What a transition. I have struggled for the past few months trying to figure out how to close this part of our life and this blog. But because I have struggled...and by that I mean, struggled, with moving to Montana and then a Short 10 months later having to leave and come back to Michigan, struggled with leaving a life that we as a family had dreamed of so long, struggled with the feeling that God led us out to Montana, why would he bring us back so quickly? Struggled with the difference in our Marriage, the bonding closer with the move to Montana, and the strain of making the decision to move back. Struggled with the why did we even go? Struggled with the why we had to leave, Struggled with the preparations to move again, Struggled with the effort to declutter, discard and pair down the few belongings we had brought to Montana, and face going home with even less. Struggled with facing the thought of moving and driving through South Dakota in the winter AGAIN.
So, you get the picture that I had a lot on my mind. I found I was warring against myself. I'll be brutally honest here. I loved living in Montana, I loved the Ranch, I loved the peace and quiet, I loved the people. I was very happy there. I have had the hardest time trying to figure out why Kyle and I could have such different opinions about what we should do. I have had a hard time trying to figure out, why what I thought would be our dream life would be taken away so quickly.
Kyle also had these struggles. We have weighed the decisions we have made heavily. We have prayed over them endlessly. But the answer stayed the same, God brought us out and now it was time to go home.
So, here I am back in Michigan, the trip already feeling like a dream. and settled back into our little, little house. I'm still not exactly sure what the past year has been all about. But, I do know it has brought me to the end of my faith, and at that end I discovered how much deeper the faithfulness of God really is. Yep, I reached the end of my faith, but God has still been faithful. He is the only reason I'm still standing I'm sure.
So, back to the trip home....
First I should say, because I was on such a Spiritual low, from a year of living off the well of faith that had all but run dry. The dreary, snowy day we left did nothing to encourage me. Still as we pulled out on the road, I wearily breathed a prayer of safe travel and by the time we reached Deer Lodge, the sky broke open to a a beautiful blue. And stayed that way pretty much the whole way.
I was so thankful Kyles Dad had come to drive the U-haul, but I think the person that enjoyed him the most was Colton. He was so happy to see his Papa.
We made the trip in an amazing 4 days, 3 nights travel. If you've ever had to drive through South Dakota in winter you would know this is a miracle in itself. And as I have done this more than a few times growing up I cannot begin to express the extreme gratitude I have to God for the clear roads. In all my life have I never seen such nice winter roads in South Dakota.
The trip was mostly uneventful...until we got just wast of Joliet, IL.
There the sky began to darken and and flurries began to fly. I did notice the two IL police officers in the median chatting, but thought we are of no concern to them....I was wrong.
Quite unexpectedly Kyles dad, who was following in the U-haul pulled off to the shoulder. Yep, one of those police officers found our out-of-state U-haul interesting. Thankfully he just gave Ron a warning, but it was enough to shake our nerves that we decided to get off the highway and take a breather.
When we resumed our journey the weather had gotten a little worse. Just as I was about to suggest to Kyle that we take a break, our truck began to fishtail. Immediately there was break lights ahead of us, and by Gods grace an exit available. Kyle, pulled off the highway, followed by Ron, as we looked back we could see the highway had come to a dead halt. As we pulled into the gas station we could see the emergency crews rushing onto the highway.
A shiver went up all our spines I'm sure, and grumpy as I had been about this whole moving business, I could not deny that God was surely guiding our every mile.
Remember those trooper talking back at the median, call me crazy, but what if those were angels? What if the conversations went something like this: "Hey Michael who do you have today?", "Well, Gabe, I've got those Gleasons, oh there they go I better catch them." Or what if God gave the trooper a nudge, "Better check that U-haul, just in case." God bless the troopers obedience. Because the way we figured it, if we hadn't taken that little stop we would have been right in the middle of the accident on the highway or at least stuck on the highway for an hour with two little boys who had been cooped up in a car for HOURS.
So, as we sat in the gas station parking lot, just outside of Chicago, we didn't know what to do...so we did the only thing we knew that worked. We prayed.
All in all it was about 1/2 hour-45minutes before we got underway again. The highway was moving slow but the salt trucks had gone through and the roads were better. Snow flurries swirled around us the rest of the trip. But the roads remained clear and a little patch of sun shone through the clouds most of the way.
Then we left the highway, we were on familiar roads, and before we knew we were home.
Home. Now what?
Well, now we dive back into life, trusting God to lead us again.
"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 a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11