Dear Charlotte: your spell over me has ended

Sunday, September 19, 2010

charlotte Pictures, Images and Photos

When we moved back to the Northwest almost 10 years ago, I left Charlotte, North Carolina kicking and screaming. We had started our family, made good friends, were involved in a great church and lived in a desirable neighborhood. We were settled. Going back to where I went to college was never on the radar. I did not have a stellar university experience and returning to a place of many unpleasant memories never made it to the top of my goal sheet. God clearly had other plans.

In September 2000, we were visiting family and friends here when we bumped into a former colleague of mine from Charlotte. My husband had been unexpectedly removed from his partnership two weeks earlier, but moving away wasn't even a consideration. As we caught up with Jim, and he handed Trey his card with the words "shoot me your resume", I knew in my heart it was a done deal. Three weeks later Trey had a job offer in hand and we relocated before we knew what hit us.

The story went from bad to worse within days of arriving here but I won't get into the details. The first year back on the west coast was pretty miserable. Everyone expected me to be so glad I was "back home". Only the problem was I considered Charlotte my home. I couldn't tell anyone I longed to return to the southeast lest they be offended at their own choices to live here. I was lonely and sad and refused to even look for an ounce of good in my circumstances. As time went on and several job changes and moves ensued I believed that this town was cursed--or we were. As I matured and grew in my walk with God I learned to find contentment and peace in the here and now. I could not deny this was His plan to move us here but that didn't mean I couldn't plan my escape. And I did. In my mind.

As we endured dark, dreary winter after winter, and watched the cost of housing skyrocket, I questioned God's wisdom in putting us somewhere that would wreak havoc on my husband's career and confidence. Somewhere that was not conducive to raising three "outdoor" boys. Somewhere that the culture is juxtaposed to our values. Somewhere that has more espresso stands on every street corner instead of churches. I constantly compared what our life could be like if we lived somewhere that had nice weather for most of the year, we could buy a house on one income and we'd reside in a "red state" not a blue one.

Last month when the boys and I returned to our former "stomping ground" I knew, within two hours, that this was no longer the place for us. It was wonderful to see our friends and show the kids our old house but that's where it ended. I realized that Charlotte hadn't changed. But I had. Everyone has big, beautiful homes, stable careers and all the other luxuries I've had to sacrifice for the last decade. All the things I've pined away for since leaving in January 2001. And yet as I left there it dawned on me that God knew exactly what He was doing--and then some. If we had stayed there, and everything had gone our way, those items I previously mentioned would be controlling my world. I know how I am.

Although this town has not been lucrative for Trey's career, we use our umbrellas more than our sunglasses, we'll probably be renting for the foreseeable future, and we have had more downs than ups, I would not trade it for all that Charlotte has to offer. We would not have the rich family life, close friendships and walk with God we enjoy today if my plan had panned out. I can see now that God was protecting us from ourselves. And we are right where we need to be. Home Sweet Home.


6 Responses to “Dear Charlotte: your spell over me has ended”

Andrea Pasquan said...

I liked this. God is so faithful and always seems to have plans that are not like we imagine, they are better. Way to be obedient, even if it is hard.

Your blogs are always inspiring and make people think!

Love you!

Nicole said...

Oh how I love your outlook and God's perspective that you focus on. You inspire me in so many ways. All I can say to this entire post is...Amen! To the God who is faithful to faithless, powerful to the weak, and the healer to the sick we come on bended knee knowing You always know what You are doing! :)

Anonymous said...

ha, I am going to experiment my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's really awesome, thanks.

- Norman

Anonymous said...


Amen. I can totally identify with what you are saying! I spent much time struggling with being here in Toledo. However when we sat and looked back at leaving Charlotte, so many things have transpired in both our children's lives and ours that would not have happened had we stayed where we were. GOD is all knowing and right! I am so glad that I got to read this post.

Blessings to you Trey and those beautiful boys. I love you!

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