A few summers ago, my husband David and I had been praying about where God was leading us to move with our three boys. We considered another neighborhood or even another city. As a specific impression, I had been sensing God’s urging to move into an apartment building David had been developing with his parents. His parents, however, closed the door on the possibility; they explained it would be better for us to stay in our home which happened to be right next to theirs. Discouraged but hopeful God would make a way, I continued to press on where we were.
We had become really comfortable until the Sunday morning when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston with unprecedented flooding. With our house flooded and a lot of our belongings damaged, we saw an opportunity to start afresh. A few weeks later we moved into the apartment complex; and then a miracle happened. I had been praying for our house to be bought in its flooded state. Someone left a note on our door asking if we were willing to sell. After a couple weeks of negotiation, the family purchased our home with cash. This was the best-case scenario. No longer tied down to our house, we were able to think about the next steps with freedom.
While driving to church one day, I asked David, “If we could do anything, what would you like to do?” He replied, “We can purchase an RV and travel the country.” I told him I’d pray about it. As I prayed, God gave me a resounding YES…GO! We took “baby steps” in a way…initially thinking we would do an RV trip for the summer.
As we dreamed of our trip, we started exploring different types of RVs. While having conversations, one friend pointed us to the Airstream Flying Cloud which seemed just right for us when I looked at it. We took the leap and purchased it in December and began to coordinate a spring break trip to Nashville, TN and Hot Springs, AK. We figured if we could survive a week, then surely, we could do a summer.
We planned to move to Austin after the summer, taking the steps to apply to the school there and look at neighborhoods. One evening over dinner with friends, the idea of exploring overseas came up. It had always been on our mind, but we thought the timing would be when kids were older. The dream of living overseas made a move to Austin for a school year seem unreasonable because we’d need to uproot again. The “logical” decision was to extend our summer RV trip to a year-long trip while planning to go overseas.
We have seen God show up in big and small ways during the year. He rescued us from potential bad accidents a couple of times. One time, while driving down an icy road we didn’t know how to navigate the difficulty. A stranger came and helped us and miraculously we came through without a scratch on the car or trailer. Most Sundays when we are able, we look for a church on the internet and show up. It has been so comforting to know we are not alone in this world as Christ followers since our community is everywhere.
David and I often get caught up in our heads; it is refreshing to not think too much and just go and do (i.e. hitching up and driving, setting up camp, tearing down camp, fixing things that break). We can’t over complicate things, which is nice since we had been in such a stressful season before taking the trip. We also learned to get by with very little. We began to value experiences, each other, and the basic things such as a good laundry facility.
We still have the same problems we had before we embarked on this journey, but now we have a fresh perspective.The problems don’t weigh on us like before. We don’t worry about the extra-curricular activities our kids are missing, we just let them enjoy kicking rocks around the campground (okay, maybe we worry a little bit). We don’t worry about how we are serving in one church and making an impact, we just show up and be there for the person God has put in front of us. Of course, there is value in these things I have mentioned, but when they became where we found our significance, it was necessary for God to reset our priorities.
If I knew from the beginning I would be going on a year-long road trip with our three boys, I probably wouldn’t have been so keen on the idea. But I think God in His grace, reveals just enough so we move forward. And the next curve ball is…we aren’t even going overseas! Instead we are moving to New York. We dreamed of moving to Singapore and had many conversations about it, but one weekend as David consulted with a friend, NY came on the radar. We couldn’t have anticipated how plans would take shape, but we can see God’s hand in every single decision. It is comforting to know we don’t need to have everything figured out, we just take that next step and watch God’s adventures unfold!