In a few weeks it will be fifteen years since I rode in the back seat of a fifteen passenger van down 95, on my way to Moscow. I had two weeks until I started Logos, my first time at a school. We drove through the dry, brown fields of the Palouse. This is it? Really? We are in the middle of nowhere! Why would anyone live here? I stepped out of the van, dusty Western ground crunching under my feet. It seemed liked a barren waste land after moving from rainy, crowded England and spending the summer by a pool in Alabama. I'll be here four years, I thought, finish high school, then I'm moving away for college. I had no idea that I would be in Moscow for 15 years, and I had no idea the good gifts God would bring to me out of this seemingly empty, barren town.
Moscow has been a spring of blessings for me. I have met some of my dearest friends here. God gave me Jon in Moscow - on Main Street, actually. I turned around in Bucer's one day and there he was, in a tattered blue plaid shirt and cut off Carhartts. I married him anyway. God gave me Darcy and June - who I also met on Main Street, wrapped in white blankets, screaming. God has brought 3 beautiful wives for 3 of my brothers. God gave me MargaretAnn and Garnett, which tripled the number of my sisters. When I got married in Moscow, I was given three more sisters and two more brothers and two more parents. And since then I have gained two more brother-in-laws, three nieces, and three nephews. My life has doubled and tripled. God has shown me more of His goodness with all the new teaching and in all the new challenges that Moscow brought. With each year that passed He brought me strange trials that are so unique for myself, many may not even call them trials. Blessing and trial resulting in more blessing. That has been His pattern. I am thankful.
On Monday we are loading up what little belongings we still have and leaving this sweet place. Jon is going back to school to finish his degree in Biblical Counseling at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky and pursue work in the church. This is a dream he has had for a long time, and those of you who know him know how incredible he will be in this kind of work.
We are both so excited for this new adventure, this new chapter. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I am really looking forward to milder winters. Although I have learned to adore Moscow's insane weather. It has taught me not to complain so much and to dress in layers. We will miss this place. We will miss these people. But if I look back and count each gift the Lord has brought to me in Moscow, I am confident that He will continue to provide even more gifts as He moves us on to new challenges, new people, new trials, and new blessing. I am thankful.