One year ago today, we moved 40 miles from our first home north of the city back to our hometown. When Rodger and I met in high school, it was the only high school in town. Now there are three. We got married in the sanctuary at the Methodist church that I grew up in. In two days, it will be five months since we held Kyleigh’s celebration of life in that same sanctuary. Just a short two years ago, we were comfortable where we were living and where we were going to church. We didn’t have plans to change churches and we certainly weren’t planning on moving. Then God called.
We didn’t fully understand it at the time. Out of the blue, we both started feeling the nudge to leave the church that we had been members of for 9 years. Nothing happened to make us mad. We had no clue as to where we wanted to start worshipping. We just knew that God was calling us to step out of our comfort zone and move on. So we did.
A few months later, we felt the nudge again. Only this time, it was to move. Not just move churches, but to move households. Granted, Rodger’s office was talking about changing locations and the two options were further away than where he was already commuting to. But he could have made the drive. He’s done it before. But it was more than that. We both had this overwhelming sense that this was what we were supposed to do. It was hard to explain to most people, except our parents, who were ecstatic at the possibility of their grandchildren living much closer. So we moved. We sold our house in less than three months during a time when houses just weren’t selling. We found a house that fit our family in the neighborhood that we wanted to move to. The owners had already moved, so the house was empty and ready for a new family. We found out we were expecting a baby three days after we sold our house and one day before we bought our new one. We moved four weeks later and it all made sense.
If only we had known how much sense it really did make. Looking back over this last year has put a lot of things into perspective. Every move made sense in our own way. What we didn’t see was God’s plan in all of it, even though every move we made was because of nudges from God himself. It’s hard to explain and even harder to understand. God nudged us to change churches because He knew we wouldn’t even entertain the idea of moving 40 miles away if we were still rooted in our church of over nine years. He nudged us to make that 40 mile move to not only be closer to both our sets of parents, but also to find our way back to the church where I grew up, where we got married. It was a personal challenge for me to start attending this church again, but there’s no doubt in my mind that God placed us there because He knew that’s where we needed to be when Kyleigh was born and died.
On this day, a year after we moved, more memories have been made. My parents are celebrating 40 years of marriage today. Last night, my sister and I surprised them with an anniversary dinner with family and friends. Rodger and I transferred our membership back to the church where we got married in today. The meeting that we attended today for this purpose was moved from a small room in the church to the sanctuary because there were so many people attending the class. When we told the pastor that we couldn’t go in the sanctuary, there were no questions asked. He understood and made alternate arrangements for us so that we could still get the information needed to become a member. You see, we attend worship in another part of the church and have not been back into the sanctuary since Kyleigh’s service. It’s just too much for us right now and he knew that without us even telling him. We ended the evening with an impromptu hot dog roast over the fire pit with some friends who also happen to be neighbors. As the kids were running around in the dark, Oliver abruptly stopped, realizing that his first loose tooth had fallen out. He quickly started crying, not because his tooth fell out, but because he knew that in the dark of the grass, it would be hard to find his tooth. As we looked around, I felt something on the bottom of my foot. I dismissed it, thinking it was a crumb or dirt. Even as I continued to walk around, it didn’t fall off. Then I felt a nudge. Something telling me to pick whatever it was off the bottom of my foot. As I picked my foot up and took it off, I realized that it was Oliver’s tooth. He lost his first tooth.
God nudges us all the time. We often dismiss it and either attribute it to something else or ignore it all together. When we tell others about these nudges from God, we’re labeled as crazy or something alike. People would ask us all the time why we were moving. When our response was, “God told us to,” there weren’t too many follow up questions, just confused looks. Most times, we don’t fully understand what impact these nudges from God have on our lives until later on down the road. It all boils down to this for me: God started nudging us a long time ago to put His plan in action for us to be living in this house, in this town, surrounded by these people in our lives, attending this church, so that we would be in the right place at the right time. I’m so glad we listened to His nudges.