When I was talking on the phone with my mom yesterday about Mike getting the job he really wanted, she said something that made me think and think and think. She said... "I wonder if you would have ever moved to Utah if we hadn't come on a mission here?"
Now Mike and I had always talked about moving to Utah... or Georgia (I have always been fascinated with the town of Peachtree because everyone there owns golf carts, and that is how they get around the town... there are miles of golf cart road all over the place... quirky I know, but it seemed endearing to me), but I have to admit, we have both always been home bodies living just a couple of miles from each of our parents... we both severely hate change... and I really do wonder, would we have ever made the move without a little push?
I do know with all my heart that we are where we belong. God works in mysterious ways.
It was nothing short of a miracle how Mike got in to the SLCC PTA program when we got here. The program was at full capacity when he went in to register and we were told that he would have to wait a year which was very discouraging since back east he had only had one year left. Still, with his chin up, he started looking for temporary employment. But on the very first day of school, someone dropped out of the program and he received a telephone call that morning to let him know that there was a space for him.
It was nothing short of a miracle how we got into this home. It was one of the first homes I saw when I arrived with the kids in Utah. I felt strongly when I saw it that it would be the place we lived. We looked at many other homes, but waited 6 days (because of the pioneer day holiday and weekend) to hear back from the property rental company only to find out that someone else had just put in an application for it. I was devastated! Not only had I had my heart set on it, but we had let several other homes go that we liked and now we had to return the truck in a couple of days, we had no home to put our stuff in, and we were back to square one. I am not exaggerating when I say that within 20 mins after the rental company called to tell us the home was not available, we received a second call from them letting us know that the person had just walked in their office and withdrawn the application. Needless to say we flew straight down to the office and the rest is history. As it turns out, we have fallen deeply in love with our ward, the schools, the people and the area where we live.
Now, it is not to say we have not had trials. The first few months for the kids were heart wrenching for me. I had to fight back tears on the first day of school when DeAnna came home and told me she had eaten lunch by herself. Both of them shed many tears for their old friends and familiar faces & places. They asked us many times why we had moved away and pleaded with us to take them home. I sat in Relief Society several weeks feeling like I didn't have a friend in the world. We struggled to keep our heads above water for the first few months after using most of our savings to move and buy major appliances that we had never owned. I cried on Mike's shoulder wondering how we would be able to afford any Christmas gifts for the kids... and then there were other very personal trials that humbled me to the dust... more than I had ever been humbled before.
Everything worked out OK though. Money seemed to stretch a little further before Christmas allowing us to purchase some gifts as well as anonymous gifts arriving on our doorstep (which really stumped me because we didn't share our financial struggles with anyone... thank you to whoever it was who thought of us last year). The kids made wonderful friends in the neighborhood as well as at school. There were a couple of dear sisters in Relief Society (who I will never forget) who came and sat by me and took the time to talk to me... they have become two very special friends. (Thank you Ruthanne & Krista... you have no idea how much that meant to me.) We budgeted and saved to get a little cushion back in the bank and personally, eventually I was able to pull myself most of the way out of the dirt. In hindsight, I do believe that things happened the way they did so that we would be able to recognize His hand in all of our blessings.
Anyway, I know this is where we are supposed to be for now. Both Mike & I love serving in the youth program again. (Isn't it funny that you can move across an entire country and still end up working in the same callings you once held in your previous ward?) This time though, both our kids are in it too, so it has become a family affair. :) Mike & I have even made some friends and have been a bit more social than we ever were back East. I have just gotten a raise at work and Mike starts work in 5 weeks. Life is pretty dang good... we have no reason to complain.
Now that does not mean that there will not be trials in our future that might rock our faith... I have witnessed friends and family go through much harder trials than me where I honestly wondered how they survived. But for now I just have to hold on to this little bit of faith that God knows me and he will help me through whatever comes.
And things don't always go exactly how we plan. There is a perfect house that we absolutely love with the perfect neighbors in the perfect location in our current ward. However, the owners are not in a position to be able to negotiate any of their terms so we have to just let it go. Funny thing is, I am uncharacteristically OK with it. It is like there is a little voice in my heart telling me not to worry, there is a house out there somewhere where we are supposed to be with our name on it! :)
So take a little time this Thanksgiving month to ponder God & His love for you. He is not able to stop every horrible thing from happening to us, but he does give us a lot of blessings and he will be there to help us through the hard times if we open our hearts and let him in. :)