For years we tried to move back to Texas.
Digression: I love you, my sweet Lone Star state, what with your awesome, chops-bustin' people and your biggy biggness and your super fine economy. You have my alma mater (and high school, too. Yes, east Dallas is how I roll) and the best Mexican food this side of Mexico (go to Danal's, eat their salsa, and think of me). You know how they say that in America you feel like you can do and be anything? Texas is like America times a thousand. If you are a fan of America, you won't be able to not love the way Texas and Texans make you feel. End digression.
We looked for jobs and we looked at real-estate and we asked our friends about neighborhoods and schools, and it just never came together. Now listen- God is not going to call you up or send you an email ('cause if he did, some people might get jealous and then he'd be all "Hold on nature and the universe, I'll be right there...just gotta send out 7 bajillion emails real quick"). If you are doing your best and trying your hardest and things are just. not. coming. together. Then stop. Stop. That is God's way of telling you that your plan is not His plan, and guess whose plan always wins? Well, yes, usually mine, but the right answer here is: His. So that's where we found ourselves just a little over a year ago. Asking each other and God what we ought to do instead since Texas (my sweet) was just not working out and BLAM: Michigan. Everywhere I turned: Michigan. Everything I read: Michigan. Every time I saw my family on facebook: Michigan. Okay fine, yeah, that is a big part of all this, the whole Huge-and-awesome-family thing, but the funny (not haha) part is that we never even took that into consideration until Michigan was already haunting us in our dreams.
For a while, I was like a kid who pretends she doesn't understand the instructions because she doesn't want to do the task (yeah, y'all know what I'm talkin' about!). "Too bad Michigan sucks" I even said one day and Tommy (you'll notice he's a little more level-headed than I am. In general. Except for the Donkey thing.) replied "Why? Why does it suck?" And of course, I didn't have an answer for him. Because Michigan doesn't suck. I just didn't know what the frap I was talking about. And the more I learned and did, the clearer our path became. The faster the pieces fell into place. I grew to love this state's 19 million acres of forests and over 3,000 miles of coastline, her abundant fresh water and dramatic seasons. And I can honestly say that from the day the word "Michigan" first crossed our lips to the day we closed on our actual house in actual Michigan that we bought off the internet for $27,000, approximately six months had passed. Just six months! Yes, I am still recovering from the whiplash.
I like to call them "signs". Tommy likes to say "providential". Whatever you want to call them, we get them all the time, as if He knows that we still need some reassurance every now and then. Like when we found out that the person who owns all the land around our property goes to our church. And has a daughter in the same grade in the same school as our oldest daughter. Who is also in the same CCD class and on the same Odyssey of the Mind team. Beautiful, empty land all around us that happens to be owned by a person we would have certainly become friends with anyway. These kinds of things have been happening almost constantly on this journey, letting us know that we are on the right path. A path we could never have imagined before, but one that feels so right now.