we're a team.

i have been thinking about this entry for some time now. still, my thoughts feel incomplete & the words are hard to make. for now, we will start off slowly...

as you all probably already know, luke & i are finishing our undergraduate degrees in may.

during our four years here, we have met & fallen in love, built community with our church family & dear friends, found our passion for cultivating the earth, & learned to live simply in our home. along with many other simple moments, these are the events that have led up to who we are now.

but of course, we have always known that these roots were temporary. at some point, we knew we must uproot & move to a new place, a new city, a new people, a new home.
for me, that reality is both equally exciting & really, really hard.

i imagined our new home in the northern states, close to many sustainable agricultural opportunities in a budding city with culture & good food & progressive people. i naively imagined our lives would perfectly line up exactly where i wanted our lives to line up. i was craving both adventure & comfort.

as it most often goes, that isn't exactly how it is all turning out to be.

luke recently received an email from an advisor urging him to apply to a position in oklahoma. this position is amazing! salary, full benefits, & he would learn so much. his job would bring purpose & would work toward research in community agriculture & sustainable production of poultry.
of course, the position is in oklahoma. in the middle of nowhere oklahoma.
once he emailed his resume, he received a call a few days later for an interview.
this is when it began to hit me.

i've cried. i've stressed myself out. i've grown exhausted from all of the worry & doubts & fears. the thought of uprooting our family to a place with little to offer other than a great career opportunity really scares me.

this decision has been the most difficult decision we have had to work through in our marriage.

i want to put up my wall & simply pretend like it isn't happening. we will find something better. this isn't the place for us.

luke continually challenges me to live outside of my comfort. reminds me that i can make a home almost anywhere as long as there is a thrift store.

although he is undoubtedly right, i have grown angrier & more frustrated by the day. moving in less than two months with little to no idea where leaves me scattered, uneasy & anxious. i've never felt so unsure of my surroundings & the possibilities ahead.

in trying to calm the uneasiness inside, luke & i are traveling to oklahoma next week for a visit & his interview. i know hard conversations will be had & big decisions will need to be made. as we prepare for this time, i am choosing to remind myself that we are a team. things will work out. he would never choose for me a place that would make me incredibly unhappy & of course- i would do the same for him.

as i end this, there is no big conclusion as of now. we are still left in the in between. next week might bring some clarity. if anything, it will bring luke & i closer as we work through life & all of its baggage.

friends, thanks for allowing me to share my heart with you.



Holly Giblin said...

You are precious, Natalie! Keeping up with you the past few years on Facebook has been such a joy...you and Luke look like such a precious couple and the life you guys have is obviously one of simple, complete love. I wish you the best of luck in this new chapter of your life....I have no doubts that it too will be beautiful :) I'm in Fayetteville until May if you guys ever need a place to crash while visiting Oklahoma!

Holly Giblin said...

You are precious, Natalie! Keeping up with you the past few years on Facebook has been such a joy...you and Luke look like such a precious couple and the life you guys have is obviously one of simple, complete love. I wish you the best of luck in this new chapter of your life....I have no doubts that it too will be beautiful :) I'm in Fayetteville until May if you guys ever need a place to crash while visiting Oklahoma!

Sean Coder said...

Well, thanks for sharing your heart with us, Natalie! I hope everything finds it's place for you two.

bright lights, big cities said...

this post really touched me because my husband and I are in the same position. It is really hard for me to live in a place that I can not communicate fully in and am not able to find a steady job because of it. This is a huge vice and has lead to a lot of emotions... however, it has really tested our marriage and shown how good we are at communicating.

Oklahoma might not seem like the best place, but it is true that you will be able to find people that are like minded and may not take things for granted like someone who lives in a more progressive neighborhood.

Good Luck!

{PS that road trip is gonna be a blast!!!}


shari said...

i hope you enjoy your trip, natalie. how wonderful that you are trying to remain open and remembering all of the while that you two are a team. it's the most important thing, really. no place is perfect--each place will have its challenges. hoping for some clarity and confidence in making this tough decision.

Jess said...

I agree with Shari - each place has its challenges. Every where you go, there you are. I keep reminding myself that no matter where we live, we'll be living with one another, and that's what matters most. I'm excited to see where life takes you two wonderful people!

morgandkim said...

don't be scared. God has it all in control.

Madison said...

I am in a similar situation. My boyfriend Alan is going through his Navy training in Charleston, SC and I had planned to move there in August after I save up money and now he is unsure if he will be in South Carolina or in up state New York at that time. I know I want to move with him to get further our relationship,but its hard not knowing what the future holds. We should get coffee sometime soon! It seems like we have the same worries going through our mind.

Luke Freeman said...

What great wisdom and advice from everyone!

And just keep reminding yourself: we will make this decision together. I will not ask you to move to a place where there is no hope for joy or happiness. Circumstances will be tough wherever we move, but we can have confidence in God's provision and in the resilience of our relationship. We will not be broken by this transition, though it may be trying.

