(If you haven’t already, please find the prequel to this post, “Our Move to Texas: The Backstory,” here.)
Two dreams, back-to-back.
I puzzled over them as I got out of bed.
There wasn’t anything too remarkable about them. Except that I desperately wanted both of them to come true.
Were they just wishful thinking, my mind projecting what my innermost heart most desired? Or something more, a prediction of the future from the Lord?
I hoped and somehow believed it was the second, but I couldn’t put my finger exactly on why.
I met Mom in the kitchen for breakfast, who instantly picked up on my mood and asked what was bothering me.
Did I tell her? Get her hopes up for something that may not have been from the Lord at all and might not ever happen?
I hesitated only a second more. I didn’t know if it was from the Lord or not, but might as well share. If it came to pass, we’d both know where the dreams had come from. If not, I’d learn for the next time.
“I dreamt that we finally found a home in Texas,” I told her. “We’d been waiting a long time–you were clapping your hands and squealing like a little girl, you were so excited.
We were in the car and Dad was driving. You were next to him, and I was in back.
I was skeptical. ‘This is for sure the house we’re moving into?’ I asked.
You turned back to look at me, with this huge grin. ‘Yes!’ You said.
We pulled up to this gorgeous house. I couldn’t make out all the details, but the two things that stood out the most were that it was on a hill, and had huge, beautiful windows.”
Mom gripped the counter and bowed her head as tears trickled down her cheeks. “Thank you, Lord,” she whispered.
“What?” I asked, dumbfounded.
I wasn’t really expecting that response. Had already moved on to the very exciting topic of whether I wanted toast or Raisin Bran for breakfast, in fact.
Mom looked up at me, the tears still fresh in her eyes, but a smile, too. “I was just praying to the Lord yesterday about a home and getting discouraged, wondering if we’ll ever sell the house here and get what we want there. And I told the Lord that’s what I wanted–a house on a hill with big windows.”
Now I was really dumbfounded. I’d known Mom was getting discouraged about the whole house situation, but never once had she shared with me that her dream home included a hill and big windows.
It must have been from the Lord, which meant the other one was, too!
Energized now, I excitedly told her about the second dream.
How on earth did we get to that point though, selling the home we’d lived in for 18 years, to go to a place we’d never even visited?
It started with my dad sitting in his recliner, having his morning talk with the Lord. Something he’d been doing ever since he got sick and had continued to do, even though he was healthier now than he’d been in years.
All of a sudden, he felt as though the Lord had something important to tell him, something he’d need to write down.
It was February 16, 2014 when the Lord told my dad to move himself and his entire family to Texas. Here is the piece of paper he wrote on and exactly what he wrote that day:
Sure thing, Lord. Sell a home we’d lived in for 18 years in a terrible housing market, as well as a 30-year-old business, plus get a wife, three daughters, and two grandchildren all on board to move with you. No problem.
But it was made very clear to my dad that day what God was asking him to do. Along with the call to move, He also whispered some promises to my dad’s heart.
He asked Dad to trust Him, saying: “In the years you were sick, you were forced to trust me. There was nothing you could do to save yourself, your family, or your home. No way you could provide for them as you always had and rely on your own strength, because you were too sick to be able to. But did I not provide? Now I am asking you to trust me willingly. I am taking you into a time of rest and peace–as you were blindsided by sickness, so I will blindside you with my blessings. You won’t know how or where they come from. Don’t try to manhandle and determine how I will bless you; in every decision, wait for my direction before acting, so that the glory will not go to you, but to me. I will take care of every detail. I will provide. Trust me.”
He also lead him that day to a verse in Joshua 1:9, which says: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I can only imagine the kind of courage it must have taken my dad to look my mom in the eye and say, “Hey, hon. So, uh, I know this’ll sound crazy, but I think God is telling me to uproot you and our entire family to move to a land God will show us…uh, once we get to it. He’s asked me to trust Him–I don’t really know any details yet. I just know we’re supposed to go.”
(Which is not how he told her, by the way. More like how I would have done it. 😉 )
Funny thing happened though.
Mom was of course taken aback at first. She was a mountain girl, born and raised. The house we lived in at that time was the house she thought they were going to retire in.
But as Mom describes it to me, she said something in her heart just knew, and she felt an immediate and tremendous peace, like, “Yeah. This is what we are supposed to do.”
When Mom and Dad first told me, I honestly didn’t take it very seriously. Dad didn’t share at first all the details of what God had promised him, just that he was feeling lead by God to move to Texas.
And important to note–never once did Dad tell me or any of us that we had to come with them. He just presented it as, “This is what God is telling me. Mom and I are going, and we’d love if you came with.”
My older sister was on board immediately because she’d been wanting to get out of Colorado since her teens.
I was skeptical at first.
And my little sister was hesitant, not deciding until the very last minute what she was going to do.
Once I saw Mom and Dad were truly serious about the whole thing and that at least potentially four of my closest relatives were leaving, I basically followed along out of necessity.
I couldn’t afford to live on my own, and didn’t want to live anywhere without my family nearby.
But I quickly began to see the same thing as them–God for some reason was calling us to go to Texas.
