Family Life

Life Begins Anew (part one)

Two and half months ago, my husband received the news that would change our family’s life in a major way: he was losing his job. It wasn’t a big surprise; his workload had been steadily shrinking for the past year as his company went through structural changes including outsourcing oversees. But the timing of it was very coincidental – the lease on our house was about to be up as well, leaving us completely footloose and fancy-free for the first time in our married life… or at least as much as we could be with four young kids running around!

For years – since shortly after Eliza was born – we’ve talked about moving to Idaho. We were mostly alone in Seattle, at least as far as family went. Mark had a brother and sister-in-law living there, but that was it. His parents lived in Idaho and mine in Colorado, and the rest of our siblings were scattered around the country from California to Minnesota to Oklahoma. We didn’t like raising our children away from their grandparents – we felt like this was depriving them both of something very special and important. Plus, raising four kids is a lot of work, for which we had no help, practically speaking. People weren’t designed to raise families as islands – we were made for community and for family!

Anyway, we realized quickly that this opportunity to move was open to us, and began thinking and praying seriously about what we should do. And it wasn’t an easy thing to think about! There were so many pros and cons! Despite the fact that we had talked about moving for a good five years, in those years we had built up many relationships that we cherished. The idea of leaving them was heart-wrenching! Plus, we enjoyed the culture of Seattle and what it had to offer in terms of enjoyment and family fun. But the prospect of being close to Mark’s parents was very appealing, as well as the slower pace and wide open spaces that Idaho could offer.

About a week into our decision-making process, our rabbi caught wind of our situation (Have I mentioned that we are so blessed to have an amazing rabbi/pastor? But that’s another post…) and left the following comment on my Facebook wall:

“Remember, God speaks to us by his Holy Spirit through the word, prayer, people, circumstances, dreams and visions. May you hear a clear word from Him.”¬†

That night we went to bed full of hope and expectation that the Lord would reveal His will for us in due time. In the early morning, Mark had a dream/vision that replayed in his head over and over for the next few hours. In it, we were returning to Washington from Idaho, and encountered some major problems. In his mind, he kept thinking, “We should’ve stayed in Idaho, we should’ve stayed in Idaho.” The content in the dream was compelling on its own, but the fact that it kept replaying in Mark’s mind all morning was even more so. Then, a bit after breakfast, I found out that a couple we know had woken up early and prayed for us, probably right before Mark had his dream. It seemed quite clear that the Lord was speaking to us. So, for the next few days we pondered this.

And I’ll be honest, it wasn’t this joyful excitement over God’s revelation – it was more like a heavy weight, at least for me. Relocating is no easy thing, especially with four kids! And remember how I mentioned how attached we had grown to our life in Washington? That was all I could think about some days. Then, Shabbat came, and with it it further confirmation, through both His Word and people. At this point, we had received God’s direction in every way that our rabbi had mentioned, and we knew for certain. We were moving to Idaho.

(To be continued…)

My boys, enjoying a snack on our back deck!

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