Our journey home…

“If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes.” ~Corrie ten Boom

My husband and I have lived in the exact same house and the exact same spot since the day we got married in 1987.  We recently moved from our home of 20+ years to a new town, new job, and new home that was over 2+ hours away.  I would like to say it wasn’t a hard move, but sadly, it was.  I grew up in a very small town and lived there my whole life.  When my husband and I married, we stayed right there in that same spot for over 25 years.  We built our house 4.5 years after we were married and moved in with our only child (at that time).  Eight months later, we welcomed our second child, and then 11 years later, we welcomed our third child.   We lived there in that same house for 20 years, and it was good 🙂

It is funny  how things will change when you are not looking.

For a little over three years in a row, my husband worked for three different coal companies, and was laid off three different times.  I guess you could say that we were the poster children for coal company lay-offs.  Therefore, while standing in the unemployment line along with over 300+ other laid-off miners, for the third year in a row, my husband knew that something had to change.  He knew that if he were to have any chance at a better job at all, he was going to need some sort of degree to make him stand out from all the other laid off miners.  But, what kind?   We had started college right out of high school, but we had never finished.  We married young and then the babies started coming, and well, life goes on.  And so, he enrolled in college, and two very long years later, he graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Technology, with honors.  And, three days after he graduated, he got a job at…….. yep, at another coal company!  However, we were so happy, and felt so blessed because we had been living those past two years on unemployment, which is not an easy or fun thing to do, but God made a way.  And so, he went to work, Praise the Lord!!!  And, exactly one year later, the company he was working for shut down operations and laid off all employees.  In addition, there we were again, unemployed.   But, little did we know that God was about to lead us to an even better job, and a brand new adventure.  We couldn’t see it at the time, but He wasn’t taking anything away from us, only re-arranging things in order to get us to where we needed to be.  “A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”

We spent the next few days in prayer.  We did not job hunt, we did not make calls to past employers, we did not even go and apply for unemployment right away, we just prayed.  We hit our knees and poured our hearts out to the ONLY person who could help us; our Savior. We told the Lord that we surrendered to His will and would do whatever He wanted us to do or go wherever He sent us.   We knew that things were about to change, but we had no idea how.

Now, there are a few things that you should know; this was the summer of 2012, and for the past couple years, things had already been changing in our lives, but we were just too busy to notice, I suppose.  Our oldest son had gotten married and moved out. A little over a year later, our only daughter got married and moved out.  In the meantime, I had begun homeschooling our youngest son, which was totally based on the direction from God because it scared me to death to even consider it.  However, while we were busy living life, God was already putting the pieces of our life puzzle in order, and we had no idea how things were getting ready to change.

We had finally started job-hunting, and our family members and friends were even calling and telling us of ads or leads.  However, after three months, we were beginning to wonder what was going to come. Then one day, my cousin tells me of an ad for Toyota Motor Manufacturing that she read about in a newspaper. So we went online and applied, and 2 days later, he got called in to take a test.  A month later, they called him and gave him a start date!  In the meantime, we are learning how hard it is to get on at Toyota, and especially how hard it is to land an Electrical Maintenance job like the one he had landed.  It had seemed that it fell straight from the sky into his lap, because they had only hired seven new electrical maintenance workers at that time, and he was the only one who hadn’t had extensive training and years of experience.  We KNEW it was from the Lord!

Now the fun begins.  Georgetown is over 2 hours away from where we live. What were we going to do?   We had a home, with a hefty mortgage, and two grown children who were not living with us but were not living far away either.  We could see them daily if we wanted to, and we did.  Well, we hit our knees again and asked the Lord to guide us in making this decision.  We had a start date of Oct. 1st, 2012 and we had 3 weeks to figure out whether or not we were going to try and commute or move.  We had lived in the same place for 25 years, we had an amazing church and church family, and we had our family close by.  It was an incredibly hard decision to make.   We both wanted to stay put, but the Lord had other plans.

A town called George…

We packed up our belongings and in two days’ time, we were living in an apartment in Georgetown, KY, two plus hours away from our home, our grown children, our dogs, our parents, our church, our church family, our friends, and our life as we knew it. BUT, God has a plan!

We lived there for a little over 6 months, and although we got homesick more often than we would like to admit, we were greatly blessed.  God had provided us with an amazing job, a clean and safe place to live, and had placed some pretty awesome people in our path.  And even when I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling homesick, He took care of me.  Immediately, I would pray and ask Him to help me remain thankful and help me to know that this is all a part of His plan, and the homesickness would subside, instantly!  He has done so much for us.  He has aligned things to work out perfectly in all of this, things that I stressed and worried over just transitioned so smoothly.

Our youngest son was born with some major medical problems, and had developed some serious anxiety and OCD problems at a very young age, and so I just knew that he wouldn’t be able to take this new change well.  Before telling him about our move, we hit our knees again and asked God to give him the courage and strength and ability and the understanding to leave the only home he had ever known and to not let it make his symptoms become worse.  Well, let me tell you that the one person who handled this move the best was him!   Although he missed his family and friends, he was such a trooper.  He adjusted so well, and was thriving, and again, it is ALL because of the Lord! He is Who made it all possible.   There is NO WAY that we could have done this without Him. He continues to amaze me on a daily basis.  He protects, He provides, He comforts, and He guides us daily, and for that, I am so grateful.

It is simply amazing what He can and will do for us if only we let Him.  He wants us to rely fully on Him and if we show Him our faith, He WILL show us His faithfulness!  And His plans are always so much better than anything we can ever even dream of! Believe me, it is true, we are living proof!

When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart!

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