Someone said the two most stressful events in a person’s life are weddings and moves. My son married in June in an outdoor, 102 degree weather. Yesterday, we packed up 80 percent of our belongings, said good-bye to my son, small-town paradise, great friends, and hauled ourselves to a new home town. It’s my husband’s hometown. We lived there for about 8 years after we married, but after 18 years, it’s new.
Why leave Paradise, you might ask.
My answer: because God said, “Go.”
Just because God said, “Go” does not make the going easier. However, I want my “Go” to be a faith go, not a grumbling go like the children of Israel when they left Egypt. God had so much blessing planned for His children, but when the going got tough, their faith in God’s plan got going–in the opposite direction of where God wanted them to go.
I can see where God positioned our lives for the last two years, preparing us for this move. My junior wanted to move last summer, and, by George, he was going to move up here when he turned 18 and graduate, with or without us. I asked him if he had prayed about that decision. He said, “God said,’Go.'” Of course, now he changed his mind. I laughingly told him, “This is all your fault. You’re the one who prayed for this move.” He wasn’t amused.
My mom asked, “Are you still moving? Your house hasn’t sold. I don’t think this is a good idea.”
God said, “Go.” He’ll take care of the house selling. He provides for all our needs on the journey to which he He called us.
The job–do you both have jobs? Last summer, we bought a business, The Original Hotkaps. This was supposed to be my “job.”
Well, my husband’s business decided to move all of North American engineering to Detroit. We didn’t want to raise our boys there. A similar company move to Detroit prompted us to take a job in Paradise 18 years ago. My business became the family business. The Martha Stewart Show beautifully showcased our product in April. What an encouraging experience. It was like God saying, “You’re going in the right direction.”
St. Augustine said in his book City of God that challenges come both to the pagan and the Christian. The only difference is how Christians handle those challenges.
We started positioning for the move over Spring Break, touring the schools, meeting the counselors, filling out forms and creating information folders. On our last day of school, we carried transcripts and folders 3 hours away to officially register our 4 boys for school before their year ended. Then the challenges began:
Challenge 1: It took 6 weeks for our junior to be declared eligible to play sports. He had to watch while his freshman brother tried out and practiced for the soccer team. They keep forgetting about the freshman. He wasn’t on the roster, no schedule, the folder disappeared. Who is he?
Really,God? Still “Go?”
Challenge 2: We are looking for a rental house. We want to build on his grandmother’s farm. Sadly, a tornado took all the house rentals off the market, filling them with victims. We saw houses that smelled of dog urine, houses that were too small, houses too expensive. We found 3 different houses. They quoted us one price before we looked, and then increased the price when we said, “We’ll take it.”
Are you sure, God? Still “Go?”
Challenge 3: We found a house to rent–a potentially wonderful house. The owner bought it in foreclosure and is waiting for the market to turn around, increasing his investment. He rented it for a year. A second renter lasted 2 weeks-until she discovered the man she was to move in with was married. She left a heap of trash on the driveway, a heap of trash in the house.
The day of our walk-through, the day before we were scheduled to move in, the trash hadn’t moved, a water leak in the master bedroom had just been replastered, the finished basement was still wet from an air-conditioning leak, there were still huge holes in the walls from pictures and curtain rods. The stairwell wall, which you see coming in, was filthy.
My fifth grader balked. His stomach threatened to heave. He couldn’t find a clean toilet(there were 4) in the house. Have you ever seen the scene in the movie with Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice where she had to use an RV bathroom on the interstate? The sounds emitting from that RV? I was living that moment with my 5th grader. Then he said, “I don’t like this house. It scares me.”
Challenge 4: We loaded up our house this weekend, moving the stuff that makes my house my home. The beds, the blankets (I washed them all before we moved), the smells (my favorite candles), the comfy couch–all of it! They keep changing our move-in date. It was supposed to be last Friday. Then Tuesday. Now Wednesday, but they cannot confirm whether morning or night.
Challenge 5: Today was the first day of school. No pictures yet. I can’t find my camera. My 5th grader cried when he climbed in the car after school. My shiny new 3rd grader tried to encourage him (see about mourning): “I miss my friends inside,” he told his older brother. “But on the outside, I’m making new friends. All you do is say, “Hi, what’s your name?” And then he went on and on while his brother’s face got redder, his eyes welled more, and a few sobs burst out.
God, now my son is crying? I feel as lost as he does at times. I’ve cried a lot, too. Still, “Go?”
Challenge 6: Friday night, I sat with my son and his wife at the one of the eclectic coffee shops on the town square of Paradise: watching the traffic, calling greetings to people we knew, sipping a Chocolate Decadence frappe, talking about life with my oldest son. He’s staying in Paradise, unless God calls him out. No coffee shops to share a cup of Joe with my peeps in the new town.
Really, God? Leave my son?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”(Jeremiah 29:11).
I couldn’t do this without God. I couldn’t have left if God hadn’t said, “Go.” I can because God takes care of his kids, especially when He says, “Go.”
However, and this is the point of my post, I BELIEVE!
Matthew 17:20 says the following: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Speaking Faith moves the mountain. Because I spoke faith, my 4thson was born healthy and whole. Because I spoke the promises of God, my 3rd son was healed from a stomach problem. Because I was faithful to God’s promises, He sent me a wonderful husband.
I am not going to say,”Life sucks!”
I am going to say, “God so blesses my life. I thank you God that you have everything taken care of. I thank you that you have friends for my sons who will lift them up when they fall down. You have friends waiting for me, just like that, too. I thank you Father that my house is ready. It will be a warm, secure home where my boys can find rest, encouragement, and hospitality. I thank you Father that our business will be blessed, that you guide my husband, giving him wisdom in building this dream of his. I thank you that I haven’t lost faith in people. I thank you that Paradise is where you want me to be! I thank you that you have the plan for my family under control. I thank you that you know what my 5th grader needs. I thank you that you will give him the strength to hold the tears in so he won’t cry in front of the class. I thank you that he loves us enough to share those fears with us. I thank you that we are blessed!