My Journey (Part One)


May 21, 2018 – There’s No Turning Back Now!

I stared out the window in anticipation as the plane began to climb into the sky and on toward our new destination. The move certainly seemed to be a God thing. As I have mentioned in prior articles, I had been talking to a co-worker about wanting to be nearer to my girls and grandchildren and he had mentioned he worked with someone at the Heath, Ohio site. “Would you like me to put a good word in for you?” He asked.

The next thing I knew, the team in Heath had created a position just for me and offered me the job via a no post requisition. In essence, I would be the only person interviewed for the job. They also offered me a company paid move package.

My husband and I had great hopes that this would be an exciting move for us. We would be only 3.5 hours from where our daughters and grandchildren lived in Michigan. The word my husband had from the Lord was that God was going to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.

We put our house in Oklahoma up for sale and it sold in only a couple of days. Each time it seemed like a road block appeared, it was quickly resolved and before we knew it, we were signing the papers to close on the house and jumping on a plane to our new destination, Heath, Ohio.

And then we arrived in Ohio…

We would be staying in temporary housing for one month while we looked for a more permanent place to live. The only thing available was a 30-40 minute drive from where I would be working. The complex and apartment were nice enough, but we arrived to find out that the bed was broken and the washer didn’t work right. It took over a week to get all that ironed out. We ended up putting the box springs and mattress on the floor, just to get a decent night’s sleep.

We spent the first few weeks looking at houses every spare moment we had. We found a couple that we liked, but each time, we were out bid. Finally, we ran out of time. We had to be out of our temporary housing and wouldn’t have time to close on a loan. My husband spent a couple days driving around looking for an apartment. Everything seemed to be far away, crappy or expensive. As he was driving down this one street, he saw an apartment complex and decided to check it out. The lady had one apartment that would be opening at the beginning of the month. She hadn’t even listed it yet. We put a deposit down on it, still not quite understanding how this could be the blessing God had in store for us.

The days grew long as we began our journey in the new land. Learning our way around the city, trying to find my way throughout a new office building, learning a new job, trying to find a new church, and not knowing anyone were and still are a daily battle. This time has been especially rough on my husband, as we only have one car and it’s a long drive to take me in to the office so that he can have the car, and even then, what is there to do all day long when you don’t know anyone and don’t have a house/yard to work in?

No matter how hard I tried, it was difficult not to become discouraged.

The good part was, we were only 3.5 hours from home and family (we still own a home in Michigan). It was so nice to be able to spend time with our daughters and grandchildren. On our first trip home though, we discovered the basement wall had a crack in it and water had been leaking in behind the drywall. My husband was able to fix the crack, only to find out weeks later that it was leaking in an additional spot….just another thing that added to the frustration of our current situation in life.

I began to wonder if we had made the right choice to leave Oklahoma.

One day as I was praying, the Lord gave me the following verse, “But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 13:13 & 14)

It is so easy to live in the land of “what was” when things don’t go exactly as you thought they would, when making friends or finding a church is difficult, or life doesn’t go the way you think it should.

Things had gone amazingly smooth on the other side of this decision. What we had interpreted to be “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” was certainly different on this side of the move.

Throughout my Christian walk, I have seen many mature Christians grow weary and give up because the word they had received from the Lord wasn’t working out the way they thought it should.

My last article was about the Israelites and how they repeatedly wanted to give up and go back to the familiar. They had been living in slavery and bondage, and yet, faced with uncertainty and not seeing life play out the way they felt it should, they began to believe that what they had prior wasn’t so bad after all. It was “comfortable.” They knew their jobs. They had their friends and family close by. They had food on the table. They knew their surroundings.

It was easy to look back and long for what was.

Have you ever seen a runner win a race while looking backwards? Think about it. Looking back causes the runner to slow down, he or she may even lose their footing and fall or stumble.

A successful runner keeps his or her eyes on the finish line. He or she does not continue to look back and think “Wow, I have come a long way! It sure was nice back there in the shade. I wish I could go back and just sit and enjoy it for a while.” That would be silly.

The one that wins the race keeps his or her eye on the prize. When they become weary, they push themselves toward that goal, and when the goal is in sight – they run even harder.

What is our goal? What are we pushing towards?

It is easy to throw “Christian” answers out there. But look deeper… What is our goal? To have a nice house? A good job? For our children to turn out decent? Perhaps it’s just to make it through the day…

If our goal is truly to serve God and live for Him, to run the race with Him, why do we get so easily discouraged when things don’t turn out the way we think they should?

These are questions that God is asking me. Reflect with me and explore your own journey as we ask ourselves the question, “What am I pushing towards?” If you wish, write out the things that come to mind. Then, take a moment and ask the Father, “What goal would you set before me?” You may just find that when we look at the race through God’s eyes, a lot of the pressures of life disappear! :)

Stay tuned for more updates as I share portions of my journey in this new land…

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