Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A milestone day!

Twenty years. Wow. That is a considerable amount of time. Not long enough to be half of my life, but a good chunk of it. Twenty years ago I left Whidbey Island and moved to Sioux City. In another five years I will have lived in Iowa longer than I lived in Washington.

Was it the right thing for me to do? Ultimately, I believe the answer to that is yes. God has shown me over and over that this is where I belong. Was it easy? Uh, no, NO and no.

It still brings tears to my eyes to picture my parents on that morning. It was so hard to drive away from everything I have ever known to a life that was completely unknown. It was a good thing Galen was driving because we were many miles down the road before I could see through my tears.

The first year I was here was one of the hardest years of my life. The weather was extreme. Pacific Northwest thunderstorms are nothing like the raging tempests that rip through the Midwest. Humidity! Ugh. I had never operated an air conditioner before and the first time I tried to run it I couldn't figure out why it was so cold in my little rental house. I kept turning it down, which made sense to me, you turn a furnace down to make it cooler and it was on the same controls. I figured it must be broken and felt pretty stupid when I found out that you turn the A/C up to make it warmer and down to make it colder. It was doing exactly what I was telling it do to.

My first winter here was one of the worst winters Iowa had experienced in about a decade. It started off with severe ice storms that closed down most of the city. The sheer weight of the ice snapped off power lines and trees with great resounding cracks and pops. Winter started early that year, as the ice storm cancelled Halloween festivities and it seemed to last forever. Snow, snow and more snow. Piles upon piles of it I remember one storm we got almost two feet of snow in one shot. Crazy snow. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate driving in the snow? I cannot tell you how many times I thought to myself, "WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!"

As I look back, I think what I was doing here was learning a lot about myself. When you move to a town and know exactly one person in it, you learn how to manage things for yourself pretty quickly. I also learned to rely on God. This big move occurred before cell phones, Skype, Facebook, texting and instant messaging. I was alone, going to college,working three jobs and barely scraping by. I didn't have time to cultivate relationships and I was painfully missing (and still do!) the friendships I left behind. Phone calls were carefully budgeted in and made after 9:00 at night when the long distance rate was 10 cents a minute.

God had always been on the sidelines of my life and never at the center. When all the familiar was stripped away and I couldn't run to my family or friends I had no where else to go but to God.

I was required to leave many things behind, but I have gained so much. God is still where he belongs as my center. That guy that drove me to Iowa? We will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary next month. We have three amazing kids and a pretty good life here. I can't imagine being any where else. Yet another example where God knew just what he was doing and I just had to pipe down and follow along. I am thankful I did!

How about you? Have you ever had to do something really difficult that you see now as a blessing?

In His Peace -


  1. Beautifully written. I am still in the center of a difficult season, now nearly 3 years long. But it is clear to me that God is using it to refine me. Painful, uncomfortable, clearly not something I would have chosen... but He is writing the story of my life and this chapter is necessary. We are becoming the women God would have us be, one chapter at a time. God bless you... only He know how our story ends.

  2. Yes, Donna. He knows and sometimes we just have to hold on tight and trust it will all work out for the best. It is so hard when life isn't easy, isn't it?
    I love what you said that He is writing the story of your life and this chapter is necessary. Such wonderful imagery in that sentence.
    Thanks for stopping by!