Before Mike and I started dating, he asked me a question one evening while we were standing and chatting in my driveway. He said, “Do you think you could live in Seattle? There’s a really great church there, and I want to go to it. L I’ve never been. I’ve never heard a sermon. I’ve only heard their bad music, but I want to go there. What do you think of Seattle?”
I responded without thinking, “Sure. I could live in Seattle. Would you buy me a rain coat?”
A week later, I think he asked me to court him and then there was no turning back.
I’ve always been a mover. I’ve traveled the world. I went to college far from home. The idea of moving across the country wasn’t a scary one. It was one that held some adventure, and I always liked a good adventure.
We got married a year later. We had a motor home. We traveled the country for three months. We were in Massachusetts for my sister’s wedding, so we got an apartment online, loaded up our wedding presents in our motor home and drove back to Seattle. (We had been here visiting for a week earlier that summer on our trip.) We nearly broke our new axle on the way over because we had so many presents.
We were young. We were in love. We were trying a new place. We didn’t know anyone, but we had fun.
We ended up going to the church that Mike had heard about online and have stayed there for 14 years. We’ve moved four times. We’ve bought two houses. We’ve made numerous friends. We’ve had five children. We’ve had numerous cars. We’ve had a number of motor homes. We’ve had a bunch of renters.
Seattle is dear to us. The city is dear to us. The people who have made up our church and our community are dear to us. We would not have made it through our many struggles in Seattle without our community. Jesus put us in the city for a reason. Those reasons were hard and full of grief, but they’ve been good and His glory has been displayed.
This place has become our home. This place holds many many memories. They may not all be good, but they all have purpose. Jesus was gracious to us when He asked us to move here. He knew that we would need the place and these people who surrounded us. We would need their love. We would need their honesty. We would need their harsh words. We would need their encouragement. We would need their grace.
I don’t cry often. I don’t usually get over emotional, but I get a lump in my throat when I think about leaving the familiar. Leaving our people. Leaving people that we have come to love and do life with. There are too many to name. Jesus has been gracious to us.
I do not like drawn out good byes. I say, “See ya later.” Because I will. It may not be in our timing, but it will be in Jesus’. He knows what we need, just like He knew our family would need Seattle and His people in it.
Our physical bodies won’t be here, but our hearts will be in Seattle.