Our closest friends and family are probably not asking themselves this question, but I have found that acquaintances, coworkers, and others in our circles have been asking this a lot.
My husband was born near Madison, WI, and he lived about half his life there in two different parts of the state. He still has family and friends in the state, in addition to lots of fond memories.
In April 2009, while we were still dating, I accompanied my husband to his friend’s wedding up near Milwaukee, and it was my first visit to the state of Wisconsin. I was such an east coast girl that this was actually the furthest west I had even been.
We attended the wedding, then headed towards Madison to meet/visit my husband’s grandparents. I will never forget pulling into their mile long driveway at nearly 1:00 AM to be greeted by a very pleasant, albeit tired, woman.
I will take a short aside here to tell you that a significant part of my decision to marry my husband was based on his family.
No, they are not rich, and no, he is not descended from any fantastic rulers.
My husband’s family is filled with good people. Good accepting, loving people. Even at my tender age of 22, I knew this was a rare thing. I knew marrying into a family of good people would be a blessing later on.
Our visit with my husband’s grandparents was my first introduction to his extended family. I had already fallen in love with him as a man, and grew to really like his parents and sister. Now I could see that this kind of goodness was generational.
As the years passed, my husband and I continued to visit his grandparents with as much regularity as our budget and schedule would allow. With each visit I grew to love them, their farm, and their hometown more and more.
It was our visit in 2012, just before Clara was born, that I felt a familiar tug on my heart that let me know I was standing in a place that would become my home. I had felt that sensation before when standing in what was then my friend’s home that we would later purchase as our own first home. I shared my feelings with my husband, and although he didn’t necessarily share those feelings, he wasn’t disappointed in anyway.
After our visit last summer, my husband finally felt the same feeling I did: that at some point God would call us to live in that specific area of Wisconsin. Being on the same page felt amazing, and so together we prayed diligently about the timing. Since June 2014 we prayed and asked Him when this move would happen and how.
Of course after months and months of praying the thought faded out of our minds a bit, only to resurface a few weeks later. Soon we were only praying about it every once in a while.
Then this spring, God was leading me to pull myself out of many of my commitments outside of the home. I stopped serving in different aspects of ministry at our church, I decided not to continue coordinating finances for our local MOPS group, and I felt God calling me to resign from my part-time job.
This also came right around the time we found out we were expecting our third child. Not having Wisconsin on our minds as much meant we started second guessing our involvement in things, as well as worrying about the health and development of our newest little baby.
It wasn’t long, though, before we started to ask God again “Is it time?”.
The week we both received the same answer was one of the most amazing, uniting moments in our marriage. He told us “Just ask Me”.
And so we did.
I’ll continue with what happened after we “just asked” next time….