We looked pretty crazy for a while, telling people we were moving to Texas without a thing to show for it.
“Well, have you listed your house yet?” They’d ask.
“No,” we’d reply.
“Why not?” They’d ask.
“Because we’re waiting for God to tell us to,” we’d reply.
“What’s in Texas?” They’d ask.
“We have no idea. Have never been there.”
“Do you know anyone there? Have any jobs lined up?”
“Nope. Can’t say that we do.”
There were definitely some discouraging days, days where we all wondered what was going to happen and how God was going to bring about what He’d promised.
But we did know and said to each other often: “If this happens, it will definitely be God, because there is no way we can make this happen on our own.”
Eventually, God gave the green light for my parents to put our house on the market.
Simultaneously, my older sister filed to be able to relocate and began a custody battle that would take ten months before we actually got a verdict.
It was during that custody battle that I started despairing a little bit. Going into that courtroom to hear a lawyer berate my sister was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
Knowing that she could lose, and that if she did, my parents and I would still have to go and would have to leave my sister and niece behind…
Worse, what if my sister lost custody entirely?
It was at that time the Lord gave me the two dreams I started this post with.
The first was about the house.
The second was of the custody battle.
In it, I dreamt of the judge in our home, observing my mom and dad as they played with *Audra, my niece.
The judge carried a briefcase and wore a scarf as though he was on his way out. As with the first dream, two things in particular stood out to me: one was that his back was to me, and the second was that he never said a word.
I could hear and see my parents and Audra laughing and playing, but the judge just watched silently.
He nodded once, firmly and decisively, and I knew in that moment that he’d chosen to let Audra stay with us, seeing the way my parents interacted with her. He placed his hat on his head and walked out the door, his decision made.
Only later would I understand how very symbolic that dream actually was.
Though most judges in those types of situations give a verdict pretty quickly after the initial hearing, our judge was annoyingly unique and known in our area for waiting months, sometimes even years before finally giving his verdict.
Even after all the evidence had been presented, the judge continued to postpone his verdict, never giving any kind of indication of what he was thinking or in what way the gavel would fall.
In essence, it was exactly like the dream God gave me; for ten months, he silently observed us, never saying a word one way or another, leaving us to agonize and pray that God would not make us leave them behind.
I got the call while I was in the mall shopping with some friends.
I punched off, tears filling my eyes.
“They have permission to relocate!” I told my friend, collapsing into her congratulatory hug.
Relief and gratitude washed over me, filled me.
It was over. They could come.
Oh, the faithfulness of God!
Just as God had shown me, the judge had remained silent, watching, his “back” to me, never giving me any indication of which way this whole thing would go.
But when he finally did give his verdict, it was swift and decisive, leaving no room to argue.
His reasons for his verdict?
“I see no reason to take this child away from the person who’s primarily taken care of her for the last ten years. Additionally, her relationship with her grandparents is a good one, and I see no need to take that away from her.”
Seeing her relationship with her grandparents.
Just like my dream, where he’d watched them playing, laughing, and interacting with Audra.
If I’d had any doubts about us going to Texas, they were gone now.
Within literally weeks of that verdict, everything began to fall into place.
Our house sold. We only showed it three times before someone walked onto the property and said, “Yeah, I’ll take it,” and immediately qualified to buy.
Dad sold his water treatment company to the very person who’d turned the offer down a year before, and suddenly contracts were being signed left and right.
Next order of business? Dad suddenly found himself in need of a job!
My parents left to scout out Texas for one week. It was all the time and money they could spare before getting back to Colorado and closing on the house.
Dad needed to come back with a job.
With only two interviews and one day before they needed to come back, Dad randomly found the name of a company in a phone book, gave them a call, and got the job.
Later we would find out that the man who hired him never did interviews. For some reason, this time–he wasn’t sure why, he said–he did.
My parents sold their home and business, bought a 28-foot-trailer to put all our belongings in, and we began to pack up our lives for the last 18 years in one week. (Read about some of the story in getting there here.)
We said our goodbyes, and we hit the road, knowing we still didn’t have a home in Texas, but trusting God to provide. Hadn’t He provided everything else?
Leaving my childhood home and everything I’d ever known was hard, but hardest of all… what caused my chest to physically ache… was leaving my younger sister and nephew behind. (Read about that here.)
She’d chosen not to come with us.
Why would God call us to Texas, only to have us leave some of our family behind?
Looking back now, I can’t even believe how incredibly hard and crazy all of that was. How did we find the strength to leave? My heart ached with a fierceness I’d rarely known, but how my mom’s heart must have completely torn, having to leave behind one of her daughters and only grandson, yet following the rest of her family to this new place, knowing it was what God asked of her.
How was I not more worried, me, the biggest worry wart of all time–leaving everything we’d ever known, without a place to live?
The answer is the Lord, and the Lord alone.
As He’d said… the glory will go to me, not you.
In September of 2015, one year and seven months from the day my dad sat in his recliner and wrote the words “he will bring you into the land he promised you,” the Lord fulfilled His promise, and we arrived in Texas.
And what an adventure awaited.
(Stay tuned and check back soon for Our Move to Texas: Part II)
*Some names have been changed to protect privacy.