I wanted to post so much earlier today, but it wound up being one of those days. But I’ve had this story on my mind all week, so I guess it will have to be a bedtime story.
Five months ago I was living in my home of 13 years with my husband, my son, and my daughter, feeling quite comfortable. My husband started bringing up the idea of selling our house while the market was hot and moving to a more rural area. I didn’t like the idea. It seemed like a lot of stress. It seemed like a lot of work. And to be honest, I felt like I had enough on my plate with just taking care of my family and my business responsibilities. I also didn’t want to move until after both of my kids had graduated… another couple of years from now, but he finally talked me into just going for a drive to look at some houses. He pointed out that we really could afford a nicer house in a more rural area, which had been my biggest excuse to not consider moving.
I humored him and we went for a drive, but in the back of my mind and to my daughter I kept saying, “Don’t worry. We aren’t going anywhere.” That next week one of those houses kept popping into my head and I felt frustrated with myself because I didn’t even want to entertain the idea. One day that little voice that loves me and doesn’t want me to live my life in a comfort zone said, “Why don’t you just pray about it.” At that point I literally started to cry, “If you are asking me to pray about it, I already know the answer.” (He and I have had discussions like this in the past and I was very familiar with the outcome.) I did actually kneel down and pray. The answer was a sweet and comforting, “Yes. Now is the time. Trust my timing instead of seeking your own.” So we called a realtor. We spent three weeks working really hard making some repairs, and another three decluttering and packing away everything we didn’t need. Then we put our house on the market. Within the week we had 8 offers, accepted 3, 2 flakey ones and 1 that went through smoothly.
From May to July when we moved, aside from the repairs and packing, my daughter graduated from high school, we went on a camping trip with my husband’s brother we hadn’t seen in fifteen years,we went on a pre-planned 12 day trip to Nashville (we actually accepted the final offer on our way there), and I did two trade shows for my business. I was so nervous that the sale wasn’t actually going to go through that I refused to sign a lease or look for another house until we got the text saying the final paperwork had been sent to underwriting.
At that point we had exactly 10 days to be out of the house. In that time we went to look at a few houses in the area we were wanting to end up, decided renting was the better option, looked through a few apartments and decided that renting a house was the way we needed to go, applied for approval, found a house that we could afford (more than we wanted to pay, but we could make it work), packed the rest of our stuff, moved out, and cleaned the home we were leaving behind. It was like a hurricane and left my mind whirling.
After we moved into the rental house (which was about 50 miles in the opposite direction of where we want to end up) I was physically and emotionally exhausted and had a bit of a meltdown. My heart and mind kept asking,(even though it really was too late for the question) “Are we doing the right thing?” I hadn’t wanted to ask it out loud since I did get such a concrete confirmation before even listed our house for sale. But God is oh so patient and merciful. When I was finally brave enough to study out an answer, I was tangibly reminded how willing God is to reconfirm and re-comfort our hearts! My experience was powerful and exactly what I needed!
I said a prayer and sought connection with God by reading the conference talk posted in my Faebook scripture study group for that day. It was Elder Holland’s talk from April 2016 titled “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You”. As I read I was reminded of past experiences the Lord has brought me through and of His constancy through those trials. I was reminded of His love and His faithfulness. I remember listening to Elder Holland’s talk when it was given in April 2016 with tears streaming down my face. I was going through a really really hard time in life because of some stupid choices I had made and his words were exactly what I needed to hear to give me hope and motivation to keep pressing forward.
As I read it again that day more tears were shed and I was reminded that I have done hard things before and I can do hard things again. And that when I trust the Lord and keep moving forward, with Him by my side, things always work out better than I could ever anticipate!
Then I moved on to 1 Nephi 17 (our scripture group reading assignment for the day). In this section Nephi and his family come to the land of Bountiful after some really hard journeying. He talks about the difficulties that they have had and how after some time in the land the Lord told them to keep going. His brothers were not happy about trying to figure out how to build a boat to keep going, but ever faithful Nephi just asked the Lord for help to build the tools. Through these verses I was reminded that we cannot get to somewhere better unless we trust the Lord to lead us away from that which has become comfortable for us (even if it is a miserable comfort.) The Spirit reminded me, “Keep going. Trust me. Where you want to stay doesn’t even compare to where I want to take you.”
And the most powerful impression of that day came when quite by accident I read one verse too far and it was exactly what I needed! Nephi was reminding His brothers that their Israelite ancestors would not have been freed from bondage if they had not listened to the words of God. Through that verse I was reminded that God confirmed to me the need for this move and someday I will be so grateful I followed that prompting and left the home I loved and was comfortable in, because through that act of faith He was able to lead me to a better place.
Finally, after opening this conduit to heaven by praying and studying His word, I had a couple of thoughts come to my mind over the next couple of days that gave me great comfort. The first thought was that the place we ended up, though just for the next year, is a place that God planned for my son’s benefit. The thought came out of nowhere and I had no way of knowing how that might be true. But over the last six weeks I have seen what a blessing it has been for him. He is closer in proximity to the friends he goes to school with and it has been great to see him be more proactive in his face to face interactions with them. Additionally, the youth and his leaders at church in this new ward have been so inclusive of him. I have seen a spark lit in him that I haven’t seen in a long time. It is truly a miracle to this mama’s heart!
The second thought came to me that the house we moved into was under priced. It is bigger than what we had initially been looking for and has an incredible amount of storage so that we were able to fit everything we own here and clear out our rented storage unit. There is enough room for me to have a workroom for my business and a quiet office space for other things I am working on. The basement is set up to accommodate my children and other needs that arose just before our move. It suits our needs so much better than what I would ever have planned for. When this thought came I realized that the other houses we looked at in the same price range were not at all comparable in either space or value. When I realized those things, I could see how much the Lord had been looking out for me when I hadn’t even considered the things I needed for this space in my life. His compensating blessings truly are great!
Once again, in His mercy, God gave me another concrete experience to prove that He is very aware of me, especially during my storms. In the midst of this storm, as He has during every storm when I have gone to Him, He gave me peace and settled my heart. He reminded me that He sees the bigger picture and wants to provide more for me than I would ever even think to ask for. He can truly give us peace in the eye of the storm!