So I Guess We’re Moving

I don’t know how to write this, partly because I’m still processing everything that’s happened. It’s news I need to share, however, and I suppose as I write and as you read, we can process it together.

Back before the days of quarantine, Hubs had been working from home one day a week and it was lovely having him home, even if we did have to leave him alone so he could be productive.

March 13th, he got word he was to continue working from home for the indeterminable future because of the pandemic and everything shutting down in rapid succession. In a single sentence, he went from working from home one day a week to working from home every day of every week.

As the shelter-in-place continued and as his company, and the nation, adapted to remote work and related procedures, he wondered if this might not be his new, permanent arrangement.

Mind you, we are so blessed. We have an incredible home – my dream home, even. We have a parcel of land. We have a garden and chickens and fruit trees and fresh air. It’s a little sanctuary we’ve been in, tucked out here in rural Minnesota.

So when he came upstairs one morning and said, “It sounds like I might be able to work remote forever,” I was not surprised at all. It made sense. Hubs is one person who is far more focused and productive working from home than most people. It suits him.

It was when he followed up immediately by asking, “So where do you want to move?” that surprised me.

We had previous conversations that eventually, we’d move back to the North Dakota side of the river, find more land, expand our homesteading family farm life. But that was a few years away. Suddenly a door was opening for anywhere, and immediately.

Around this same time, we were informed family members of ours had applied for jobs in South Dakota. This helped to narrow our scope of locations, as South Dakota was one of the states on our dream shortlist.

Hubs and I prayed and gradually, and yet all at once, we felt a pull to South Dakota. Specifically, closer to the Black Hills.

Viewing properties online from across the entire state, we found a few that were nice and would work for what we wanted, but nothing jumped out at us. Finally, I cleared all the filters, capped a price, and only filtered it to have at least one bathroom.

Up popped the house. The property. A single result that met all of the checkmarks on our potential homestead of the future. A nice house, high-speed internet, wood stove, natural water source, fertile gardening ground, huntable wildlife, space and shelter for our own animals… and in our price range. It had been hidden in our searches previously, but was suddenly right there, almost beckoning us.

What was happening, though? Should we even bother looking? Was this a leading from the Lord, or a distraction we had created for ourselves?

Weeks crawled by. No certain word came from Hubs’ work. The house was still active, but every day that passed by was another day allowing it to be purchased by someone else. It was agonizing in a way – we were content where we were, but also suddenly had this unexpected yearning stirring within us.

Something (moving away) that was not but a blip on our radar suddenly became the only thing on our radar.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, I was sitting out at the patio table doing work for my client. Hubs came outside and sat in the chair across the table from me and whispered, “Check your email.” He had forwarded me confirmation from work: he can work remotely, from anywhere, and keep his job.

I teared up. Out of excitement, out of uncertainty, out of confusion, out of hope.

Ensuring the listing was still active, we made arrangements to drive to the property, view it, and either rule it out for where we should be, or confirm it.

Our weekend near the Black Hills was fantastic. The entire area felt like “home”. It felt like Wyoming if Wyoming wasn’t a desert. It was familiar “midwest” prairie land, surrounded by hills and forests. It was full of antelope, deer, grouse, turkeys, and trout. It was gorgeous. It was like we had always been there. It was like we were supposed to be there.

The property itself was great, but the viewing was quite a unique and frustrating experience. When we left we were more confused than confirmed and that night a spiritual battle was waged, I believe, trying to thwart us altogether. I didn’t have a good sense of what the Lord would have us do but prayed He would direct our steps.

That Sunday morning we visited the tiny town church near where the property was located, and I have to say, I loved it. Quaint, friendly, and Bible-based, through and through.

As we left the church building and started our journey back to Minnesota, we got a phone call. An offer had been made, and if we wanted a shot, we needed to make one, too.

I can look back and see how the Lord worked out every single detail. How we had to trust in Him and rely on Him to make things work because our own decisions and dealings would not have created the same results. My prayer was that God would show us our Canaan (whether where we already are or somewhere we were supposed to end up) and that whatever happened would show others evidence of His grace and glory.

That’s exactly what happened.

By all accounts, what is happening is not what should or is “supposed” to be happening. Hubs got the okay to work remotely from anywhere – an exception we couldn’t have expected but are so thankful is in place.

This property came up after being hidden in our previous searches – the Lord favoring us in allowing us to find it.

The offer we made was argued by the realtor (several times) essentially saying we weren’t going to get the property if we submitted the offer as we presented it. Guess what? The Lord allowed our offer to be accepted exactly as it was.

And now, while there are still uncertainties and details to iron out as we move ahead, the steps the Lord is directing seem pretty clear.

I have grieved. I have mourned. I have lamented leaving this house and the people who mean so much to us. I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t shed a tear or two over it.

But I have also celebrated, given thanks, and marveled at how prayers we have prayed for years (Hubs being able to work from home, us having more land, being closer to family, having topography in our line of sight again, and the list continues) are being answered swiftly, mercifully, and lovingly.

And so I guess we’re moving.

There will be adjustments, adaptations, unexpected situations. I also know, without a doubt, the Lord has led this, driven this, guided this, and there is blessing in us being obedient.

I can’t wrap my head around everything going on. I have moments of panic. But just like I tell families I’ve supported over the years through their grief – the only way to the other side is straight through the messy middle.

This area has been our home for the last 14 1/2 years. We’ve been through tragedies and triumphs beyond comprehension. And we’re leaving it behind.

That’s a hard thing to wrestle with.

And yet… and yet we’re not abandoning anything. We’re not leaving anything undone. We’ve got things situated and in place that make this move easier than it would be otherwise.

That’s all the Lord’s doing. Our years here have been His preparation for our next chapter, and our next chapter begins near the Black Hills of South Dakota.

O LORD, you are my God, I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.

Isaiah 25:1

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