I've never experienced anything quite like this past year here. I've moved a lot throughout my life with my parents and I went to college without knowing a soul 3 and a half hours from home, but moving to Charlotte with Dan was very different than any of those experiences.
We have been so greatly blessed here in this city, but it has been a very trying and challenging year. We had a Christmas Party at our home last night and a friend told me that it was like a celebration to welcome in a new year here and a goodbye to this challenging year (and car trouble we've had! haha).
To recount some of the things that have happened the past year:
1) December: We moved to Charlotte- not knowing anyone and leaving behind all of our wonderful friends. We quickly put up our tree here and celebrated Christmas with both of our families.
2) January: Dan started his new job at a Top 100 Golf Course (which we thought was totally dreamy). We also started attending (and loving!) Elevation Church after being afraid that we'd never find another church that we loved as much as ours in Clemson.
3) February: I got a job at a preschool in Charlotte.
4) April: I quit my miserable job at the preschool- stepped out on faith and started subbing to hopefully get a teaching job in Union County.
5) May: I started graduate school at Winthrop University AND we celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary.
6) June: Dan lost his job at the golf course. Then he started going for his dream of playing golf professionally.
7) July: I got a job in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District teaching 5th grade and Dan's mom found out she had breast cancer (both on the same day).
8) August: I started teaching. Dan's mom had major surgery to remove cancer and began chemotherapy.
9) September: We bought a house!!
10) November: Dan got a job at a bank in town until he feels like its time to continue playing golf.
11) December: We're hosting Christmas at our home and are unable to see my in-laws at all this Christmas season because of Dan's job and his mom still going through chemo.
It's amazing to see God's hand through our journey here. We've had some days where we didn't think we'd make it. We've had days where blessings have poured out on us. We thought that financial security was our biggest challenge when Dan lost his job, but when his mom found out that she had cancer, we learned that financial security is really the least of our worries. It's been a hard year, but I've never felt closer to the Lord. I've never had stronger faith, because this year has really grown and required that I have faith. There were a lot of things that happened this year that I didn't understand (and still don't), but I have faith that God will use it for good.
Dan and I moved here with the intention of staying a few years and moving on. Right now, I can't say that is totally wrong, but I can't see the end of our time here yet either. I would still love to move my friends from SC here... but right now, we're home.
Whatever 2011 in Charlotte brings...
The best is yet to come.
The best is yet to come.