I used to hold great big doubts about God. For a while I doubted He even existed. Then I doubted He was good. And for a long time, I doubted His wisdom. I figured no one else could possibly really know more about me or my life than myself. I knew better… But not anymore.
I’m not God. He is. I can’t even so much as see the future. But, He created it.
Isn’t it wild to think that the God who created the symbiotic forest biomes, the intricate systems of the human body, and the composition of the very breath in our lungs can see what our tomorrow will look like?
Isn’t it wild to know that He can fast forward one or ten or fifty years and see every angle, every version of the life you might live?
Life is like a choose-your-own adventure book with billions of different endings and scenarios and combinations - except He can see every ending at once and He knows not only how your choices will affect you but how each decision, each moment of your life will affect everyone else on the planet.
He doesn’t just guess at the future like we do. He doesn’t try His best to evaluate outcomes and consequences and choose the next right thing. He doesn’t figure it out as He goes. These are all things we do, certainly, because we have no other option. But, His ways are entirely different. He doesn’t have to try, evaluate, or figure anything out. He just knows. Everything about you now. Everything about your past. Everything about your future.
He loves in and from and through His infinite and unfathomable wisdom. We can either choose to do what we think will lead to happy little lives or lay down our everything, trust His will, and follow Him to find our true life and our purpose.
Choosing to trust Him with everything won’t be easy. And it’s guaranteed to change everything. But, friend… though a life surrendered might seem scary at first, the adventure and peace and joy you’ll experience (and that’s just this side of Heaven) is entirely worth it.
It’s been over four years since I first heard God whisper to me about moving our family. It didn’t really feel scary at first, mostly because it sounded so implausible, I didn’t even believe it was true. I didn’t want to be sure at first, but if I’d been real honest with myself - even way back then - I knew something B.I.G. was ahead. This move wouldn’t be a small one; it would be a regional shift. Way down deep, I knew we would be called away from our beloved Pacific Northwest, from our families, from the only life Jay and I had pictured for our kids.
Pulling the trigger on this move was more difficult than I imagined it would be and it took longer than I could ever imagined. The big wide world had time to shift and change multiple times over since 2019 and our little world shifted at home multiple times two - growing from a family of four to a family of six. Throughout this time, I prayed incessantly for what lay ahead. Eventually as I got clearer on the call and Jay dug in his heels against the change, I began praying for God to change my heart or change Jay’s. I prayed for wisdom for next steps for years and years. Then, this last September (of 2022), I did something I’ve never done and prayed to break any spiritual ties or bondage to WA state or the region. Then I prayed for and accepted prayer for generational ties to be broken.
And, friends, I experienced a physical falling away. Like chains loosening their grip and sliding off, a sudden weight that I’d never realized was present was lifted from my bones. I cried and praised the Lord. And felt surprised. I never would have thought...
We had NO IDEA in September where we would be moving to, but just that we would be moving so we started the moving process nonetheless. And ever since then we’ve experienced real and obvious spiritual warfare increasingly. (This is another new thing for me. These attacks have been so obvious and blatant in nature, there’s been no room to wonder if it’s anything other than the darkness trying to get in the way of our obedience. But, don’t worry, all of this has just given me more confidence that this is a Kingdom-call through and through.)
Absolutely this move has been so so hard.
But hard doesn’t always equal bad.
And hard truly isn’t hard when you have conviction…. or the God of the universe on your side.
We had no idea where this journey would lead, but God graciously clued us in one step at a time. And each of those steps got us to where we are today - 1 WEEK AWAY from getting into our van & driving East… WAY EAST…. and then South some.
When Jay and I suddenly (and finally) found ourselves in alignment on this moving matter this last fall, as hard as the season of waiting and praying and waiting had been - knowing it was finally time to go was incredibly overwhelming… at first.
Going would mean grieving. Going would mean letting go of the amazing life we were living. Going means letting go of living just a skip away from my brother and his family. It means letting go of spending in-school workdays carpooling with the cousins. It means letting go of majestic mountain views from every angle whenever we step out of the house. It means letting go of everything we’ve ever known, in so many ways. Honestly, the number of good things we’ve had to give up baffles me sometimes still.
God, how could giving all this good up be in your plan?
Trust me, God whispered.
Sometimes we have to give up what’s good to make room for what’s better.
And over and over again, I’ve had to remind myself to believe.
Getting our home ready for the sale, jumping through the hoops of listing it, and letting strangers come in and tour our home, all during a rollercoaster market with crazy rate changes every day, NO house picked out to move into, AND FOUR little kids running around was… A LOT.
