Reflecting in the Holy City

I love this city.  Charleston, SC.  The “Holy City.”  So much history.  So much beauty.  So much food!  It’s one of our favorite places to visit.  Hard to believe it’s been six years since we’ve been together.  Also hard to believe what’s happened since we were here last.

Six years ago, we came to Charleston to celebrate Amanda’s birthday.  It a bittersweet celebration, because a few weeks before we had lost our first baby to a miscarriage.  I brought Amanda here to get her away from everything, to help her heal.  To help me heal.

Six years ago, I was a salesman in the furniture industry.  Amanda was an executive assistant.

Six years ago, we thought we had it all figured out.  You see, we had a house.  We had good jobs.  We were going to start our family.  We were living it.  We were making it happen.

Six years ago, I realized I didn’t have a clue.

Flash forward to tonight.  Amanda and I were walking along the pier, enjoying the evening, and it hit me just how much things had changed since we were here last!   Six years ago, we were in this city, as close to despair as I can ever remember being.  But  when we go home this week, we’ll be greeted by  not one, but TWO amazing, beautiful little girls!  TWO!!!

We moved out of the “big city”.  We sold our house.  Lesson:  the things I thought mattered, really didn’t matter so much.  God began teaching us that keeping up with the Joneses is over-rated, and that happiness does not depend in the abundance of possessions.  Not an easy lesson, to be sure, but an invaluable one.

We both changed jobs.  I left the sales business and got the unbelievable opportunity to teach middle school for two years.  I never saw this coming, but it was an experience that I’ll never forget.  Amanda began the most important, yet financially unappreciated, job of staying home with our girls.  That, I saw coming, but she’s even better at it that I could’ve dreamed.  She once told her boss that her desire was to be a stay-at-home mom.  I’m so glad God gave her that desire.

God’s ways are not our ways.  There were so many twists and turns in the past 6 years, I couldn’t list them all here.  Plus, it’d bore you to tears, I’m certain.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything.  In a few days, we start a new chapter in our lives when I go on staff at our church.  Like all the other bends in the road, it’s both scary and exciting.

And unlike 6 years ago, I don’t think I’ve got it figured out.  But I know He does.  And I rest in that.

5 thoughts on “Reflecting in the Holy City

  1. Beautifully written! You guys have a great future ahead. Not always easy probably but also not done alone..The best lesson I read in this post was the fact that you know you don’t have it all figured out. God works in us best when we are dependent on Him. That is a lesson I need to work on for sure. Learned that one in my reading today. I am so glad your time at the school brought you guys into my life. You truly are part of my family now. I like that….now don’t mess it up!:)


    1. It’s one of the nicknames it’s been given. Ever look at the skyline? The number of church steeples caused people to call it that.


  2. Mattie,

    Your beautifully-written post reminds me of the Lord’s insistence that the children of Israel erect markers and monuments to remind them of special days, or give them perspective on the days they were in.

    I hope you will return with Amanda to the “Holy City” (that was a first for me, too, hearing that) on regular intervals, both to reflect and to renew.


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