Natalie, I will try my hardest to ensure that all of your needs are provided for: physical, relational and spiritual. You are my wife. I love you as I love myself.

Your Husband

Vivian said...

Sweet Nat,
I feel your uneasiness and empathize with your fears - I have shared them time and again through big cross-country moves and unsure job transitions and all of that. It is SO true that where ever you go, there you are, as some one has already said. Even in a happenin' sustainably agricultural mecca, various challenges and opportunities to grow (to be faced with yourself, including the parts you don't like) will undoubtedly arise because that is life on this rock and in community with others. In fact, living in such an area with all that culture, et al, is arguably a distraction from the soul work that is necessary for growth. You are incredibly, FANTASTICALLY blessed to be in a marriage already so steeped in mutual respect and honor for each other. With that and God's direction and vision for you guys, you CANNOT go wrong. Sometimes our identities are so easily wrapped up in things that surround us, and living in a place that you wouldn't have desired originally can be surprisingly refreshing, as it strips you down to JUST YOU and you learn to be okay with that - that less of you means more of Him, anyway :) All that to say, IF you both choose to move forward with the OK job, the *temporary* locale will no doubt hold great inner adventure for you :) (And we'll definitely need to get together before you move and watch Oklahoma! together in rodeo outfits! haha) Love you girl!

kerri said...

i have only been reading your thoughts and words for a short while and i already have the feeling that the two of you would create a beautiful life, full of meaning and love, no matter where you were on our beautiful planet.

kerri x

ness said...

I feel this close to my heart. We did this kind of thing 5 times. Moving to AR was the hardest one. In my first driver's license picture, I look dazed and terrified as the thought crossed my mind the same time the camera snapped, "I LIVE IN ARKANSAS!?"

You have to take the time to mourn the things that you lose in the last place (Dunkin Donuts...I miss you so!) and be open to the new place's quirks and charms.

And feel what you are going to feel. It's a season. Better to move through it than try to ignore it!

: )

Andrea said...

Oh boy, do I know how you feel! Sometimes not being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel has been my biggest obstacle... although this is quite the opposite. You know one thing that has really changed my attitude (as my hubby is also a budding organic farmer) is that the biggest needs right now are in the middle of nowhere... the food deserts out there... they are also the places that need the most change. They need people like you & Luke to bring change & hope for their futures (and ours since the city is vitally connected to the out in the middle of no-wheres).

I know that does not really help you feel better on the grand scheme of things, but maybe seeing your part in the bigger whole might? Either way, I wish you comfort and I KNOW however it works out-- you two will be great!

Anonymous said...

As you live long and turn gray like me, you will realize that life has a way of happening unanticipated, unexpected, uncontrolled, and sometimes, yes, in that moment, totally unwanted.
Now is the time. Time for you to listen (really listen) to the beating of your own heart. Not the beating heart of the frightened child who lives within, but to the beating heart of the loving confident woman who yearns to be all that she can be.
Stop longing for the road behind you. Stop fretting about the road in front of you. Focus on now.
When you get to be my age, you'll realize that is all you really have anyway, and believe me. I would not have had it any other way.
Life is an adventure. Live it--today!
May God bless and keep you always.

Anonymous said...

it is beautiful that you view yourselves as a team :-)
it's quite precious indeed.
many times, change brings new and wonderful things. things we would never experience otherwise. the future may seem like a blur and life might seem gray, but there are rainbows to be found ahead.

glad to have found this blog :-)

amy said...

oh nat, i want to fly out right now and give you a big hug!! what amazing support and comments from everyone here. life is a funny yet wonderful thing. i believe there is no such thing as a mistake and every choice we make leads us to the next adventure. this move will lead you to where you are headed. it would have not shown up in your experience if it was not to lead you to where you want to go:) i wish you peace and clarity and alignment and i am sending virtual hugs xoxox

Tori said...

darling, i love you. as you know, things in life generally tend to fall into place even if that path to get there turns out being paved differently than we anticipated it would. you've got your love & your huck and your wisdom gained through it all to carry you right on through to this new book in your life library ; )

Norma said...

Since you say you are a church goer, I'm going to assume you pray. Pass every thought and feeling through God in prayer. He will give you peace beyond understanding and if you go where God directs and you are on His path then you can trust he will cover whatever move you have ahead.

PrayerGrove said...

thank you for sharing what is going on... it is great to hear that your outlook on it all is becoming unified as a couple, you are such an inspiration in this real life example, for me and jeremy.

bbphoto said...

I am a new reader as of today, found my way through Tend. I wish I had read this and had the time to reflect on it before a similar situation presented itself in my life. We just finally bought our ideal home in an ideal town in the past year.... then, my husband was offered a wonderful position with a great global company in another country. I panicked, froze and even became defiant in his desire to go. Two days ago, we made the decision not to pursue the opportunity because of the anticipated layers of hardship and the fact that it would take me out of my comfort zone. I am concerned that I made the wrong choice. If I had had the guidance that you received from your readers, I may have had the confidence to embrace the change. I am glad for you that you did and you will move forward.

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