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Goodbye Charlotte

“We’re living a good story.”

That’s what I told Sarah in August a year ago, as we threw things into a suitcase for a reckless overnight road trip to Charlotte. And in a sense, that was true. Good stories and good memories are made from the brave, impulsive moments that we still laugh about a year later.

But what they don’t tell you is that good stories are also made when you go all-in on one wild idea and it all falls apart.

Good stories are made from the decisions that look like mistakes and like failures. The best stories are born out of moments when all hope is lost.

We’re living a good story, and it’s the most difficult, painful thing we’ve ever done.


I don’t regret anything.

I want you to know that. I don’t regret quitting my job, losing our house, pulling up our lives by the roots and throwing ourselves at North Carolina. I don’t regret the packing and the unpacking and the packing again.

Do you know why?

Because good stories are not made of places and things. They are not born of success, but of dead ends. They say good stories aren’t so much about what happens, but about how the characters are changed.

And Charlotte, you have changed us. Kicked our asses. Turned us inside out. Scraped our hearts raw. We came with eyes full of dreams, hearts full of hope, and a world of potential. We’re leaving with empty pockets and broken hearts.

And I don’t regret anything.


This is not what we expected. This is not what we had planned. This is not what we wanted.

We had hoped that this would be the place we would call “home”, a place to put down roots, buy a house, raise our family. Even when it got really tough, we didn’t make plans to leave. We had gone all in, after all. There was no backup plan.

And then one day we woke up and knew that it was over. We just knew.


If you’re wondering if this is about the church, it’s not.

We sat there in that second-row pew on the left side Sunday after Sunday, worshiped with that beautiful community, received the Eucharist with tears streaming down our faces Sunday after Sunday, and I don’t regret anything.

God met us there, as promised, in ways that we’re only just beginning to glimpse. Not at all in the ways we expected, but perhaps better.


I’m so grateful for all the life we’ve lived here in the past year.

I want you to know that.

We’re grateful for those who cheered us on in this wild adventure, those who welcomed us with open arms, those who have been our friends from both near and far away. And I’m especially grateful for those who are walking with us now, when everything has fallen apart.


If you’re wondering what happens next… me too. We’re hoping for a roof over our heads. We don’t have much more of a plan that that.

We’re packing what we have left into boxes now, selling off what we can spare, and charting a road toward the last place that really felt like home. In a few weeks, we’ll be gone.

Sarah is going to keep painting. I am going to keep designing and writing. And we’re going to keep loving our two wild boys.

Now we are carried along by this story that now feels wholly out of our control.

And maybe that’s a really good place to be.

If you’d like to help us practically in this transition, you can contribute here. We’re so grateful for your love, support, and prayers.

[ image: Craig Tucker ]

published September 3, 2014

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