From the outside in, I know it was probably hard to watch. Multiple people told us they thought (probably still think lol) we were crazy.
But, it’s okay.
I’d rather follow God and look crazy than appear sane and miss what He has for me. His good, I’ve found, often looks much different than what I would choose. (That’s the only thing I think might be wrong with that image I shared above, I think Jesus should have a stuffed unicorn behind His back, not just a bigger teddy. Maybe I should re-create it!)
Anyway… there we were this February with our crazy in plain sight. We knew the general area where we felt called to move to, but didn’t have any details past that.
We let go anyways and against all odds (and real estate blog recommendations), we listed our family home north of Seattle… And as I went into more detail on in Part 3…
11 (long) days later, we had two offers in our hands.
We prayed for wisdom, felt the green light on one of the offers… and accepted it.
And then we’d prayed for the next step.
It didn’t take long at all to feel the gentle nudge. It was time for me to hop on a plane and look at some houses. Everything was so last minute, it felt crazy (yet again). I didn’t have a place to stay. Or a car. Or a plan. But God came through.
Within a couple hours, after a couple texts and calls - I not only had a good friend insist I use her guest room, I had another friend offer to pick me up at the airport the next day AND offer me their spare car.
WHAT?! Thank you Lord!
We’d been pursuing Zillow for a couple months and Jay and I had seen a couple houses together on our other trips out to Tennessee - but NOTHING had really felt anywhere near right.
I got on the plane with one mission: to find our family’s next “almost home.” (What is an “almost home?” Glad you asked! Read about it here!)
During every waking moment on the plane, I prayed very specifically for clarity…
Whatever home is meant to be ours, would you give me Your undeniable peace, Lord? And specifically, God, peace for just ONE of these homes if it’s Your will? We’d love not to have to fly back and forth between multiple times. If it can work into Your plan, I would be so grateful to be able to picture the home we are moving into as we pack. I only have 72 hours, Lord. Please go ahead of me and MOVE so that we can move. Amen.
I’m in AWE of the deliberate and undeniable way He answered… I literally have tears running down my cheeks as I type. It should have been impossible…
Our search radius was huge but the inventory was low. Looking at the numbers felt pretty discouraging. There weren’t many houses with at least four bedrooms to pick from. Price points were higher than we anticipated. Interest rates were jumping by the day.
Our list of NEEDS felt long. And we had only 3 days to find “the one.”
With two people working from home (Jay works from home part time at the very least when he’s running the behind-the-scenes stuff for our businesses), four kids who homeschool (hybrid currently, fully homeschooled after the move - for at least the current season), and a long list of family and friends who we’d love to accommodate when they visit - four bedrooms was our bare minimum.
Cooking three meals a day plus preparing another 3,462 snacks per day (rough estimate) meant an equipped kitchen with a lot of counter space felt like a must too.
And my list of detailed WANTS felt near impossible: 1. A guest space that somehow felt separate from the rest of the house would be amazing. 2. Windows in every bathroom would be a dream. 3. Plenty of outdoor living space to write, read and rest. 4. If the master bedroom could be on the main floor with a bathtub - I’d be living my grandest vision.
And one of the main things I wanted (so tempted to write “needed” here, but of course it wasn’t a need) was a feeling of being in the country. Wide open spaces - you know what I mean? BUT, to make it more complicated, we couldn’t actually be in the country... Because while I feel claustrophobic in neighborhoods with houses right on top of each other - Jay feels at home.
I guess thats what you get when you match a girl who grew up on wooded acreage with a boy who grew up in the hood (just kidding! Not quite the hood… But I like poking fun. Nevertheless, my husband is definitely a city boy).
In fact, at one point, Jay tried to convince me to buy a tract home with gym, spa, golf, pool amenities and a no-maintenance postage stamp “lawn.” And, at another point, I tried to convince Jay to buy a fixer upper farm on 8 acres miles and miles away from a main highway. Ha!
We felt so opposite on our wants, I found myself apologizing profusely to our real estate agent for the mixed messages. Jay and I just weren’t seeing eye to eye, were wanting to see listings that weren’t very similar and no matter how much I prayed, it just didn’t feel like we were going to ever be able to agree on anything. Sam (our agent) was amazing and showed us a number of houses that - on paper - should have “worked.”
But… NOT ONE of them felt right. By lunchtime on the second day - I was at the halfway mark for my 3-day house hunting trip and felt SO discouraged… I called Jay, hearing my voice shake…
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