Of everything in our house, four things stand out as the hardest to say goodbye to. February 23rd, my white grand piano walked out our front door. It had been a constant presence in my life since 1993. With one week remaining in our house, I knew it needed to go. It just wouldn’t fit in 238 sq ft and honestly, I didn’t want to make housing decisions based on the piano anymore. I played its keys one last time, and cried quietly in the kitchen as the movers took it away.
This process hasn’t been easy. Not one bit. But what “best things in life” ever should be easy to attain? When I would get overwhelmed, Ryan and our kids would comfortingly encourage me, “Yes, this is hard. Yes, we’re probably crazy. But we have a peace that passes understanding, and deep down in our soul, it feels right.” As a family, we were learning an important lesson. We were exchanging our material possessions, our old life, for whatever God had in store for us in the future.
As the house got emptier, I kept telling God, “I trust you Lord! Take it. I willingly give up our things in exchange for what you have for us. I love you, and I trust you.”
March 1, 2017 Ryan and I worked through the night. We finished packing, cleaning and spackling picture holes. We were exhausted, but we finally made the finish line. In the next few hours, we would leave this special house. A few more very difficult goodbyes had to happen.
August 19, 2014, Ryan quit his fulltime job and we became full-time engagement and wedding photographers instead of just “weekend wedding warriors”. (Our website is www.ryanandjacy.com!) Hind sight, I can now see this was a stepping stone in our faith journey. We needed to learn we could trust God to provide our financial needs. To help me remember not to fret, which I frequently did, I wrote on our bathroom mirror “Jesus, Thank you for providing our needs for today. Ryan still works from home, and our bills are provided for. Thank you for your Faithfulness today. I trust you today.” I dated that February 1, 2015. I had also written “God will give you the desires of your heart, step by step, one day at a time.” I repeated it as my prayer March 1, 2017, thanking Him for his continued faithfulness. I cleaned the mirror and walked out of the bathroom.
We sent our kids outside to play with their friends, allowing Ryan and I the opportunity to paint over two very special things on our walls. In our schoolroom, we had put up a monogram of a special quote from Walt Disney.
“All your Dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.”
With tears in our eyes, we painted over the words, determined to have courage as we pursue our dream to live on a boat and one day circumnavigate as a family….step by step, one day at a time.
From there, Ryan lead me upstairs, blue paint bucket in hand. We stood in Caleb’s bedroom. (Goodness, this is hard to write!!) When we found out we were having a boy after three girls, Ryan bought our son’s first onesie. It was a royal baby Mickey Mouse and said Future Prince Charming. I loved it so much, being 9 months pregnant with him I figured out how to paint it above his crib. To balance it out, I painted a Knight Mickey. Our son’s name is Caleb Josiah Royal. We choose his name 10 years before he was born. I thought a royal Mickey would be fitting. I also want our son to grow up chivalrous, like a knight.
The time had come to paint over them. I kissed them and sadly painted over them. Hand in hand, Ryan and I walked downstairs and out the door of our house.
We gathered our children and took one last picture with the house as our backdrop. This has been a very special place to live. The reason? Fifteen years before, when Ryan and I were engaged, Ryan rented the front right bedroom in this house. Through circumstances beyond our comprehension, God led us back to this house in 2010. I have thanked him and asked him if we could buy this house one day, every day we lived there. I knew, if God ever said no to my request, our next home would have to be even better than this one.
We know with certainty, this adventure is better than what we chose to leave behind.
There is no turning back. Our new life awaits, step by step, one day at a time.