As I sit at our table and watch the movers pack us up to return to San Diego, I’m reminded of the post I wrote right before we came here in 2011. I’m thinking back to that time of impending transition even as I’m lurching forward into another transition. I’m looking at my baby girl who we did not yet have when we arrived here in 2011. I’m in awe . . . of where we’ve come, of where we’re going, of how God’s been with us in the most grass-roots sort of ways. Yes. And amen.

Here’s what I wrote then . . .

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I have this little daily reflections book from Emotions Anonymous called, Today. I picked it up and read the July 12th entry in preparation for our upcoming travels to a new land. It reads . . .

Growth is a continual process. There is always something new we can learn. Each time we are willing to risk, we are once again led along the path to a new encounter. As we accept the challenge which the new path brings us to, we often discover abilities we did not know we possessed. Gratitude for our new abilities will expand our freedom and fill us with much joy.

This is followed by the daily meditation, “May I never forget to be thankful for my new life.”

The last month has been filled with the titanic task of moving overseas (trying to navigate the Navy’s system for doing anything still seems complicated and convoluted, even after 8 years of being a Navy wife). And now we’re right in between—sitting in FL where we’ve been for the last two weeks visiting family—waiting to embark on our new life.

It’s easy to be unsure, overwhelmed, inconvenienced, and of course sad some days for the enormity of this transition and all the losses and gains that it holds. But am I remembering to be thankful? Thankful for the opportunity for an adventure? Thankful for the opportunity to reunite with my husband and reunite him with our kids? Thankful for a chance to take a risk and strike out and learn something new about all of us?

In this season that has and will require me to discover abilities I did not know I possessed, I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow and experience. I’m also unspeakably grateful for the countless people who have come around us and been the village that has allowed us to make this move happen.

Eight years ago today, I was one month away from marrying Steve, and just a few more days away from moving to Bahrain for the first time. It is still so surreal that we are going back.

I wrote the following in the afterword of Found Art. The words I spoke years ago speak back to me today . . .

As much as I want to worry and wonder about this stage of my life, I am assured that I’ve been carried here. . . . I hope against hope, even trust against trust, that God will meet me in this new land, as he has met me in foreign lands before.

In Arabic, the word Bahrain means “two seas.” Apparently the country was named Bahrain because of the freshwater springs that are found within the salty seas surrounding the island.

In the briny salt waters of upheaval and incomprehension, fresh and living water swirls and pours. Perhaps the power, the beauty, is in the commingling of the two.

That is the great art of life, a mysterious collage of unexpected elements. Even today, we are putting down our layers, one beside another, creating and recreating ourselves. He is making everything beautiful in its time. While we wait, we must breathe and heal and grieve and become. We don’t see the beauty immediately, but as we look back, we find the art in and through it all.

Whatever the foreign place life has brought you to today, I pray that God would meet us all in his mysterious way.

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