I’ve stared this letter three times over the past few days; only to delete everything I’ve written each time. Much has happened on our travels recently, a lot of it I want to share, but none of it seems of much importance compared to what is going on at home. So I’m writing this as much for me as I am for you. Maybe it will help me (us) to move forward.
Many of you have been reading these letters long enough to know about our ongoing struggle to get things right with our home since the flood in Franklin almost two years ago. What started as a minor water damage repair turned into a discovery of mold behind the wall, and then a series of unfortunate events caused the spread of toxic spores to almost every room of the house. At the urging of experts, we moved out in June of 2010 and haven’t been back since, moving five times in the past two years as we’ve tried to get a settlement sorted out and our home put back to normal.
Early this year Jennifer and I knew we couldn’t remain in this state of waiting any longer and decided to move forward with the remediation and reconstruction of the house without a settlement. Disposal of our things and remediation began in April, and as of this past weekend, our house was certified mold-free. Today, almost all of our possessions are in a landfill, except for a few family heirlooms and some musical instruments. Everything we owned reduced to a few items in a pod sitting in our driveway, the house an empty shell of memories.
I walked through the house without a mask and a HAZMAT suit on Saturday for the first time in two years. The last time I was in it, it was packed full of seventeen years of stuff, much of which I didn’t even remember we had. Now it sits empty, waiting for another family to begin a new season there. Jennifer and I decided months ago that we weren’t going back into the house. We’d thought about moving many times after returning home from Africa, knowing that we’d be happier in a smaller place. We concluded that this is a good time for a new start, and in the Lord’s kindness, He has introduced us to a wonderful family that will be renting the house to eventually purchase it. They also will be helping us with the last of the re-construction, which is an unexpected blessing.
The little cottage that we are renting in Franklin is cozy, but we know it too is temporary. We don’t have any idea what is next for us so we’ll stay here until we do. We know that life is going to look a little different for a while, as this process has drained us in every way. But we know that God is loving and strong, and He will surely repair what has been broken. He’s already given us glimpses of how He is doing that and so we hold on to those things.
Holding on and moving on-