Our journey from the rolling hills of central Kentucky to the crystal blue beaches of central Florida happened exactly one week ago. My husband, T, and I—accompanied by my most generous parents, a pick-up truck and a borrowed trailer—made the 12-turned-16-hour trek, complete with one collision with a deer, one flat tire, three rain storms and what felt like an endless number of stops for fuel. The journey wasn’t easy, but our new home at the beach was beckoning.
Our move to the Sunshine State is a result of T’s quest to become a successful, practicing dentist. He graduated dental school a month ago, and has elected to complete an Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency, a one-year program that will allow him to expand his skills and ability to treat patients with complex dental needs. T chose this particular residency, located in the Tampa Bay town of Seminole, for the wide range of opportunities it offers; I agreed because of its close proximity to the Gulf and fresh seafood.
Don’t misunderstand; we have a deep, true love for our Kentucky home. It’s where we’ve spent our entire lives up to this point; where we grew up, fell in love and built a beautiful life. And leaving family and friends and memories behind comes with a whole slew of emotions, from nervous excitement to downright fear.
When those feelings of anxiousness start to creep up on me (as they have several times over the last week), I’m reminded of something I wrote in my journal when we first made the decision to relocate: God lives in Florida, too. He is present, and that little truth means we can have peace and confidence and even joy about moving across the country from everything and everyone we know and love. Over the past seven days, God has proven that to be so. We’ve seen His artistic expression in brightly-painted sunsets, His creativity in the ocean’s brilliant shades of blue and His power in our first tropical storm. This week, perhaps more than ever before, God has used his creation to remind me that He’s here, He’s big and He’s excited to be on this adventure with us.
Today, as I write this, my view outside the window of our two-bedroom apartment is quite different from the view I had a week ago. It’s filled with palm branches, a large tree growing mangos that I can’t wait to pick, and several lush plants I’ve yet to identify. Rolling hills and horse farms have been replaced with sandy shores and an ocean full of dolphins and sea creatures and migrating manatees. And while the newness of it all may leave us with a certain degree of culture shock, it also means there are new neighbors to meet, new places to visit and new experiences to be had around every corner.
The next year will be one unlike any other for T and me. And I think that makes it worthy of documentation. I have no idea what types of stories, ideas or discoveries may come to live on the pages of this blog, but I’m learning to embrace the uncertainty. After all, isn’t it the mystery of not knowing that makes an adventure worth having?
Until next time,