WHAT TO DO WHEN FACED WITH A DECISION
After sharing my dream with my wife, we had many hours of discussions about what it would mean for our family and how to move forward. We've had a missionary mindset for much of our lives and marriage, so the thought of uprooting to a different state or country has always been an option for us.
For me, moving and traveling was always quite desirable and exciting. It's the adventure I've longed for since reading Bilbo's unexpected journey through Middle-Earth. It's the call to a larger purpose like Moses received from God through a burning bush.
If my dream was that call to adventure, where do we start?
Moving out of California was a simple enough answer, but, as anyone with a family, property to sell, and a community to inform would tell you, there is no clear plan of action. We quickly had so many questions, unknowns, and fears. So we fasted.
PRAYER & FASTING WORKS
For a full week, our whole family fasted. My wife and I fasted alcohol and as a family we abstained from entertainment. The idea was to have clear hearts and sober minds to hear from the Lord. No distractions. No mindless scrolling. No clicking the "Next Episode" button. No collecting our daily game bonuses. No screen time.
In the evenings we prayed as a family for God's wisdom and direction. Kevyn and I would make lists with our desires and needs, logistical problems that needed solutions, and, most importantly, places to which we thought God was calling us. Innumerable Zillow links were shared between the two of us that week. Real estate research was becoming borderline replacements for the void from a lack of entertainment.
After that week of prayer and fasting, we felt God was leading us to Idaho. If I'm being honest here, we actually came to that conclusion on Day 3, but used the rest of the week to sit on and confirm it.
We have been looking at the Northwest region of the U.S. for quite some time. With the amazing views of Colorado, friends recently moving to Montana, the beauty of Yellowstone in Wyoming, and the desire to still be as close as possible to our family and friends in California, it just made sense.
Around that same time, some friends of ours recently moved to Idaho. This was highly influential in our decision making. These friends are the godparents of our children. We highly respect them. Enjoy their company. And love them so much. We helped them move to Texas back in 2009 and have longed to live near them again ever since. It felt like this move would answer not only our current prayers to God for direction, but the prayers we made over a decade ago.
We hopped on a video call with these friends to tell them what we've heard from God and that we would be joining them in Idaho as soon as God allows. Needless to say, there was much excitement and tears.
HOW TO SAY GOODBYE
Our location was picked out. It ticked off the majority of our list when it came to needs for our family and our girls. There was a community we could plug into and thrive in. It pushes us even further towards some of the goals we've been talking and dreaming about. And most of all, we felt God's peace.
We met with a realtor to discuss what it would look like to start the process of selling our condo. Thinking it would take about a month or so, with her encouragement and a few late nights, we had our condo on the market in just nine short days. That was the moment it got real for us.
That same week, we made the rounds to tell our friends and family of our decision. Understandably, there were lots of tears as we explained our plans, but surprisingly we received so much understanding and love.
Over the last decade and a half, we've said goodbye to countless friends that have moved away. Slowly losing contact afterwards was an inevitable, but still heartbreaking, part of that process. It was truly a surreal feeling being on the other side of that conversation for the first time, knowing the same could, and probably will, happen to some of the people we're hugging goodbye.
If you were one of the people we talked to during this decision making time, we want you to know it was not lost on us that when we hugged you goodbye, it might have been the last time we would get to do that. Our hope truly is that it wasn't, but if we happen to lose contact it doesn't mean we've lost our love for you. We will still think about you no matter what. Often, we fondly reminisce on those we've lost contact with, hoping for their best, praying they are in God's love, and enjoying the memories we made together.
We know life happens, we all settle into routines, and the saying "outta sight, outta mind" is all too real in these moments. But we'd like to make it very clear, no matter how long it's been, we would lovingly welcome a call or text from you. Seriously. Anytime.
PREPPING OUR CALIFORNIA EXODUS
After a whirlwind weekend trip to check out a few houses in Idaho, things started falling into place. Kevyn was offered a new remote job (this came after 2-3 months of silence from employers). We accepted an offer on our condo, for our asking price, at a time when the market was down turning fast. And had our own offer accepted on a house in Idaho that our whole family agreed felt like it was already ours when we viewed it.
God had been answering our prayers and was continuing to answer them. He was showing us that he was in control. During this time, our hearts were open to hearing from God, not presuming we knew better, or acting thoughtlessly. Our prayers were, and still remain:
"God, we want to follow you, be in your will, and to live in wisdom and thankfulness. If it is your will, make it so. If it is not, shut the door."
The next few weeks were a blur of cardboard boxes and packing tape, goodbye tears, way too much fast food, and squeezing in as much time as we could with those we love.
With our belongings packed and goodbyes said, we hopped on I-80 east, out of California.