Our nomadic adventure that forced us to rely on God

Have you ever had a moment when everything seemed to fall into place? Dreams you forgot you ever had were coming true in front of your eyes. Then…it all fell apart in an instant.

That’s where we were in August 2017.

With a UHAUL full of everything we owned 30 minutes from our new home, we got a phone call would change everything.

Everything started when Josh met Jen in Iraq more than a decade ago.

Being in the National Guard, Josh was away at training often throughout the summer. One exercise in 2013 stuck out, though. Josh was working in crisis communication and was able to work with a team who traveled the country, putting on crisis exercises for the military. He was immediately intrigued and quickly accepted an offer to stay on an extra week to assist the simulation team.

When I picked him up, the first thing he said was, “I want to work for this company some day.” It was exciting to hear him talk about the experience and see his passion come out in conversation on the trip home.

A couple of years later, it was time for the next step in Josh’s career. He was getting out of the Army which meant he couldn’t keep the job he’d been at. Though the dream of working for this company was still alive and well, there were no opportunities at the time.

So we moved on to another job. It wasn’t the dream job, but it was another step in the career. A couple of years in, it became clear that the time to keep moving was near.

Remember Jen?

One random Friday evening, Jen called Josh out of the blue. Unbeknownst to us, Jen was also drawn to the company and was working for them already. “Hey, are you interested in applying for this open position? I think you’re a perfect fit.”

Yes. Definitely yes.

Application and interview over, we signed the contract and were bound for Texas. Everything was working out. The job that was once just a dream is actually happening.

We packed up the UHAUL and made the trip south to San Antonio. We dropped the kids off at the grandparents in Arkansas, and Josh and I journeyed toward our new home in search of an apartment.

We were getting gas 30 minutes outside of San Antonio when Josh got a call from a very somber CEO. The job fell through. There was nothing in San Antonio.

Now what?

There was still hope the job would pan out, so we unpacked the UHAUL into storage in San Antonio and took the train back to Josh’s parents’ house in Arkansas. Odd as it may seem, my in-laws happened to have a vacant rental house down the street, so we moved in.

Days turned to weeks turned to months, and the job prospect grew slimmer and slimmer. We made the tough call to go to San Antonio, rent a UHAUL, and move all of our stuff to Arkansas.

Without a strong job market in Arkansas, we decided to move to my parents’ basement north of Minneapolis. So we packed the UHAUL again and moved everything into storage in Minnesota.

Less than a week after we moved into the basement, Josh got another offer with the company—a remote position that wasn’t a contract position as the first opportunity had been. It was a real, full-time position working directly for the company. We accepted quickly, and plotted where we’d go.

Kansas City had always stood out to us. It was in between Minnesota and Arkansas and Josh has some family there. It made sense. Nearly 5 months after our nomadic journey began, we moved to KC and finally had an address again. Soon after, we had a church family again. Friends again.

So what?

I don’t tell this story to complain. There is no doubt that there were dark days. A lot of tears, questions, and sleepless nights were involved. But through it all, God was never surprised. He had the entire journey planned out for us.

Looking back, there was so much good that came from the experience. Our boys are still best friends, and that wouldn’t have happened quite so much if they didn’t ONLY have each other for several months. They also were able to build close relationships with both sets of grandparents. They wouldn’t have that if we weren’t nomads for a season.

Our marriage grew so much over those months. We learned to communicate our emotions because we were going through a very difficult time without close support of other friends. Our trust in one another flourished in that time of instability.

It has also given us a perspective on God’s providence. No matter where we are—God is right along side us. No matter how much we think we need to be in control—God’s got us covered. So many realities that were previously insincere comments to friends suddenly became real.

“I’ll be praying for you,” and “God understands your struggles,” became genuine promises I could offer friends. I wouldn’t have that intimate perspective had I not gone through the valley.

Every day we each face our own valleys. Maybe you won’t move your family across the country to a job that doesn’t exist—I hope you don’t. But, even if you do, God isn’t surprised. We don’t need to fear being looked over by a loving God. He was—and is—there for us.

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