On 29 May 2013, I stood near this marker and looked out over the roaring Little Su River, just outside Wasilla, Alaska. As had happened many times already, I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the place, nearly to tears. I texted the hubby something about how incredible it was, and he responded, “I guess we’d better move there.” Now, anytime I travel, he says things like that to me, but this time was different. I had found myself constructing a whole life for us in Alaska, mundane stuff like, “If I lived here, I’d drive such and such a car. I’d go to such and such a grocery store.” But I hadn’t said anything to J because while I was fulfilling a 30 year-old dream, he was back home in Texas working crazy hours and bearing full responsibility for our child. I didn’t want to rub my joy and freedom and exhilaration in his face.
But it dawned on me that this was the fourth time he’d texted or said this to me during this trip. And something clicked. My heart started beating faster, and I prayed for a phone signal.
Me: You keep saying that. Are you saying what I think you’re saying?
J: Do you want to live there?
Me: Yeah…kinda. Yeah. Do you?
J: Yes! Let’s do it!
Me: But you haven’t even seen it.
J: I don’t care. Let’s do it. What do we have to lose?
Me: Nothing, that’s what.
Both of us (and God – I heard it very clearly): WHY THE HECK NOT????
I mean, what do you say when God asks you something like that? We started talking details, and J wanted to move right then and there. But I felt like there was a timing to it all, so I made it back to Texas a few days later, and we began to plan.
Ah, plans. The fun-to-make, well-thought-out, just-makes-sense framework for all that is good in the world. Yeah.
From the start, not one thing turned out the way J and I planned it. We sent out resumes. We went on interviews. We priced houses and U-Haul trucks and plane tickets. Resumes went unperused. Interviews got to the “you’re one of two candidates” stage and fizzled. U-Haul was not the way to go – anyway, who wants to drive a huge moving truck 4096 miles, over mountains and on gravel and tar-based highways (did you even know there was such a thing?)? God made it very clear to us that HE was going to be the one to make this whole thing happen, and it has been an unnerving, faith-stretching-to-the-breaking-point process. He’s called us to take one step at a time and promised that each step would open up the way for the next step. Translation: we haven’t known much of anything for the better part of a year.
J can do his job from anywhere in the world, so there’s that. But we didn’t have the money to ship our stuff, which is what God told us to do. In fact, we still don’t have all of it. But he has promised us that he does, indeed, finish what he starts, so we’re shipping it. The resources will be there. The same goes for a place to live, a school for our son, a job for me — he’s going to provide. That kind of faith looks like utter foolishness to most of the world, but we can do nothing else. We know and believe what he said.
This last year has been a year of purging and reassessment. The Lord made it very clear to us that nothing old is to go with us into our new lives. (This even includes some things we’d consider “good.” They just don’t fit the picture anymore. S-T-R-E-T-C-H.) We’ve made 6 trips to the Salvation Army to give material items away, and there’s at least one more trip that needs to happen. I think the most fun giveaway happened a couple of weeks ago, on a perfect last day at the beach. M and I had decided to leave our boogie boards on the sand with a sign saying, “Moving to Alaska! Don’t need these!” But we happened across 2 young girls and their parents, so we just handed them over. And then we asked if they wanted our pop-up shelter and three beach chairs. It turns out the mom leads an area Girl Scout troop, and they just started learning about camping, so these things were definitely useful to them. We left the beach with huge grins on our sunburned faces.
Did I mention that along the way, a friend of the family decided she wanted to move with us? So she’s gotten to go through her own faith-stretching, and “family” has been redefined in a brand-new way for all of us.
Old ideas, old beliefs, old ties and relationships – especially toxic ones – all of these came under scrutiny, too. It’s been intense. But I don’t even know if I can explain how this move feels – it’s like not only is one chapter done, but the whole book is closed, and a new one is opened, full of blank pages just waiting to be written on. There is such a sense of life about to start, like everything up to now has just been a shadow of what’s to come. I am more excited about this than I’ve ever been about anything in my life.
So…in approximately 8 hours, my friend and I will be on the road. We’re taking 10 days to make the drive, and J and M will follow us on the 1st of August. Our stuff should get to us a few weeks later, at which time we will hand the movers a check, and they will be paid in full! For my Facebook friends, I’ll post as often as I can, but I’m pretty sure internet access will be spotty once we get into Yukon Territory and such.
Squeeeee! Onward and upward! North to the future!!!!!!
PS — Did you catch the significance of the “shift” happening on top of an active fault line????