Jude rode the bright green rocking frog at the playground on the day we signed our lease. He was 17 months old.
Besides a brief stint in the US, we've spent four and a half years in the same apartment. My neighbors have become my friends. The shop workers know my children by name. The nooks and crannies of our complex have become our backyard. I've watched some of the kids' friends grow from child to teenager. This is our home. It will ever remain in my heart as yet another example of God's faithfulness.
This is not the country that I would have chosen to settle in. But, by God's grace, it has become a place of bounty and beauty.
We are in a season of change. It's been coming quietly for a few months now. This week, our departure was finalized. David is transferring to another position in another country. There will be a new language, a new culture, a new house, a new school. By the end of August or so, my life will look very little like it does right now.
The reality of this is beginning to settle into my soul. It is bringing a deep grief over the loss of this place. A place I have grown to love. A place where I have grown in love.
It doesn't mean that this next adventure won't be exciting. I think it will. The same faithful God who sustained me through this adventure, will sustain me through the next. I'll tell you more of those details soon. But for now, I'm sad. And I'm going to let my heart walk through that sadness.
There are enough memories here to fill a childhood. It will be hard to say goodbye.