't know.
It always amazes me when our Pastor asks us to talk about those times in relation to these times. He wasn't around us a lot then, but he knows. He gets it and I think it crosses his mind regularly. And now, I start crying.
Two years ago was probably the most difficult time in my life and one of the most difficult in Justin's. It was hard! For different reasons, we lost people around us that we needed. If you are were one of those people and you are reading this, please don't feel guilty or upset, you weren't the only one and continue reading because it gets better. We often found ourselves struggling, seemingly, alone and that was hard. We prayed for better days and we prayed to be together. I prayed to come home. The whispers say that we married that day purely so that I could come home. The truth that many never asked is that the day we got married, we honestly thought it would harm our efforts more than help us. There were lots of reasons for our decision that day, but that's not the point of this entry. Those were hard days and the months following only got harder and harder. I read a few of those entries and I don't miss those days. Not for a minute.
When I was finally able to come home, it was sunshine all around. When I say "Sometimes They Just Don't Know", I don't mean that those around me don't know about that paragraph up there. I mean that they just don't know how much I value them and how sentimental it makes we when I think of being home.
I read the entry that I wrote the day of Migc's 7th birthday party. That was the day that I had my parents, Justin's parents and his little brother and sister, and my brother and his family here. That was a surreal moment to me and I've had those moments 1000 times in the past year and a half. I value those moments more than those around me could ever understand.
Now that we are trying to move back to Ark City, I've had so many people tell me that they never imagined me back there. I never planned to be back there and neither did Justin. I always felt like if I came back, it would be a personal failure. I feel so much differently now. I've been "out there". I've experienced the things I set out to experience. I didn't fail. But now, I value those things back there more. "Out there" is not my home. There are small things along the way that I've marveled at - that others just don't know. When is the last time that a fire truck pulled up in your neighborhood for something small and you stood on your front lawn and cried? I did that because where I've been, no one comes to the front lawn when a fire truck pulls up. No one wants to be seen as meddling in their neighbor's business.
Are there drawbacks to being in a small community and so close to your family? I suppose so. I suppose that the disagreements and everyone knowing your business can be drawbacks, but I remember when I was so far removed that disagreements didn't effect me because I probably would never see the person again (and that includes family - I could disagree with my brother and it be no big deal because I could easily go 8 years without crossing his path). I remember when no one knew my business and I was so isolated that I went through 4 years of depression and because no one was close enough, no one saw it nor the reasons behind it. I remember when I was so isolated that other's could have such enabling effects on me that when I finally came out of it, others couldn't understand how I had gotten to such a place in my life. Disagreements and knowing my business are not drawbacks to me.
Thank you for those that have shared this journey with me - even when you didn't know that you were in those moments where I sat spellbound and in awe. Thank for being a part of my life, even when we didn't agree. Thank you for those that have loved me consistently through it all. Thank you to those I've been able to count on time and time again. I'm so thankful for the big and the small moments. I look forward to even more and I make a promise to myself that I will never take those moments for granted.