Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moving On

Well, everyone, Vance got the call. We're moving to Florida!

Vance will be an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. Go Gators! He will be heading up their strawberry breeding program, which is based outside of Tampa. We'll move to FL the second week in August. Vance is really excited about the job, and we are all excited about following God's very clear leading to this new adventure. Who knows what will be in store for us there, but knowing that God's ways are better and kinder than anything we could have chosen gives us a lot of joy.

And yet. Leaving everyone here in Minneapolis--our dear friends who have become like our family--is going to feel like slicing off an arm. I moved up here 5.5 years ago, fresh out of college with a shiny new diamond on my finger, not knowing anyone but Vance. You barely knew me, but you threw me a bridal shower. Some of you flew down for our wedding a few months later. You taught me how to do small group, sharing my raw life with you, confessing sin, sharing joys, and receiving your love and support as I did. You celebrated with me when I was pregnant with Isaac, prayed with me when he was diagnosed with heart problems, and rejoiced when God healed him. You cried with me when my Mom died, and have continued to comfort and reach out to me in my grief, even two and a half years later. You helped me make my transition to two children, have given me advice on how to be a godly wife and mother, you have mentored me and challenged me and made me laugh until my sides hurt. You have loved my children, fished and grilled and prayed with my husband, let us crash your parties, invited us over for holidays when we couldn't travel home... You are dearer to me than I can begin to express. I can't imagine life without you all.

Emotions are strange things, and mine are especially fickle. I'll probably be dry-eyed as we leave you all, and I'll probably burst into tears at some other randomly inopportune time. So if you're reading this and you are one of the dear friends we are leaving in the Cities, know that we really, really love you. And we insist that you come visit us in our new oh-so-tropical home sometime in the dead of February or March!

8 comments:

Svetlana said...

Praise the Lord!!!Congratulations!!! It'll be sad to see you guys go, but I am very happy for you.
We do have some news ourselves. Elijah was accepted into the CCJLE program (so he can finally get his Law Enforcement Degree), and we've bought a house in Eagan (at least on paper).
Keep in touch,
Svetlana

HB said...

Well, that made me cry! So sad, so excited for you guys.

I love your sentiments about your time in the cities. I certainly haven't known your family as long as other people have, but it has been a BLESSING to get to know you guys. I will miss Isaac's help on Welcome Team (and Vance's leadership, of course), and I will really miss your singing, too!

But visiting FL in February already sounds MAGNIFICENT. :)

HB said...

Well, that made me cry! So sad, so excited for you guys.

I love your sentiments about your time in the cities. I certainly haven't known your family as long as other people have, but it has been a BLESSING to get to know you guys. I will miss Isaac's help on Welcome Team (and Vance's leadership, of course), and I will really miss your singing, too!

But visiting FL in February already sounds MAGNIFICENT. :)

rob said...

Hey Terri-

I am so happy for you guys. God bless you as you go. Hopefully we will get to say goodbye. Your family has wonderful gifts and I know that God will use you all where ever he puts you.

Are you getting a house?

Love, Katie

Luke said...

Whitakers,

Well, it's odd (from my perspective) that all this is 'going down' when we are not even going to be around to say goodbye. Everyone's life is so crazy! I'm not sure when you leave, but we're going to be back in the cities the night of July 2nd and leaving again the 4th...ish. So hopefully we can see you guys in that time.

Also, you should be applauded for your faith in God and His plan for your lives. You guys are role models. That's probably the reason that Vance was our small group leader, huh?!

Thompsons via Costa Rica

Ivy Mom said...

Congratulations Terri and Vance! I'm glad you feel God's clear leading you to Florida. I can only imagine how hard it will be to leave where you are. I don't even know the wonderful people you've met, but your post brought tears to my eyes too!

And so goes life.....

Becca said...

well, I already left my "we'll miss you so much" comment after your last post, but it is certainly true! God's design is perfect we know, but there will be the feeling of a gaping hole in our fellowship for a long time. You guys have been an inspiration, godly example, and joy to us over these last five years. I hope we can visit you in FL, and of course our door is always open to you here!

P.Kattner said...

Terri and Vance, You don't know
us yet, but we are favorite
relatives to David and Ellen. We
live in the pan handle of Florida
and have almost raised 3 sons. We
welcome you to stay with us while
passing through this way on your
move (we have an extra beach condo
at Pensacola Beach, Florida).
We live in Gulf Breeze, Florida and
also enjoy FISHING here. Let us
know when you are headed this way!
Central Florida is a wonderful
place to live with the warm climate
and southern ways.May God Bless You
and keep you safe in your move! I
also play the piano at church and
am taking Organ lessons......so, we
have lots in common. Aunt Patty and
Uncle Max and sons