A year ago our family vacationed in Branson, Missouri. Frankly, I didn’t want to go. In my mind, it was a bunch of old people watching B-rated shows. Nearly 20 years ago I lived only a couple hours from Branson and had taken a few people there to visit. It didn’t impress me and I never voluntarily visited the city.
So when my husband offered to take over the family timeshare in Branson – I was less than thrilled.
But then we arrived for our week at the timeshare which was along Table Rock Lake. It was beautiful, relaxing, and as soon as I stepped out of the car, my first thought was, “I’m home.”
What a strange thought!
I’ve been a Colorado Girl my entire life. A short stint in Arkansas after high school was wonderful but then I headed back to Colorado – the mountains (and family) calling me back. I never imagined I’d be living in Missouri – especially Branson!
Missouri is the last place I thought I’d ever move to. In fact, it wasn’t even on the radar. I mean, Alaska had more of a possibility than Missouri.
Yet here I am.
Exactly one year later I’m standing on the deck of my new house taking in the beautiful view of Table Rock Lake.
UPROOTING A BUSINESS & LIFE.
For the last year, it’s been a mixture of excitement, preparation, and saying goodbyes. Leaving Colorado was relatively easy. By the time our family actually pulled away from Colorado, there wasn’t a sense of grief. Rather, I had a sense of relief.
I was surprised I didn’t feel sad at leaving such a huge part of my life behind. Honestly, I was excited and eager to see what God had for me in Missouri.
But I didn’t prepare to arrive.
Saying hello to Missouri has been a more difficult adjustment. Reality hit as I lost the view of the mountains in my rear view mirror. Id’ be lying if I didn’t think about turning the car around and go right back to Colorado as we drove through Kansas City. That was the first moment a knot tightened up in my stomach and I thought, “Oh man, what did we just do?!”
Even more strange was when I changed my address on everything from Colorado to Missouri. (Honestly, there’s something really cool about being from Colorado. #justsayin)
It’s easy to get into doubt when making major changes.
Not only had we completely uprooted our personal lives, but both businesses also came to a screeching halt in the process. But now I was taking my business to a place where I am unknown. It’s like watching your campfire fizzle out and you don’t have any kindling to restart it. I dread the thought of having to restart stalled businesses…I’d rather go bury my head in the sand.
There wasn’t anyone here to greet us as we pulled into the city limits of Branson and our arrival didn’t start on a good note. We were a couple of weeks out of taking possession of our house and our temporary accommodations were, well, let’s say “less than ideal”.
We were living in a metal shed in the backwoods of Missouri with no internet, no friends, no connections and feeling very out of place and lost.
Panera became my morning ritual so I could cram a couple of hours of computer time.
After a long, less-than-pleasant house-buying experience and two weeks crammed into a tiny shed that smelled funny, we finally closed on our home June 10.
Our days are still spent looking for everything and taking daily trips to Walmart to replace items we can’t seem to find. Our entire lives are in boxes and suitcases and it’s a constant treasure hunt for even the basic of things.
So after 72 days of waiting to close on a house and…
- two months living in separate states
- two months living out of suitcases
- my son losing his wallet in Estes Park (and we didn’t realize it until we were in Eastern Colorado)
- losing all my makeup and having to spend $$$ I wasn’t planning on.
- my son, dog, and I hunkered down in Walmart after experiencing our first tornado warning.
- water spilling on my son’s computer on our 2nd day in town
- paying $250 to fix a computer.
- getting more bug bites in the first week than I had in 20 years in Colorado
- taking the dog to the vet because he’s allergic to something out here
- losing keys to the car, computer chargers, glasses, phones, and our minds.
- spending countless hours opening bank accounts, utilities, updating addresses
…we’re finally feeling like the crazy is slowing down and we can focus on becoming a part of a community.
Initially, it was easy to think that maybe we’d made a mistake and I’m still tempted to panic at the thought of trying to restart my business.
But deep in my spirit, I am reminded that I’m here for a reason. Difficult circumstances don’t reflect God’s will. Instead, circumstances are usually tests – whether we will stick with something in the midst of difficulty.
The Father has called me to Missouri. I have no idea why – yet. But as difficult and uncomfortable our arriving has been, I’d rather be right where God wants me than trying to live life my own way.
So I know it’s going to be good. We’re starting to meet people, our neighbors are delightful, one day there will be an end to renovations and all the boxes and suitcases will eventually be empty.
Soon it will feel like home. And soon, I’ll have my businesses up and running again.
But most of all, there’s nothing like knowing for certain that you are in a place that God has called you to, which means I’m in the very best place I could ever be.