Holding my pregnant belly in my hands as I slowly strolled around a grassy meadow, I heard a still, small voice say: ” this is the land of milk and honey where I will deliver you.” These words touched something deep within me as I surveyed the expanse of my in-laws’ 140-acre working farm. Indeed, this season of my life felt very much like wandering in a barren wilderness, waiting for God to move.
We were vacationing as a family while my husband continued to seek employment near our California home. We had no certainty of employment, we had moved all of our belongings into storage, and we were temporarily living 3,000 miles from the place we were seeking employment. God was giving all of us a break from the stressful realities of unemployment so we could really hear His next directions for us. Our days were filled with the contrast of simple joys of country living and the everyday hope for employment news from California.
The bliss of “vacation” came to a halting reality when my husband’s job offer came at last— through an employment agency in Michigan! We had never seriously considered living outside of California and now I stood on Michigan farmland with a strong sense that God’s words to me had been gradually leading our family to live in this rural, small town.
Four months later, my husband and I delivered our third child in Michigan, navigated icy frozen roads and dark days of winter, wandered the maze of church hopping and house hunting and had only one constant in our lives—the fact that God was totally in control and we were not. It took time, but we finally saw God’s purpose in moving us so far out of our comfort zone. We watched God provide financially and professionally for my husband’s career and were able to buy our first home. We ended up planting a church out of a denomination that was more traditional than we had ever attended. The challenges of hibernating indoors through brutal Michigan winters pushed us to find creative ways to meet and build community in our small town. In the four years we lived in Michigan, God taught us daily what it looked like to trust Him out of our comfort zone.