Home Is Where Your Faith and Family Are
A mother, worried that job-related moves have disrupted her kids' lives, sees her prayers answered.
Ginny, my daughter, was beside me as I wove our van through a thick ribbon of traffic. We were having a girls’ day out at the mall in Richmond, Virginia—dress shopping for her senior prom.
“What are you thinking for colors, Gin?” I asked.
“Anything except for black or red,” she said. “I’ve already done that.”
I smiled, remembering all the dresses. All the dances. All the sweet, girl-growing-up milestones. But just as quickly, my smile faded. Even those sweet memories were pocked with a certain amount of guilt.
We had moved three times in four years for my husband Jeff’s job. Ginny and her two younger brothers, Johnny and Alex, had been shuttled across the country.
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Three years earlier Jeff was offered a transfer to Arizona. That time we decided it was best for him to make the move without the kids and me. Though it was hard to be separated, we just couldn’t uproot them again.
Still, there was the guilt. Guilt that I had made them change their lives so many times and that our family wasn’t all living together under one roof. Was that what God really wanted for us? I wondered.
“I’ll treat for lunch today, okay?” Ginny said.
“Thanks, Ginny. Sounds great.” I glanced at my girl—those vivid green eyes, that bright smile. I could hardly believe she’d be graduating soon and going to college.
Jeff had put in for time off to come to Ginny’s graduation, but who knew if a last-minute job emergency would come up? Oh, how I longed for us all to be together again.
Jeff and I go way back. We met in kindergarten in our small Iowa town. Our childhoods were steady and solid, both families rooted in Midwest farming soil. When we married we bought a house a few hours from where we grew up.
Jeff got a job as an engineer at a local aluminum company. We started a family. First came Ginny. Then Johnny. Then Alex. We were so content in our little home with farm fields scalloping our yard.
I was thrilled the kids would grow up the way we had—rooted in the same Midwestern background.
Then, one day, when Ginny was about 12, Jeff came home from work with big news. “Sarah, the company offered me a promotion,” he said.
“Oh, honey! That’s great!” I said.
“Just one thing...”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s...well, it’s in San Antonio.”
I had to have heard him wrong. “As in San Antonio, Texas?”
Jeff nodded. “I know we hadn’t planned on this,” he added. “But I think it could be good. For you, for me and for the kids too. It would expand their horizons.”
Jeff and I spent the next few weeks praying about the move. We talked it over forward and backward and prayed some more. The offer was good. In the end, the choice was clear. Lone Star state, here we come!
We packed the kids, dog and goldfish into our van and drove nearly 1,000 miles south to the new house. There, the brown boxes lining the walls made it seem like we were in a crazy cardboard maze.