California Here We Come!


In 2008, our family moved from Wisconsin to northern California for my husband Mark to take a new job with a wonderful company. The opportunity came out of left field for us; Mark had applied and interviewed for a position that would have kept us in Wisconsin; it came down to him and an internal candidate.

The company felt they needed to go with the other guy for loyalty sake – something we fully appreciated. However, Mark had impressed them through the interview process and they said they would find him a job – if we were willing to move out to corporate – something definitely not on our radar screen! By God’s grace, they granted us sufficient time to mull this incredible opportunity over.

Every step of the way, I remember feeling like no matter what concern I would bring to God’s attention, he would answer with a resounding “Go.”

Our first big area of concern was what would it be like to raise a family in a coastal area with no yards? That prayer was answered in a phone call inviting Mark and I to take a trip out to the area for a few days to see if we “could picture raising our family there”. Remarkable! So we flew out – marveling at how God was orchestrating the details for us.

The company hired a tour guide to drive us around. On the morning of the 3rd day, both feeling quite discouraged because everything we had seen thus far wasn’t very ‘family friendly’, we prayed over our hotel breakfast “Lord, you know our hearts, we really were hoping to be able to take this job, but everything we have seen isn’t the kind of life we ever pictured for raising our kids. We only have these few hours left Lord, before we get on that plane this afternoon. If you want this for us, please show us something we can envision for our family.”

Our guide walked into the lobby, ready to go. Mark, who had been up most of the night researching local real estate, showed him his laptop and asked him “where would we find a house like this one?” It was a pretty house, within our price range, showing a bit of green grass around it.

He looked at it, shrugged his shoulders and said “hmm, East Bay – I’ve never heard of that – well, let’s put it in my GPS and find out.”

On our 40-minute drive out of the city, we went through a tunnel – and emerged on the other side to the sight of green, rolling hills! There were parks and whole neighborhoods with grassy yards and lots of children playing and riding bikes!

Our guide commented “Wow – I’ve lived in the Bay area for over 15 years and never knew any of this was here!” Mark and I got on the plane that afternoon elated over the possibilities!

We felt like God was directing our path in such specific ways, and, after that, we were out of excuses; so we accepted the golden opportunity with excitement, being sure to include our kids in all that God was doing to help us move forward.

Still, another issue was the pay – the job, though certainly more than he had been making, wouldn’t fully cover the additional costs of living in the more expensive state. I tentatively brought this to the Lord in prayer; a couple days later, the man who would be Mark’s new boss called him saying, “I need to let you know that you won’t be reporting to me – I gave my notice to follow a dream of opening my own small business. So you’ll report to Carol until she fills the position.” A few days later, that call was followed by one from Carol, “Mark, I’ve been looking over your resume, and you really have more skills and experience than the job you were considering so I’d like to offer you his old job instead. It comes with more pay, of course.”

Whoa Lord…crazy right??

By now we knew without question that we needed to do this – to fully put ourselves out there, trusting that God would take care of us. How could we instruct our precious kids that following and trusting God in all things is the right way to live if we weren’t willing to follow that truth ourselves?

No, we didn’t know anyone out there – but God did!

No, we weren’t sure where exactly we would go to church or school or any of those things – but God did!

We were excited to test His full sufficiency – and the only way to do that was to remove ourselves from all we had ever known for forty years of life, and JUMP!

It was SO scary, but I didn’t want our comfort zone to be the dividing barrier between really truly relying on God for everything and just believing in it as a nice theory. What more could God show us if only we went willingly, trusting Him? And so, we decided to go to lands unknown (well, by us at least)

Isaiah 41:10 tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Are there areas in your life that you don’t want to relinquish to God? What might be holding you back from letting go and letting God take control? Let’s talk…you know – between friends.




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