I have been blessed in my life. I had a happy childhood, I have a wonderful husband and two amazing children. I have a faith that has carried me through the few trials I’ve experienced, and I’ve grown as a wife and mother every day.
However, the past couple of months have been particularly difficult for my family. I won’t go into details in order to protect privacy, but it has probably been the most I’ve struggled since I’ve been married. I said many times during September and October that I felt the Lord was testing my mettle, and I believe it.
My husband and I decided it was in the best interest of our family to move from our home in central Florida to central Illinois. My mother and siblings live in central Illinois (and my father and much of my extended family in northern Illinois), and we decided we could care for the family better in Illinois right now.
When the decision was made, I knew in my heart it was God’s will for our family. So I trusted that if I trusted the Lord in this decision, things would fall into place for the move. I was right in ways I never expected!
The first challenge was the actual move. We needed to get down to Florida, pack the house in a rental truck, and drive it back up to Illinois. We didn’t want to take the kids with us since we had to be out by the end of the month, so it was decided that Hubby would stay with the kids in Illinois, and I would go down to pack the house. And I’d need help.
Both my parents spoke with their bosses to see about rearranging their work schedules to go with me. My dad had the better schedule for it, so he said he’d go to Florida with me. In retrospect, if Mom had gone instead, we wouldn’t have been able to lift a lot of the heavier furniture on our own. With Dad there to help, we were able to take everything I wanted to take.
At 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Dad and I got in my car and drove to central Florida. We swapped drivers so we didn’t have to stop overnight. We arrived at the apartment around two in the morning and went to sleep.
While we were on the road to Florida, a financial obstacle was moved for us. I had looked at a moving truck from a particular company, and while I wasn’t ecstatic about how much it was going to cost, it was fine. I’d figured it would be that much. Well, my uncle suggested another company, and I’d found a truck that would work for about $200 less, so I was happy about that. When I called my husband for him to reserve the truck, he looked at a third company that was even less, so we’d end up saving about $400 on the truck! I’d been concerned about the financial aspect of moving, from the truck rental to gas to food for the trip, but with what we saved on the moving truck, everything worked out fine!
On Thursday morning, we picked up the truck and started loading it. The more we put in the truck, the more I was thankful we’d gotten the one we did. The other two I considered were smaller, and our household goods would not have fit. The truck we got fit everything I wanted to bring with us just perfectly.
There were other, smaller things that happened that showed me that God’s hand was in this move. For example, my dad decided we needed a two-wheeled hand cart and some tie-down straps. The hand cart he found at Lowe’s was out of his price range, so we decided to go to Big Lots to look. On the way there, he asked about a store called Harbor Freight. I’d never heard of it, so I told him I didn’t think there was one around. We pulled into the Big Lots parking lot to find a Harbor Freight two doors down. (Yep. I’ll never live that one down!) Not only did we get the hand cart and tie down straps, but both were on sale (the hand cart was almost half off)!
On the way back up, my dad and I talked about all the things that fell into place for the move to go so smoothly. There were other people who wanted to go with and help us pack the apartment, but if they had, I would have had to drive my car back separately rather than use a car dolly because the truck only had two seats. (The car dolly saved us in gas on the return trip!) Originally, Dad and I were going to leave very early on Thursday morning, and I had to be out by 6:00 on Saturday. If we’d left on Thursday, we wouldn’t have gotten done in time.
Even as we were leaving, things fell into place. I was told by the woman at the leasing office that I had to turn the keys in by 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. When I went to the leasing office to turn in the keys a little before 6:00, the sign in the front said it had closed at 5:00 p.m. However, someone just so happened to be there late speaking with a potential resident, and I was able to drop off the keys.
Needless to say, my dad and I did a lot of praying during that trip, thanking God for all the blessings we had every step of the way.
I enjoyed living in Florida. I really did. But it seemed that, most of the time, living in Florida was one challenge after another. Conversely, the move to Illinois was so smooth that I can’t help but believe that this is where God wants us to be. Under normal circumstances, there’s no way we’d have been able to afford to move to Illinois. But everything fell together. This big, scary adventure of a move was easy.
That’s how it works, isn’t it? God has a plan for us. And the plan isn’t arbitrary. Our Lord only has our best interests in mind. And when we try to do things our own way, we get nothing but challenges. Things don’t work out, plans fall through, and every step is a battle. But if we remember to trust God and the plan for our lives and families, and get ourselves out of the way to let God do things the way they should be done, everything just falls into place.
It’s not always easy to let go and let God. It’s something I’ve struggled with in my own faith journey. But let me tell you, as someone who has seen God’s miraculous work first-hand in the past couple of weeks, that if you trust God to handle the hard parts, then there will be far fewer hard parts to handle.
Let go, let God, and you can see miracles happen every day.