Guys, I have news! I have so much to tell you! The short of it is – I’m moving!
This has been a long, extremely stressful, and chaotic time coming, but it has also been miraculous and amazing. I’m really excited to share it all with you! It will take a few posts, so let’s get started on part 1. Let me take you back a few years for context.
Michael and I moved to California with our 5 children in 2013 “for a year or two”. God laughs at our plans, right? By early 2020, we felt like it was time to start praying seriously about where God wanted us next.
We had become pretty rooted in California. We lived in a large house, sharing rent with our now-adult kids, who had also become established here. It was overwhelming to think about all from which we needed to untangle ourselves.
We researched and prayed. One destination after another was added, and subsequently removed from our list. But Northern Arizona remained consistently intriguing. In fall of 2020, we took a road trip to the region and were immediately smitten. Our prayers started to change from “Where Lord?” to “When Lord?”.
In February of 2021, we called a family meeting. We gave the kids a year’s notice. We told them that in February 2022, dad and mom were moving out! A year is a long time, but it was the right thing to do. Without the portion of rent paid by our income, they would have to move out of the house too. We wanted them to have plenty of time to prepare.
I wish I could say that was the end of the story; God said it and we did it. Case closed. But sadly, I wavered.
Four of our five kids couldn’t move out of state with us, each for their own reasons. And they all had troubles. They needed me! (Or so I wanted to think.) Was I really going to move 12 hours away? I started to doubt whether God had really said… ugh – that sounds exactly like what Satan said to deceive Eve. But I fell for it and I questioned.
We took another trip to Northern Arizona in summer of 2021 to revisit and pray. God was so good. He didn’t smack me upside the head, but He did reconfirm His intention. He was very clear, prompting 3 different friends, who knew very little about it, to contact us and tell us we were supposed to move there. (How intentional was that?)
Our kids looked for their own places to live. Our middle son relocated to Southern California. One daughter got married and moved with her husband before Christmas. Our youngest son decided to move to Arizona with us. But by February 1, 2022, two of our daughters (and their kids) still had no place to go.
I don’t know how it is where you live, but in California, rent is expensive – and prices are still rising week over week. In addition, you must prove you make 3 times the rent to be considered for application. That means you need an income of $6000 a month to rent a place for $2000, which is the average cost of a small 2-bedroom apartment.
I wavered again. My mama heart quivered. Would God want me to leave without knowing my kids and grandkids were settled and safe? I started planning for scenarios that would prolong our move date.
And God kept kindly, lovingly, gently prodding us to Arizona. We took a third road trip to the area, last month (February 2022). We put our boots (ok, they were sneakers) on Arizona soil and we prayed.
I confessed my wavering faith. God met me, again, ever so faithfully! I have a new Bible reading plan , and it just so happened that my studies while we were there included two distinct stories with messages that jumped off the pages and into my struggling heart.
- Laban and Jacob (Genesis 31). Jacob had married Laban’s daughters and they’d had many children. Family life was crowded, attitudes were changing, and relationships were strained. (I could relate!) The decision was made to part ways. It was the right thing to do and still it was messy. Everyone handled things the wrong way. And you know what? God blessed them all. (I’m not sure that could have been more poignant.)
- Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 45). Joseph had been separated from his family in traumatic fashion. There was no peace in it for anyone. And yet God made it clear that He allowed/planned it to set Joseph where he needed to be for the good of the whole family in later years. (I needed to remember that, in God’s hands, what seems unthinkable now could turn miraculous later for everyone I love.)
In addition to these personal messages from God, He impressed on us that He was waiting on our obedience. We needed to step out in faith and start the process of moving. Then He would step in to reassure us and work out the details.
We didn’t want to delay our compliance any longer. We spent the next 2 days looking at available housing. We submitted applications. We drove home with peace in our minds and expectation in our hearts. We’d done our part. The rest was up to God.
That was just 3 weeks ago! I cannot believe all that has happened in such a short time since! Let me just exclaim that I cannot get this verse out of my mind:
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”Ephesians 3:20, 21 (emphasis mine)
So, there is Part 1 of the amazing news I’m really excited to share. I cannot wait to tell you about all that God has done in the last 3 weeks! I will talk about it in my next few posts.
In drawing this one to a close, I want to ask you – is there anything God has been asking you to do? Maybe it seems crazy or hard or counterintuitive. Let me encourage you to do it! Don’t delay your obedience. Your step of faith might be the one thing God is waiting on before He rains His blessings on you and yours.
If you’ve been in a similar spot, please share! Let’s encourage each other toward faith, love, and obedience. Everything for His glory!
My friends, thank you so much for reading. Thank you for being you. I really appreciate you and I look forward to sharing this new chapter of life with you!