Working to Follow God Faithfully-Our story about moving across the countryMy sory of God’s providence as we work to follow God faithfully in our lives.
As a believer in Christ, I want to follow Him faithfully. I realize faith is a gift and it takes work. I need to put God’s gift of faith into practice as I work to know, love, and serve Him faithfully in my life and follow where He leads me. Today, I will share our story about why we are moving to Tennessee: God’s call, my struggle, and how things are playing out over time.
I was born and raised in California, as were both my parents. It has been my home my entire life. My husband moved around a lot growing up (even moving to the US from Argentina as a teenager). His favorite memories are of when he lived in a rural area and always yearned to go back to that style of life.
When God led us to our first house as a married couple, it was in a less populated area of our state, surrounded by foothills and mountains. It was so beautiful. We met great friends and wonderful Church communities.
Do we move?
After a number of years (15 or so), we felt God calling us to move. It was not an easy call for me to hear! My husband and I prayed, discerned, and researched for two years. We narrowed down our possible destinations to two different states. Finally, Tenessee was the one we felt God calling us to. After more research and more prayer, my husband said, “I think we have done all the research we can. Our next step is to go there.” We knew God would need to help us and provide a way since we did not yet have all the funds we needed in order to go.
One week later our good friends called and said, “We are going to Tennessee next month. We have frequent flier miles we can use to buy your plane tickets and we have a place to stay. Do you want to go with us?”
What??? All we need to cover was a rental car and food. God had answered our prayer. We went to Tennessee with our friends. It was an amazing trip. We drove all over Eastern Tennessee, from Virginia and through the Smoky Mountains into North Carolina (a BEAUTIFUL drive I highly recommend if you have the chance!). We loved it and felt reassured about God’s call for us to move there.
The next step was to discern when to go. Do we move now? Do we move in a few years? What is God calling us to do for our next step?
We prayed. And prayed. And prayed. And I stressed about it for MONTHS. Well, maybe more like a year and a half.
During this time our oldest son moved out of our home to start a new adventure as a young adult. He did not just move out down the street. Nope. He moved to a completely different state! Later in the same year, our oldest daughter moved out as well, to continue to pursue her dreams. She also moved to a different state. Now we only had three kids at home. Our oldest two kids not only moving out of our home, but moving out to different states, helped me to further let go of the desire to stay in California.
We keep praying to know God’s timing and I keep stressing about it! Yes, I did.
Our second daughter was attending our local community college and would stay in California to attend a University. Should we stay in our house until she transferred? Should we sell our house and stay locally until she transferred? Should we sell our house and move to Tennessee and find a place for her to stay until she transferred? What should we do? While we were contemplating (=me stressing) these many questions, housing prices were about to start declining.
Keep praying! Keep praying!
About a year into this process, I decided to pray a novena: Mary Under of Knots for these specific intentions. I knew the knot of indecision about what we should do was something only God could solve. Before I started the novena, I sent out an e-mail to our homeschool group asking if anyone had a trailer we could rent in case we would sell our house and stay locally until our second daughter transferred schools. I wanted us to keep moving and do what we could as we waited to see what God had in store.
I prayed the novena. On day seven before I began to pray I reminded God it was day seven of the novena. My husband nor I had heard an answer yet. I was surprised at my impatience! When I pray a novena I am content to know God will answer or not in His own time for the best. Yet here I was wanting an answer by the last day of the novena. ???
As I prayed that day one of my friends keep coming to my mind. I was getting frustrated with myself. Here I am trying to pray and I keep thinking of my friend! My goodness, how my focus was awful. I actually spent a moment of quiet after praying the prayer that day and actually prayed it again so I could focus better. Then it hit me: maybe God was sending me a message to contact my friend. I decided to share this idea with my husband when he got home.
Very soon after this occurred, my husband came home from work and said that our good friend called him. (This is the husband of the couple we went to Tennessee with previously.) His wife saw my post about renting a trailer in our homeschool group and they decided to leave their trailer in California for us to use, even though they were moving to Tennessee. What?!
So I sent an e-mail to my friend whom I keep thinking about during my prayers and let her know about my prayer and our situation. I asked her to pray for us. She responded the next day and said we could park the trailer on her and her husband’s property! What?! They have five acres, so there was plenty of room.
God had answered our prayers with many details! After over a year of praying and wondering and my stressing about it, God let us know what to do, when to do it, and how. Wow. We were so amazed.
All in God’s time
In God’s time kept coming to my mind. It was not His time to let us know a year before or six months before. Or three months later. He let us know when the time was right. And He made a way for us.
We sold our home in the summer, moved into the trailer and have been here for five months now. We just went to Tenessee two weeks ago for a visit and to look for a home. We did put an offer in on a house and it was accepted on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Wow!
The process of our moving has taken years. We have been praying, researching, and discerning for over four years to know what God wants and when and how. He has led us each step of the way and continues to lead us. This experience has been such a lesson for me! It has been a lesson in letting go of my desires to seek out what God wants and then to follow Him, But I want to follow Him willingly, not begrudgingly! (Yep, that is what I want! All about me. ?)
I have learned that God’s timing is perfect and that no amount of stress on my part will change His timing. I have learned that I need to be more peaceful and patient, knowing God’s timing is best and He knows all the details that I do not. I can completely trust in Him. He knows what He is doing!!
I have also learned that my prayers are not all about me.
Yes, God answered our prayers on when to sell our home and where we would live. Yet, these prayers impacted others, too.
Our friends who are letting us stay in their trailer sacrificed getting it ready for us right before their cross-country move, adding a lot of work to their schedule that they did not anticipate. They have done without their trailer for the months we have been using it.
Our friends we are staying with have been discerning their next steps in life and having us here and helping us in our next steps has been helpful for them. in their process. Their faith, kindness, generosity, hospitality, and love have really made an impact on us and our family.
I have also learned that I have so much more to learn! I know I can strive to have greater peace in my heart and mind as I work to trust God even more and turn my life over to Him, vs. trying to have a tug-of-war with Him! It is a daily process!
God is good all the time. All the time God is good.
May I take the lessons I have learned into the next steps (and the next and the next, etc.) God has for me in my life and in the life of our family.