It was nearly eleven months ago when the tires of our cars hit the crunchy gravel of this driveway and our new life began.
We showed up on the doorstep of a home which was to be our cradle and rock us back to some sort of normal again. We were running on pure adrenaline by the time we arrived. When Jon lost his job we had 14 days to move out of our apartment. We had no where to go. We were filling boxes with the essentials and selling our furniture and all large items on Craigs List. We were telling the girls it was a “magical adventure” while they were throwing pink fluffy stuffed animals into boxes that did not even have a new home to rest in yet. We had no where to go at that point. The days crept up on us one by one.
First we had to be out in 14 days.
Flash forward and we have 2 days left, with still no leads on a home. I remember we were panting with exhaustion and sheer terror. We discussed living in a tent on the beach near a lake? Maybe we’d tell the girls it was a camping trip? It was panic in the highest regard. I felt like my heart was exploding out of my chest daily.
“What are we going to do?” I remember crying to my mother on the phone.
She was sitting at the kitchen counter of my grandparents. She grabbed the paper off the counter and starting looking one more time for me.
And that’s when she saw it: Home For Rent
With just a few days to spare, we were able to find a sanctuary.
A soft place for us to land.
When we arrived at the property, the rolling acres of green hills and grass were like something out of dream. This was more than we ever expected. We were looking at campers and RV’s and tents just days before and now we are walking up to one of the most grand homes we could have imagined.
I remember opening the car door after the long ride, both girls sleeping in the backseat. Jon pulled up behind me in the U-haul just seconds after. We both stood side by side, our sore and aching backs pressed against the side of the car. He grabbed my hand, I wanted to cry but I was too exhausted and overwhelmed for any sort of real emotion. It felt like we were just plopped out of a whirling tornado. I felt dizzy and confused, yet so certain at the same time.
He looked at me and said, “We did it.”
I remember asking, “What?”
And he calmly answered, “We showed up. We got here. The first step.”
We had no jobs, no real plan to speak of with this whole “moving home to the country” idea. We just decided we were going to show up. Just arrive and see what happens next.
And what happened next was nothing less than magnificent.
We roasted marshmallows and sat by the fire telling stories with our daughters until the mosquitoes pushed us back inside.
We took walks on the country trails.
We swam in the lake across the street from our house.
We made wild flower crowns and played magical forest games outside.
We ran through the sprinkler and got covered in grass clippings.
We drank lemonade and ate watermelon slices and stained all our shirts with the juice.
We let it all go.
We muffled the worries, the stress, the anxiety of “what to do” and we just allowed ourselves to BE.
This was the turning point in our lives. What we thought was going to surely crush us, smash us right into the ground and leave us as a pile of dust….ended up manifesting more joy in our family than we ever imagined possible.
And isn’t that how God works? Isn’t that how we grow in our faith and learn to lean on Him? We had so many fears and so much hurt inside us during those 14 days of packing.
And God lead us to a life we could have never imagined was waiting for us. Sometimes we feel so safe and snug…we don’t want to leave our cozy nests. I didn’t want to leave my nest. I liked my nest. It was safe, it was secure, it was mine. I felt powerful in my nest and I wanted change in my life, I prayed for change and for growth in my faith…but I didn’t want to be pushed out of my nest.
I quickly found out…that when you pray for big things…you’d better expect God to move in big ways.
And when I was fumbling around my 3 bedroom apartment in the middle of the busy Twin Cities…hands shaking as I wrapped our dishes in paper not knowing where on earth we were going to live, I kept thinking that no where we would end up would ever be as nice as this. My life was over.
I’ve lost all my power.
Now is where it all falls apart right?
Now is the the time in my life when I have to suffer.
I knew it was coming.
It was just a matter of time.
I was wrong.
The beautiful life I’d always dreamed of was there.
Just 1.5 hours away from my cramped apartment was a beautiful home resting on acres of soft green grass just waiting for our family to come and wrap our arms around it.
And what I’ve learned is that those gifts are never ending. God loves to please and delight us if only we would trust Him and take a step back and relax. It’s all there waiting for all of us, we just have to believe we deserve it and allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to ask for it.
Eleven months have unfolded and we’ve nestled in quite nicely in this new nest. Not a day goes by where I am not overwhelmed with gratitude for this oasis I’ve been given to experience.
But I know there is more on the horizon.
More goals we want to accomplish.
More challenges we will face to strengthen our faith.
More opportunities waiting for us to show up and receive the abundance of goodness from them.
Something tells me Mr & Mrs Wood are just getting started.