When I was introduced to my future husband in 2012, the Lord nearly had to hit me over the head with the proverbial 2×4. At 47, I had turned down several opportunities to tie the knot, but this one was different, and I knew it. I will give the short version here! It was so obvious that the Lord was “in it” that I literally felt that God was dragging me forward at what I considered break neck speed. Don’t get me wrong, I was most definitely not entirely unwilling! The problem was the location of my future husband. I was living in Kentucky, he was living in his native North Dakota, where his then 15 year old daughter was still attending high school. He wanted to stay there at least until she graduated from high school, after which he agreed that we could move back to Kentucky.
Though I was born in Georgia and raised in Alabama, my tap root didn’t seem to develop until I hit the Bluegrass. I had lived in Kentucky for a little over 9 years before my future husband came into the picture, and something about the area and people had deeply etched themselves into my heart. It was a struggle to leave and move north to the prairie. But love for Jesus, Who was so obviously directing me to do so, as well as love for my husband-to-be overruled my struggle, so off I went.
Getting my things to North Dakota was an obstacle to be overcome! My independent plan was to rent a U-haul, load my things, drive to North Dakota and stash everything in my fiance’s garage, then fly back to Kentucky. When Kalon said no, he didn’t want me to do that, I could literally feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I was quite capable of handling this! After all, I’d lived 47 years and done quite well on my own! The tension between us was ameliorated when my “future” said to me, “I know you can handle this, but I am concerned for you. A single lady out on the road in a U-haul? Guys will be watching and I want you to be safe!” Melt…Really?
Kalon had other plans to move my things: we would marry on Friday, spend the Sabbath together, then on Sunday morning we would load the U-haul, and I would follow him in my car–three days–on my honeymoon–back to North Dakota. Nope! “Sweetheart, we really need to pray about this”, I said. “I don’t want to spend my honeymoon watching your taillights as I drive three days in separate vehicles!” So we prayed…and God intervened.
I received an email from a friend about a young man who “happened” to be from Fargo, North Dakota and was in Kentucky working with a ministry near where I was living. This young man “happened” to need a ride to his brother’s wedding in Fargo. I phoned him and asked him if he would be willing to drive a U-haul truck to Bismarck for me. He was elated, I was ecstatic! No tail-light honeymoon!
I knew no one in North Dakota when we landed, and my new husband had to go back to work just a few days after our wedding. Very shortly after we married Kalon was promoted at work and ended up traveling more, so the first two years of our marriage he was out of town sometimes 3 or even 4 days a week. Those were some very lonely days, but I learned to talk to Jesus more! We spent about 3 1/2 years in North Dakota, and there were, of course, hard times and good times. I cherish some great friends and so many memories. The ministry has growing and so have I!
Shortly after our wedding, and through some amazing providences, we were able to purchase a double wide and put it out on a working cattle ranch just north of Bismarck. We worked as property care-takers in exchange for lot rent. It was perfect! Horses, cows, dogs, a huge garden! But after two years, we sensed the land lord was really admiring what we had done in the yard and he even hinted at building right where our home was sitting. Sensing this, we put our lovely double wide mobile home on the market summer of 2014 and with the oil boom in North Dakota, I expected it to sell as soon as I finished driving the nail in the “for sale” sign by the road. Boy was I in for a surprise!
In September of 2014, my husband and I both had the privilege of attending Mamon Wilson’s Medical Missionary training down in Tennessee. I full well expected our home would sell and we would return to pack up and move. Instead, while we were at school, we got a call from the land lord. We had six months to get the home off the ranch because he would begin building his 6,000 square foot home where ours was sitting. I am eternally grateful he gave us six months!
Since our home wasn’t selling, and the oil boom and housing market were slowing, we had no option but to move our home into town. I was devastated! (I did live in town for a year after I graduated from high school. Nearly drove me nuts!) So, in December 2014 we had to move to a mobile home park! I added many tears to my bottle in heaven over that. The men weren’t even finished setting the home up before I was in the front yard with a hammer and nail, fixing the “for sale” sign to a stake that had been driven into the ground before it had frozen. I was determined to do all in my power to sell that house, and FAST!
June 2015 rolled around, and my step-daughter graduated from high school. My anticipation was high! It was time! Now I could go home to Kentucky!! But our mobile home wasn’t selling. And on top of that, my husband was talking about moving to Montana, as he had off and on through the year our home had been on the market. But that was even farther from my family and from Kentucky, and I wanted to go where it wasn’t so bitterly cold.
