A Punch in the Gut

How the Holy Spirit finally got our attention.

It was a fate-filled Thursday, at the end of August 2021 when, over the course of that day, we went from telling our parents “We are thinking about moving to Tennessee” to deciding “We need to get out of California as soon as possible.”

Sudden and dramatic. That’s kind of how it happens when the Spirit smacks you across the head and you get the wake-up you need to move from the comfortable to the uncomfortable.

California was home for us. And though we spent over 20 years moving with the military due to my husband’s service, we always found ourselves back in San Diego. Back home. This latest time, we were settled in the home I grew up in, at a church we loved, with homeschool friends that cannot be found anywhere else. This little treasure of a community has not been matched anywhere else in our many moves. It was and is hard to leave this behind.

But this was still in California and in the last eighteen months my state had led the way in lockdowns and mandates. Our governor had taken away all manner of freedoms under the guise of safety. Even our county supervisors were exerting power and influence that did not belong to them. Many families we knew had already made the choice to relocate to other states. But not us. We didn’t see a reason to leave. Until we did…

Thursday afternoon while visiting with my parents, I let them know that we were thinking about moving to Tennessee at some point in the future, but we had no plans to sell our house. I just wanted to plant the seed, so that when we eventually made the move they would not be surprised. We lived about an hour away from my parents in California. My husbands folks were in Tennessee.

That same Thursday evening as my husband was talking to his parents in Tennesse, letting them know that we were looking into moving there in the future, I glanced at my social media feed. I saw a post that gave me a gut punch, took my breath away, and made my blood rise. Yes, it was that visceral. Our governor and state legislature were working on passing laws to further limit our freedoms. The conspiracy theory of vaccination passports was quickly becoming conspiracy fact. I showed my husband the news headline that got me fired up and within minutes we decided it was time to move. Right now.

Time to sell the house I grew up in. The house with no mortgage and unbelievably low property tax. Time to sell the house I said I would never sell. The home I had known since I was a year old.

That news headline provided the gut-punch I needed, the kick-in-the-pants to get us moving, but it wasn’t just that headline that sent us to a state with more freedoms and a life of more self-reliance. You see, our president also declared that all government contractors supporting the military would need to give up their medical freedom to stay employed. And that those employees who would not be coerced would soon find themselves unemployed. The deadline: December 8th. My husband’s steady paycheck may soon not be so steady.

It was time to get uncomfortable. Take a leap. Time to

Trust in God and His Providence.

It was time to trust. In a big way.

So, we tapped into a dream that I have had for many years: raising the healthiest food possible and living in tune with the land and the seasons. We decided now is the time. The time to find some land of our own, in a state that values freedom over supposed safety. Now is the time to leave the anonymity of the big city and connect with a smaller community. Time to raise our own food in the best way possible.

Friday morning, the next day, I called my realtor and began the process of putting our house on the market. The house I told myself I would never sell. The one that had been a part of my life for over 50 years.

The whirlwind began. Selling a home. Buying a homestead. Telling friends and family our plans. Explaining that we are seeking to

Do God’s Will

in all of this. That we believe this is God’s plan for us.

You see, God has a sense of humor. When I say “no” to something, God chuckles and says, “we’ll see.” When the Navy moved us from San Diego to Virginia in 2013, we said we would never come back to California. In 2017, we chose to move back to San Diego – and it was the right place at the right time. When, this past summer, I made a list of possible states for relocation, Tennessee was not on it. Tennessee was not on our list…until it was. A little voice inside told me to add it. And when we finally put it on the list of possible places to move, things began to snowball. My husband and I allowed our thoughts to move in that direction. We knocked on that door. Soon after, I got my gut-punch. And before we knew it, we were moving to Tennessee.

God has a way of opening doors. But we need to knock on the doors. We need to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And sometimes we need a punch in the gut.

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