I remember crossing the border into Arizona for the first time as a married couple, on August 16, 2013. While it was a relief to finally be in our home state, each passing mile of the drive reminded me of how far away I was from my family. After all the love they had showered on us on our wedding day, I realized how much I was going to miss them, and the days we spent driving to our new home were the hardest I had ever experienced. I learned that even though one long distance relationship was now over, another had started, and my heart felt torn in two.
I reflected on the story of Abraham and Sarah, and how they had faith in God when He called them to move to a new home, away from everything and everyone they knew, and they followed His calling to a place they had never been. I thought about Rebekah, and the huge amount of faith she had to leave her family and go with Abraham's servant so that she could marry a man she hadn't met and live in an unknown land. I knew I had it so much easier than that - I was with my new husband, who had lived here for 2 years already, we had friends waiting for us, and modern technologies would make keeping in touch with family infinitely easier. I knew that trusting in God and clinging to His promises would get me through, as well as clinging to Curtis.
God is faithful, and He provided us with a cute little apartment in a great location, wonderful people to be our friends, and a great church where we could grow together in our spiritual walks. While Tucson became my home, it still always felt like I was just on vacation because it was so beautiful! When we were driving into town for the first time, I remember looking at the mountains and wondering if I'd ever get used to seeing them. The answer is no...they always amaze me and they look so different even from day to day!
|Tucson gave us a warm welcome when we first arrived!|
|Our first letterboxing hike in Tucson at sunset.|
|My first time going to Sabino Canyon.|
There are so many aspects of Arizona that we will miss. The mountains, the deserts, the plants, the canyons, the history, the different climates, the beautiful national parks, and the weather.
|Our first weekend adventure - to Nogales, with several letterboxing stops along the way!|
But it isn't so much the state itself that we will miss. We loved living there and experiencing all that we could, but there's so much out there in the world that we want to experience ourselves. To me, what made living here great was the fact that we had so much time to ourselves to travel and get to know this area better, and most importantly to grow closer together through experiences. We will miss that freedom so much now!
|On the AZ/Mexico border!|
And of course, we're going to miss all our friends in Tucson most of all. They made our time there so enjoyable, and because of them we have reasons to visit! We are so blessed by the wonderful people we met!
|Our favorite way to bond with friends: crazy hiking adventures!|
|The canyon behind those clouds is pretty grand. ;)|
When I remember our years spent in Arizona, I'm going to remember how we grew closer to each other through all our hikes and travels. I have nothing but fond memories of our days in the desert.
|Our last letterboxing hike at sunset, the day before saying goodbye.|
And now... On to our next adventure!