in the stillness# t h e e l l e i n r e l o c a t e | seven

On several occasions I have pondered whether or not telling this story to this extent is good. Am I dragging it out too much? Is it really that big of a deal? There are so many greater stories out there, what makes me think that this one is worthy of the time I alone have given to it, much less the continuous attention of anyone reading?

And yet I find myself moved to tears every single time I sit down to write another chapter (read: mini-breakdowns in front of my computer are not uncommon in this house). I crave the clarity that comes through putting words to an otherwise obscure experience. The opportunity to reminisce is something I deeply long for so as to not forget all that we’ve been through.

It might seem a bit narcissistic to have such a strong desire to remember. Like maybe I’m making more out of this move than it really is. But I often fear that the opposite is true. What if getting settled has occupied us to the point of forgetting the magnificence of what all of this is about?

Some days I find myself looking around this big, beautiful house and thinking I actually did something to deserve it. It scares me a little to realize how much I have already developed a MINE attitude. It wasn’t that long ago that we were stripping away the excess and learning – in ways we’d never had to before – what it looks like to be completely dependent upon Him.

It was early July when 1644 was officially out of our possession. You’d think that the freedom of not having a yard to maintain throughout the hot summer months would be a breath of fresh air – and we did enjoy a fair amount of leisurely dips in the apartment pool and evenings lounging on our balcony playing checkers – but the lack of chaos and busy-work was quite challenging for a couple that had grown so accustomed to chaos and strife. Much like how vacation is a wonderful break and yet at the same time it’s always nice to get back to the normalcy of every-day-life. Except for we weren’t on vacation, and looming over our heads was the fact that time was ticking by and we had yet to determine what we were going to do next. Oh yeah, and that getting back to normalcy thing? Wasn’t happening.

Over and over, it was whispered in my ear… Be Still.

Such a simple command, and yet in the moment, seemingly impossible to obey.

We were becoming increasingly determined that “all of this” had to be about more than just moving down the street. Surely God had something big in mind. Now if He would just stop dragging this out and get on with revealing what it was.

In hindsight, it is easy to identify the influence that selfishness had on my attitude along the way. Though we desired humility and longed to chase after His glory more than our own, the path was littered with stumbling blocks. Our limitations were made increasingly obvious as we waited – far beyond the point of ease – for the Lord to make His plan known.

Even though patience – a lesson we “should have mastered by this point” – was in short supply, my husband was steadfast and encouraged us to wait for the correct opportunity. He was convinced that a move within his corporate job made the most sense for us, and so he kept his eyes and ears open for opportunities that would be a good fit. He told me about the positions he found interesting, yet held off on submitting an application. I continued debating whether we should be willing to “suffer a little more for the cause”. Perhaps we ought to sell the rest of our belongings and settle for a trailer. Maybe we should consider doing this. What if we did that other thing?…

Like a two-year-old who kicks and screams and fights to do it their own way, I had to be reminded many, many times that all I needed to do was  s i t   s t i l l .

the elle in love, #theelleinrelocate, nebraska to tennessee

It was there in the stillness – amidst the daily reminders to be patient – that I was taught invaluable lessons about the Father’s love for me. That He cares about who I am as an individual. That all of the experiences that He has orchestrated in my life and used to shape the desires of my heart matter.

There’s a certain Sunday-School level of understanding to that concept. And then there is the depth and magnitude to which it is comprehended when you are stripped of your comfort zone and exposed to the elements of a new reality.

It is surprisingly easy to look back on this journey and see the moments of grace that felt like anything but. To realize the significance of what was learned throughout the process – not just because we ended up here, but because of the trials we encountered along the way.

The ridiculous wave of emotion that comes with remembering the difficulty? I believe it is an overwhelming surge of gratitude. Thankfulness for the ability to personally identify His grace and mercy in my life. I repeatedly fail, and yet even through my adamant attempts to do it for myself, He refuses to give up on me. He continues to bless me beyond measure – undeterred by my stubbornness – and yet not a moment before the pain of pruning has had the opportunity to make room for growth.

Today we sit here, all comfy and cozy in a home that we love. In a place where it is regrettably tempting to fall back into patterns of staking claim, taking for granted, and justifying our rights. Getting this story down on paper grants permanence to an otherwise fading memory. It forever documents the road He brought us through to get here so that we won’t soon forget just how completely undeserving we are.

For that reason, I will continue searching for the clarity that comes through words. And though we may never know the impact it has this side of Heaven, I will uphold the commitment to share the rest of this story here with you, resting in the hope that He can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.



Of All the Places-
“I had a hard time letting go of the possibility that we could go anywhere or do anything. It wasn’t that I desired that sort of freedom. In fact, I think it’s pretty obvious in this story that the lack of direction was difficult for us. What I really struggled with was the thought that we might mess up this opportunity by making the wrong decision.”
  • Jo Grotelueschen said:

    This is beautiful and echoes so many of the emotions I had after my move to Omaha five years ago. I thought I made the decision to relocate; in hindsight, it was my father telling me to let go and trust. To get out of my comfort zone (never knew I was in one?!?) and stretch the stakes of my tent. Ugh. Then for a year after my move: what do you want me to do, lord? This or That church? This or that bible study? This ministry? Be still, he said. So for a year, that's what I did. Then, one by one, God began to place things in my path. Some of them I would rather have never seen. But all of them have brought growth and a greater trust and dependence on the daddy who loves me so much. Thank you for sharing your journey ~ it causes me to reflect and see what he is capable of doing if I stay out of the way. <3

  • I love love love this. I think one of the hardest things is to be still and wait. we're not very good at waiting or believing in the unseen. I'm glad you did though, and that you have a story to share.