15 February 2009

The best is yet to be.

Back home from Nashville. Going away for a week always helps me return refreshingly to home. Reflecting on my "past life" in Nashville, I am thankful for it. But more than that, I treasure where I am today, in this life, in this home, with this man, with this community.

I do miss the hills and farms of Franklin. I miss the bustle of Hillsboro Village on a Saturday morning. I miss my home on Beechwood, where I lived with Amy and Suz, with the purple dining room and twinkling lights draped over the fireplace.

In 2005, a year after moving away, I finally said "goodnight" to Nashville. It was something I needed to do to put an end to the fits of longing and move forward, gracefully, with my new life in Texas. At that time, I was stuck. I tried to like Texas, but every new coffeeshop I discovered in Dallas was nothing compared to the humming energy of Fido or Bongo. Every new friend I met, I compared to "my girls" in Nashville. No experience here could compare to what I had experienced there, a city where I grew into "me" from age 17 to 27.

A dear friend of ours always signs letters and cards, "The best is yet to be." I don't know about you, but I find hope in this statement. There are more good years ahead, more good moments to be experienced. When I turned 30, I said to my mentor, Melissa, a woman in her late-40's, "It's going to be a good year..." Without hesitation she answered, "They're all good years!" It halted me. She was right. Would I trade even one of them? No way. I am who I am because of Madison and Houston and Nashville and Dallas and the moments that have happened there, the people who have been woven permanently into my life.

Nashville and I have become friends again. This past trip was so healthy, encouraging. Perhaps I had to let that time of my life go a little bit in order to receive it back again. I don't know how it happened, really. Maybe it was just time. It took feeling uncomfortable with change and just sitting in that for awhile. And then one day, I found a peace. Maybe it's a peace that came with finding a family here in Texas, where I least expected it. And I realized I could still love both places, for their own unique reasons.

Hello again, Nashville. Thank you for what you did to make me who I am. Every time I return to you, someone asks me, "When are you moving back?" I smile. And then I answer, "Nashville is forever on the list." Because no matter what, you are. And that's okay. There are also good years ahead, though. And I am going to embrace them now.

"Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God:
see all, nor be afraid!'"
~ Robert Browning


marisa said...

even though i didn't know "nashville christine" i totally get this. here's to being present & loving the now.
(but i did love having you here this week and i of course would love it if yall moved!)

The Morginskys said...

oh, so good to read! and i went back and read your goodnight nashville post. also, so good for my heart. nashville was so good, so hard, so "growing" and it had its place. thanks for this encouragement. why did you move away? was it to be closer to your brother? i cant really remember...and why did you visit? just for a little vaca? i saw the pic of you and the girls on mullins blog and was a little jealous! jacksons!!!

Mandy said...

good words...

That in-between phase when you're not quite "home" yet is so hard. I've been feeling that lack of peace for awhile in Lincoln. Sitting in it is hard, but I've been doing it for quite some time and hoping soon it will feel more like home or somewhere else will become that.

thanks for sharing!

lisa said...

it was so much fun hanging out with you last weekend! let's not make it that long between the next time :) i read your "goodnight nashville" post and it really touched my heart.....in a phase of life when I am about to go through this myself it truly did make me feel more hopeful :)thanks for this!

Kyle Anderson said...

sweet Christine.. thank you for what you wrote! I needed to read those lines as I let go of comparing my life in Nashville to Dallas. You are my piece of Nashville here in this city where God has brought me. I'm finally at peace and am so encouraged by your heart and surrending expectations. God has blessed you with a beautiful husband and incredible community. Big beautiful things to come. All you can so is savor the day and be grateful.

robyn a. jones said...

oh christine, this is right where i am too. there are so many parts of my life i am thankful for and so many people, like yourself, that have made me the person i am today. i hated the person i was in nashville, but i wanted so much to be a part of life there. life at that point in time was not a good fit for me. of course, i wouldn't trade it for anything. especially the friends i had and the decisions that came from moving from there. i love you and echo every word of your post... i pray for blessing for you and stephen and the simple pleasures of day to day!

the bowlin family said...

i just love reading your thoughts, so from your heart. glad you have found a home and peace here in the big D. i love the pic of you and steven.