Eight Years Ago (Beyond Our Walls)

In November of 2008, we were living in Michigan and were two years into our homeschooling journey. We felt blessed. Everyone was healthy. It had been five years since my husband had experienced his last surgery. The boys were enjoying the snow and the freedom to play in it after we had finished school. Ours days were filled with schooling, gymnastics, field trips, and homeschool co-op. In other words, we had a lot to be thankful for.

I never dreamed that God was about to start us on a journey that would bring Him back into our home. There would be untold pain along the way, but there would also be many blessings which is the subject of today’s devotion. (Uncountable Blessings)

Anyway, back to eight years ago. My husband and I had started to have concerns about his mother’s health. She was a widow and lived in the small South Carolina town where he had grown up. Friends had contacted us and suggested we might want to look into things so we were talking. With us being in Michigan, there was not a whole lot we could do personally except for calling her on a regular basis and checking on her. We knew it was getting to the point where that might not be enough.

I heard a whisper. Maybe it was time to go back to South Carolina and be there for her like she had always been there for us. I loved her dearly. She was the mother-in-law I had never expected to have. Willing to listen, always supportive, loving towards my kids, my biggest cheerleader.

The calendar moved from November to December. We decided to travel to South Carolina between Christmas and New Year’s to broach the subject to her. We knew it would be difficult to persuade her. She was stubborn and didn’t like people making sacrifices on her behalf. But, it was a sacrifice we were willing to make.

Sure enough, she didn’t want us to move. There were many discussions that week. We talked about my husband’s employment and what homeschooling would look like. And, that was what finally persuaded her. She loved our boys dearly, and the chance to see them every day after we had been gone for four years made the decision an easy one.

We drove back to Michigan and started giving people notice. It was the riskiest decision we had ever made, but we heard a whisper telling us to do it. In February 2009, we watched the moving truck drive away and then climbed into our two cars to drive away from Michigan for the final time. We had enjoyed our time there, but it was time to head home.

After putting most of our stuff into storage, we moved in with my mother-in-law. I began homeschooling again, and my husband looked for employment. He found some good possibilities quickly, and our days were busy as he went on interviews; I schooled the boys; and we helped his mother with whatever was necessary. I felt blessed.

Two months later, I knew why we had heard the whisper. She passed away unexpectedly after having some health complications the week before. We were devastated and felt like we had been set adrift without any moorings. But, God was already working. A few days after the funeral, my husband accepted an offer of employment in our old hometown an hour away. We moved there two months later and re-established relationships with old friends.

We would go through more heartbreak before we let God back into our lives. Illness, surgery, job loss, depression, and a miscarriage. But, I can look back on that time now and see all the blessings God was giving us despite all of the pain. It makes these particular verses from Scripture all the more poignant.

From Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”

God’s blessings on all of you today!

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