Understanding and actually taking God’s path are sometimes the most difficult thing to do.
We spent the first five years of our marriage in the typical transient state of many young couples — moving from one rental to the next for a little more space, graduate school, an internship. I eagerly looked forward to the day we could “put down roots” so to speak. Everything from building lasting relationships to buying the perfect laundry baskets for a more permanent home seemed to be a semi-distant dream that was always just a little beyond our view.
At last, the dream seemed to be in sight, as we accepted an exciting job in California and expected our first apartment there to be our last before finally buying a home and settling down to raise our family. Having spent most of our lives in Colorado and Utah, we never expected to become Californians but quickly fell in love with the many aspects of the family-friendly town we lived in and the people were wonderful!
In March we began exploring the possibility of finally buying a home. With three months until boy #3 was to arrive, and our lease up in June, the timeline was tight. We looked at a few and then suddenly it seemed everyone else in the state of California wanted to buy the same houses we did. Financing rules had become quite particular following the housing crash, and we discovered it was going to be much more difficult than we had anticipated.
I felt hopeless at times wondering if we would be stuck paying outrageous rent in our small apartment forever. I remember offering a heartfelt prayer and receiving the clear impression God knew we needed a place to raise these boys.
With some effort, we found answers to the financing dilemmas. We eventually found a way to become the buyers of a home that was up for a short sale. Ultimately, this meant we could buy the house, but we were at the mercy of the bank’s lengthy process and didn’t know what the timetable would be. We still had a lot of uncertainty, but it appeared, at last, the laundry baskets were in sight.
In early May, a previous employer called. He wondered if Dustin would consider returning to Colorado, where I grew up and my parents still live. It was a great opportunity, but completely unexpected. With prayer, fasting, and trusted advice, it soon became clear this was the right path.
To the casual observer and probably even good friends and family, it appeared to be a total win for us. He makes a good career move, and I get to move home close to family. But deep down I was devastated. I’d spent the last 18 months planning our life in California, not Colorado.
I was just about to put the uncertain, transient lifestyle behind us. We loved the area where we lived and had made some amazing friends. I’d found our dentists and doctors and favorite places to shop. And I was finally going to buy those laundry baskets! The thought of starting over again was overwhelming.
I could not deny it was the right path and agreed to make the move. We spent several months in limbo while waiting for details to be finalized. Six weeks to the day after my son was born – I had the official “you can lift things” clearance from the doctor — we packed up all of our belongings . . . for the seventh time.
We spent over two weeks on the road, catching a family reunion and visiting other family members. We moved in with my parents while we started the process of finding a home again. This time we were well-prepared to make a decision and move a little more quickly. It was exactly what needed to happen as the Colorado real estate market went crazy just a few months later. Not long after deciding on our house in Colorado I realized it was basically the same floor plan as the California house. The upside was the cost.
God’s Broad Perspective
I eventually did buy those laundry baskets, and now we’ve spent five years here. I’m deeply grateful for Heaven’s wisdom in bringing us to Colorado. The opportunities for education and recreation could not have been a better fit. The people we’ve met were clearly in our path at that time for a reason.
Our family has been blessed living near my parents. We would have had great experiences in any number of places. Little things along the way have taught me God knew what He was doing. There was a purpose when he brought us here to raise our boys. I’m grateful the California home didn’t work out for us to buy. Looking back on this experience reminds me God’s path and perspective are much broader and better than my own. When we trust Him, things work out.