Have you ever felt prompted to do something that you didn’t want to do because it was out of your comfort zone, done it anyway, and realized later how much your courage benefited you? Where did God take you because of that act of faith?
Three years ago, we sold our house of 13 years and moved into the unknown. It was a whirlwind move in our lives. I had no intention of moving until my kids had graduated, another 3 years, the way I saw it. Then my husband started talking about selling and moving to a more rural area. I was scared. It seemed like a lot of stress. It seemed like a lot of work. And to be honest, I felt like I had enough on my plate without adding this. Finally, I gave in and just “went for a drive” with my husband to see what was out there. In the back of my mind, I was saying, “Nice, nice, but we aren’t going anywhere.”
That next week one of those houses we saw kept popping into my head and I felt frustrated with myself because I didn’t even want to entertain the idea. Then one day, that little voice that loves me and doesn’t want me to live my life in a comfort zone said, “Why don’t you just pray about it.” At that point I literally started to cry, “If you are asking me to pray about it, I already know the answer.” (He and I have had discussions like this in the past and I was very familiar with the outcome.)
I did actually kneel down and pray. The answer was sweet and comforting, “Yes. Now is the time. Trust my timing instead of seeking your own.” So, we called a realtor. We spent three weeks working really hard making some repairs, and another three decluttering and packing away everything we didn’t need. Then we put our house on the market. Within the week we had 8 offers, accepted 3, 2 flakey ones, and 1 that went through smoothly.
From May to July when we moved, aside from the repairs and packing, my daughter graduated from high school, we went on a camping trip with my husband’s brother we hadn’t seen in fifteen years, we went on a pre-planned 12-day trip to Nashville (we actually accepted the final offer on our way there), and I did two trade shows for my business. I was so nervous that the sale wasn’t actually going to go through that I refused to sign a lease or look for another house until we got the text saying the final paperwork had been sent to underwriting.
At that point, we had exactly 10 days to be out of the house. In that time, we went to look at a few houses in the area we were wanting to end up, decided renting was the better option, looked through a few apartments and decided that renting a house was the way we needed to go, applied for approval, found a house that we could afford (more than we wanted to pay, but we could make it work), packed the rest of our stuff, moved out, and cleaned the home we were leaving behind. It was like a hurricane and left my mind whirling.
After we moved into the rental house (which, by the way, was about 50 miles in the opposite direction of where we wanted to end up) I was physically and emotionally exhausted and had a bit of a meltdown. My heart and mind kept asking, (even though it really was too late for the question) “Are we doing the right thing?” I hadn’t wanted to ask it out loud since I did get such a concrete confirmation before even listed our house for sale. But God is oh so patient and merciful. When I was finally brave enough to study out an answer, I was tangibly reminded how willing God is to reconfirm and re-comfort our hearts! The experience was powerful and exactly what I needed!
I said a prayer and sought connection with God. I read a conference talk by Elder Holland from April 2016 titled “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You”. As I read, I was reminded of past experiences the Lord has brought me through and of His constancy through those trials. I was reminded of His love and His faithfulness. As I read it that day, tears were shed and I was reminded that I have done hard things before and I could do hard things again. And that when I trust the Lord and keep moving forward, with Him by my side, things always work out better than I could ever anticipate!
Then I was led to the scriptures. I read 1 Nephi chapter 17. In this section, Nephi and his family come to the land of Bountiful after some really hard journeying. He talks about the difficulties that they have had and how after some time in the land the Lord told them to keep going. His brothers were not happy about trying to figure out how to build a boat to keep going, but ever faithful Nephi just asked the Lord for help to build the tools. Through these verses, I was reminded that we cannot get to somewhere better unless we trust the Lord to lead us away from that which has become comfortable for us (even if it is miserable comfort.)
And the most powerful impression of that day came when, quite by accident, I read one verse farther than I had planned. It was exactly what I needed! Nephi was reminding His brothers that their Israelite ancestors would not have been freed from bondage if they had not listened to the words of God. Through that verse, I was reminded that God confirmed to me the need for this move and someday I would be so grateful I followed that prompting and left the home I loved and was comfortable in, because through that act of faith He would be able to lead me to a better place. The Spirit whispered, “Keep going. Trust me. Where you want to stay doesn’t even compare to where I want to take you.”
Finally, after opening this conduit to heaven by praying and studying His word, I had a couple of thoughts come to my mind over the next couple of days that gave me great comfort.
The first thought was that the place we ended up, though just for the next year, was a place that God planned for my son’s benefit. The thought came out of nowhere and I had no way of knowing how that might be true. But over the year I saw what a blessing it was for him. He was closer in proximity to the friends he went to school with and it was so great to see him be more proactive in his face-to-face interactions with them. Additionally, the youth and his leaders at church in that new area were so inclusive of him. I saw a spark lit in him that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was truly a miracle to this mama’s heart!
The second thought came to me that the house we rented was underpriced. It was bigger than what we had initially been looking for and had an incredible amount of storage so that we were able to fit everything we owned there and clear out our rented storage unit. There was enough room for me to have a workroom for my business and a quiet office space for other things I was working on. The basement was set up to accommodate my children and other needs that arose just before our move. It suited our needs so much better than what I would ever have planned for.
When this thought came, I realized that the other houses we looked at in the same price range were not at all comparable in either space or value. When I realized those things, I could see how much the Lord had been looking out for me when I hadn’t even considered the things I needed for this space in my life. His compensating blessings truly were great!
Once again, in His mercy, God gave me another concrete experience to prove that He is very aware of me, especially during my storms. In the midst of that storm, as He has during every storm when I have gone to Him, He gave me peace and settled my heart. He reminded me that He sees the bigger picture and wants to provide more for me than I would ever even think to ask for. He truly can give us peace in the eye of the storm as we wait for all things to fall into place.
As I sit here today in my beautiful office reminiscing about that time, I realize just how much God had in store for me. New relationships were built in that time. A new job for my husband and wonderful learning opportunities for me presented themselves. A year and 3 months after we sold my beloved house, we moved into a beautiful home that was built specifically for us in a rural part of Utah where our hearts feel grateful and at home. We moved at the perfect time in the market to get an incredible home on a half-acre of land for about 30% less than what the exact same setup is going for now. And now is the timing I had planned out for myself.
Yes, God asks us to do hard things. Yes, He asks for things that are stressful, inconvenient for our timing, and out of our comfort zones. But I am so grateful that I trusted God and His plans for me. His timing is always perfect, even when we are scared. I am so grateful that He patiently teaches me over and over again that He is capable of creating miracles in my life, capable of providing so much more for me than my own plans would produce. In hindsight, I can see that where I wanted to stay really didn’t compare to where He wanted to take me.
Song: “Yes He Can” by Cain
A Little Help for Little Friends:
I am one of God’s little princesses and He has great plans for me. He wants to give me the best of things He has to offer.