In August 2015, I flew to Brooklyn to care for a cancer patient and in my absence, my husband listed with a real-estate agent. ” NOW! Now we are getting somewhere!”, I thought. Don’t get me wrong, we were praying. We prayed earnestly that the Lord would sell our home. Every day we prayed! For a year and a half we prayed! And for a year and a half we talked about Montana vs. Kentucky. Another struggle for a very independent woman! But after two months with the real estate agent, she got not one call on our home and asked if we wanted out of the contract. We opted out.
Then it happened! October 2015 we had a buyer! I was beyond elated!! We went under contract, had earnest money and were finally going to sell our home. Since I hadn’t been home for Thanksgiving in many, many years, we decided to take a break and drive down to Alabama to be with my family. Not wanting to come back to packing, we did as much as we could before we left. We sold our washer and dryer and many other items, put nearly everything into storage, leaving only our bed and some clothes and odd and end stuff. Then off we went to be with family.
It was wonderful! The fellowship with church family and my family was the best it had ever been, and Kalon and I left Alabama with full hearts. While driving back north, we got a call from the buyers of our home, and through tragic and very unique circumstances, they were not going to be able to follow through with the purchase of our home. We were dumbfounded! But then we remembered that even this had passed through our Father’s hands. We chose to praise Him, and He lifted the shadows. We actually made the trip back peacefully, though perplexed.
The moment we walked into our nearly empty home and reality hit, I began to struggle. We had to go to storage to get a pot or two so we could at least boil water. I spent that day sorting through our storage unit a bit more than slightly depressed. By evening I had made myself quite miserable, when my phone rang with a call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was someone telling me of a friend of mine who was in desperate straits and was calling for our help. My friend was dead drunk and told those around her that the only ones who could help her was my husband and I. We agreed to come over the next morning.
We arrived at the address we had been given to find my friend completely intoxicated. We loaded her and a few of her things into our Jeep and drove her to our home. Since everything was in storage, we had to make a pallet for her on the floor of the guest room. God enabled us to help our friend, Judy Meier, and her testimony is on our Youtube channel and here on our web page. It is called, “Jesus Fights My Battles”, with a follow up entitled “Wilt Thou be Made Whole?”. God intervened in this dear lady’s life, and it was completely amazing to watch Him work. Had we sold the home, we would not have been able to help our friend.
Two weeks after we took Judy into our home, we ran into another friend in a store. His son might be interested in our home! After showing the home so many times, and after the latest disappointment, I didn’t get my hopes up too much. But they came and looked at it, and bought it! Just like that, it was done! And since we still had so much already in storage, we were out in a week after the sale. Thankfully, another friend of mine was out of town and her home sat empty, so we moved there until we figured out which end was up.
Montana! “Kentucky is too hot and has snakes!”, Kalon would say. He wanted to go to Montana to find a rental. By this time and many, many conversations and tears and private struggles of my own, I had come to accept the fact that I would not be moving south, but west. I chose to accept it, and believed God could make me happy even there. After all, it is beautiful there!
We went out to Western Montana for a week, found a rental in the country (we were given a verbal acceptance), and my husband put in about a dozen job applications. We would move there and begin a land search. On the drive home, we got a call from the prospective land lord: we had been rejected! I have to say, that was a shock because she’d been so positive while we were there. No explanation! Just “you’ve been rejected”. We drove on in silence for some time, not knowing what to do, and too much in shock to discuss it at first. We were planning to go back to North Dakota, pack our things, and head West! Now what? The lady had been so positive we didn’t even consider any other rentals, and now we were over half way back to North Dakota!
The next morning we also began to realize that most of the jobs for which Kalon had applied required Sabbath work. All the doors seemed to be slamming shut. And that’s when I got a text! I got a text from a friend who we had asked to join us in Montana, asking us to join him…in Kentucky. I think I held my breath and my heart was pounding as I read the text to my husband. It was later that day when my sweetheart turned to me and said, “Looks like the Lord is opening the doors to Kentucky.” I waited until I left the room to squeal and jump up and down.
I am writing this as I sit in the most beautiful little valley in Kentucky, in a little rental home with three acres and an fenced back yard. And my husband really, really likes it here. We are looking for land on which to establish our ministry…in the Bluegrass. This was certainly a test of my submission as a wife, and as a Christian. I cannot say I passed this test with flying colors and no failures. All I can say is, He makes all things beautiful, in HIS time.