We're on the move because God answers prayer. We don't know everything about what he has in mind for us in this next phase of our life.
We didn't just wake up one morning and decide to move. But we did wake up one morning just after last Christmas and discovered that God was moving. It wasn't long after Andrew and I prayed a 54 day Rosary novena.
Our prayer intention was that God would set things right in us and for us; that he would bring us and every aspect of our lives where we should have been, could have been, maybe even would have been apart from our own sins, faults, failures, and irresponsibility. It was a rather open-ended request. Still, there's one thing I know about God: when we open ourselves to his grace, we will see it. All this is to explain why, after spending our entire adult lives in Boston, we are moving to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sure, we've talked about downsizing the house (and the mortgage) after the kids moved on. We've talked about getting ourselves in a stronger financial position, one with less debt. And, yes, like most people who live in New England, we've toyed with moving south eventually. We just didn't think any of this would -- or could -- happen now. It has.
When God opens doors, they open wide. On a whim, Andrew Googled computer science teaching positions at Catholic universities. There was an opening -- at Loyola in New Orleans, where our youngest daughter was a freshman. I remember asking him what we were going to do if he actually got this job. He said he didn't know. That was my cue to start looking at Louisiana real estate.
Within a few weeks, Andrew had been interviewed and offered the job. We put our house on the market and planned a trip to find one in greater New Orleans. While we were there, we made an offer to buy a house and received one for ours. Now we're completing the task of deciding what to take with us, what to store for our adult children, what to give away, and what to throw away.
We're scheduled to close the sale of our house on our 35th wedding anniversary. It's a whole life makeover and a whole new beginning. We're much smarter than we were the first time, if a bit worse for wear. We're a bit humbler, too. At least I hope so. We aren't looking into a vast expanse of future with all kinds of hopes, plans, and expectations. We're just walking into an unexpected plot twist in the story of our lives, a change of venue, a new mission.
But thanks to God's overflowing grace, we're downsizing the mortgage more than the house. Andrew will teach days instead of nights, and undergraduates instead of part-time adult students and I'll take my job with Ave Maria Press along with me. I'm sure we'll complain about the heat, but we probably won't miss the snow or the snowthrower we passed on to our oldest daughter's family.
What we will miss are the people who have journeyed through life with us here, especially those who have been church for us. The dinners and meet ups we've been having over the past month or so have meant a great deal to us. Though neither of us grew up here, Boston will always be the home of our Catholic faith. Massachusetts will always be the place our kids think of as home. It will take a while for New Orleans to be more home than a new adventure.
We're on the move because God answers prayer. We don't know everything about what he has in mind for us in this next phase of our life. It is enough, though, to know that God has us in mind. He has prepared everything ahead, just as he has promised to redeem everything that has passed. We know too that God will continue to be present to us wherever we go, and wherever he calls us. And in case you're wondering, yes, I plan to keep writing for The Pilot.
Jaymie Stuart Wolfe is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother of eight. Inspired by the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, she is an author, speaker, and musician, and serves as a senior editor at Ave Maria Press. Find Jaymie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @YouFeedThem.
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