Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I have a tendency to be funny and silly in my posts, but I wanted to share how our family has been touched by the hand of God. We have frequently been asked recently, "You retired to Michigan?" or "Are you originally from here?" And of course we aren't. We're from the South or Midwest, depending on how you categorize Northwest Arkansas. But we left our hearts in Southern Illinois a little over two years ago.

It all started back in 1999. Hubby didn't get the military promotion we expected. There was absolutely no reason he shouldn't have gotten it. We were completely dumbfounded. We were also expecting our fourth child, had five year old twins and a two year old. We didn't have a lot of money, and we weren't sure what to do except to trust God. So we decided to be patient and not make any rash move, and Hubby decided to wait until the next year until he had the opportunity to be promoted "above the zone" which has a five percent or less chance. If he wasn't, then we would have about three months for him to find a job.

Now if you had asked either of us at any point where we would like for him to be stationed, we would have said Scott AFB, Illinois, even though he was in the Army. He had been stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, aka Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, early in his career, and it was only three hours from our families and two hours from our beloved St. Louis Cardinals. Scott AFB was 20 minutes from St. Louis! One Wednesday evening in the summer of 2000 at our ladies' neighborhood Bible study, my prayer request was for "career and future planning." Vague, but God knew what it was. On Friday Hubby came home to attend the post VBS lunch presentation the kids were putting on, and I told him he had a message on the answering machine, and all I knew was that it was "some guy."

So Hubby listens to the message, says it's his branch guy, and calls back. He's outside talking, giving me a thumbs up, and I'm really just clueless. Next thing I know he's telling me that even though they can't officially tell him, they are offering him a position at the new rank at Scott AFB, Illinois, and we are moving in less than a month. Through my tears I immediately pulled out my prayer list and showed Hubby what I'd put down and requested of the other ladies. See, if he'd been promoted in the "right" year, this job wouldn't have been available, because it rotates every three years, and it was the only job available for him there. Plus, this meant he was locked in for military retirement.

We had lived in New Jersey for three years and loved it, but it couldn't touch the love we developed for Illinois. We loved our friends, our church...everything. We really planned on retiring there. But God had other plans. In 2006 we were moved to Fort Eustis, Virginia, and fully expected to enjoy it at a minimum. It was the South. We're Southerners. But we never really fit there, and I can't even think of a word to use to explain it better than "fit." While we were there we kept wondering why God moved us there, what our purpose was, were we missing something? But in the back of our minds we always suspected that it was God moving us away from Illinois, because if He hadn't done it, we would have never listened to Him and done it. We would have probably turned a deaf ear or never realized God's plan. Once removed from Illinois, we were able to consider other possibilities.

When the retirement option came up, and I could probably do a whole post about God's faithfulness there, I'll just simplify it by saying that He definitely made His plans clear. The timing was obvious and set out perfectly before us. Doors were opened and closed like clockwork. There was never really any doubt about where we were to end up, and Michigan it was. We are happy about it. Yes, we miss our friends, but we'll have plenty of room for them to visit us. (Please come!)

This was hanging on my bathroom mirror for at least the last year in Virginia:

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

God's plans were always in place, and sometimes the waiting was hard, especially for someone with my personality. But it's always better when we do it His way.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Great post on God's faithfulness. That is one of my favorite verses and it's a good one to hang onto when we are wondering about our lives.

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