The Little Engine That Could Until It Couldn’t

Moving is sometimes like being on a train track. It should be easy. You just stay on the tracks. You can’t get lost. You go from point A to point B and you stay on the tracks. Unless of course you don’t. Unless you take a “switcher” route and go in another direction. Or go in circles. Or never leave the station. Or think the journey will be too hard so you never even start your engine.

We’re moving this weekend to a new home. Ugh. Well, “yay” and “ugh.” Yay for moving to new places that allow for new beginnings and new growings and new connectings and new memories, and where you can build into a new season of life. (I think. At least, that’s what my head is telling me.)

Ugh for….well…the whole process of getting to that point. The packing and selling and shifting and reworking and organizing and managing of everything involved in said move. Especially a move that comes after 17 years of building a life, family and marriage in the home you’re leaving behind, and where it seems every nook and cranny of that home still holds the memories of a deeply missed husband and father. There is what appears to be a whole other stage of grieving as I leave this home. For better or worse. For courage or fear. For endings or beginnings.

So many mixed emotions regarding this move. So many pulls in so many directions. But blessedly (thank the good Lord, so blessedly), there are friends to help. To push me when I think it’s much easier (and safer?) to just stay where I am (even if going is, in the end, probably better). To encourage me when I think (when I’m convinced) I can’t do it, when I’m sure it’s all just too hard. Friends to push me down the track when I falter and am no longer saying, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” but am instead crying,” I just can’t…”

This week, these friends look strikingly similar to Thomas the Tank Engine as they come chugging along beside me, pushing me down the track, drowning out my “I can’t’s” with their little-engine-that-could encouragements of “We think you can, we think you can, we think you can.”

So. Here I go. Rolling along the track, chugging ever closer to the final days of “the move” and wondering if, on any given day in the future, I will look back on this time and realize that no, on my own I probably couldn’t have. But with the love and compassion and assistance of good friends and family, and the unseen hand of God at work in my life in spite of me, I could. I actually could.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven… — Ecclesiastes 3:1


6 Comments on “The Little Engine That Could Until It Couldn’t

  1. I am so proud of you, Debbie. You & Roger raised 3 awesome sons. Even in your early years of marriage when I was priviledged to know you and sit next to you in choir, you were strong in your committment to God. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us! He will not abandon you now and will be beside you as you enter this new phase of your life. I love you, Debbie and will never forget you.


  2. Debbie,

    Thinking of you a million miles away and wishing we could have been there to help (or at least to get distracted by the things we unearthed while packing/moving together!!!!!) I am praying for your family during this transition. You are brave, and loved! May the new memories, the new journey, the new direction not replace, but merely add on to the story that has been woven so far….and may you feel God’s presence, love and faithfulness. ❤


    • Oh Karen, I am praying for you guys too this weekend! What a big change for both us. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet, thoughtful words and know I couldn’t be happier for your little family—that is about to get a little bit bigger. Yay! 🙂


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