My son and I had dreamed for years of traveling around in an RV and how fun that would be. Sometimes we would even go online and window shop. After my parents passed away and I had a little bit of inheritance left (after we sunk a bunch into our mortgage to lower our payments), I suggested it to my husband. He nixed the idea quick!
When my husband passed away 6 months ago, there was a lot going on. “The business of death” includes a lot of business. When I met with my financial advisor, I immediately put some money aside for an RV – just in case. During this time we were also unsure about what to do about schooling (we’ve always homeschooled). My oldest and I talked about going to public school (spoiler alert: he didn’t) and I told him, “You can go for one year, but only one year because we might travel around the country the following year.” (as if this were normal). “Sounds good,” he said (as if this were normal).
As a family, we started talking about the possibility of traveling the country the following year and everyone was on board. We started planning, discussing and praying about whether or not we should go. You see, the last time I got an itch like this (before I was married), I went without the Lord’s blessing and it worked out horribly. I would NOT go on this trip without CONFIRMATION (from God).
Our family is dealing with more than just the loss of Adam. Our family relationships had been breaking down over the last few years. We were not only having to deal with grieving, but cleaning up our house and fixing our family. We fought constantly and there was a lot of anger in the house (again, this was not just grief).
We’d been praying every night since Adam died because a few weeks before he died, Adam had announced we needed to pray as a family every night and we started to do just that. So since we were praying every night, we asked “Is this trip what you have for us?” or “Let us know if this is your will.” I was not the only one praying, but each one of my kids would pray this (not every night, and not each person). We are not the holiest family, so to me, this seemed very telling. I mean, we were fighting all the time, grieving, plus I had a teenager. But they all wanted to go!
I hadn’t told my counselor about my plans because although she supports me and is helping me a ton, she knows about the fighting and the grief (I mean the real yucky stuff). She also has a better idea of what next year might look like. In the meantime I had started talking to the kids about Disneyland. We talked about taking a trip to Disneyland as a “Pre-trip”, you know a large trip before the real thing. I had told them, we probably could only afford to go for one day and eat crackers out of the car.
I had told the kids (after a few months), that I’d probably still get an RV even if we didn’t travel the country. We had stopped camping a few years ago and this could possibly make travel anywhere easier. I’d been looking at RVs with the layout I wanted (at the price I wanted). They were few and far between and none were local.
At one point there was only one RV that had everything I wanted. “Do I buy now, or later?” I want to get it now, to get used to it, learn how to use it and fix it up. Maybe prices are cheaper now? Maybe they aren’t? I dismissed this RV when I first saw it, mostly because the idea of buying an RV made me anxious (this isn’t a small purchase, and I’m a new widow!), plus I felt that if God really wanted me to have it, it would still be there later, right?
I continued to check out the RVs available each week and the same RV was always there. After 3 weeks or so I decided I had to at least check it out JUST IN CASE this was the RV that God had picked out for me. Either something was horribly wrong with this RV, or God was holding it for me (and no harm for just checking it out).
One day I got in an argument with one of my kids (again) and I decided that I should stop dreaming. Maybe this was the confirmation I was looking for, maybe I need to get my head out of the clouds and just live life. A sad life without my husband, without anything new and just keep plugging along. I couldn’t expect to get my house and family in order in time to leave on this adventure. I mean, grieving lasts forever I’m told. Things might get better, but nothing will ever be “fixed” completely.
Monday – I went to my counselor and told her I was giving up on my dreams since my family would never be healed by then and explained what I had been thinking about. She told me that we needed to work on my black and white thinking and that the trip was a great idea. I was floored. She was the one person who (cares about me, but…) knows exactly why its NOT a great idea – you know, the intangibles. I felt like this was the first CONFIRMATION
Tuesday – I had an appointment on Friday to check out the RV I was thinking about getting, but needed someone (you know someone who knows anything more than I do about RVs) to go with. I spoke with 2 friends of mine who would check their husbands schedules for me.
I was at a girls night out that night and one woman had spoken about how she takes her kids to Disneyland ever 2 years and they spend the entire 2 years saving up for it. She grew up being told “that costs too much” or “we can’t afford that” and wanted her kids growing up knowing to enjoy life. Interesting, since I had just told my kids we’d be eating crackers in our car at Disneyland.
Right after this I started speaking with another woman, someone I hadn’t spoken to since Adam had died. She’s the kind of person you don’t know very well, or speak to often, but when you do, you feel like you can tell her your deepest darkest secrets). She said that she and her husband had been praying and felt like they should give me a check. I am in a super blessed Christian community so this is much appreciated but not that shocking right now. She gave me the check (which I slipped into my pocket without looking) and said “I was praying about this and I really felt like God was saying this was for your vacation.” Well, that could mean a few different things. I mentioned the trip around the country to her, but my first thought was “Great! This is for Disneyland. We can stay for 2 days and eat actual food. The kids will be happy”
When I got home, I looked at the check and it was for …. A lot of money. My first reaction was “this isn’t for Disneyland, this is for the trip”. The BEST part of the whole thing is that she said she had prayed about it first and felt like the Lord said it was for my vacation. If she hadn’t prefaced that it was for the trip, I would have felt guilty about using the money for the trip. PLUS if she hadn’t mentioned that, I wouldn’t have known for sure that it was CONFIRMATION. Not only was God saying that he’d be ok with the trip, but was telling us to go and financing it for us! .
Wednesday – Now I was looking for a scripture confirmation now that I’d gotten so much other confirmation. I decided not to cheat and look one up. Instead a friend on Facebook posted the scripture:
“So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. ” Ecclesiastes 8:15
(or it could have been one of another dozen verses from Ecclesiastes). I decided – sure that’s my confirmation (this was not the actual scripture confirmation he gave me, but I took it that day)
Thursday – One of my friends’ husbands could not make the meeting on Friday and I hadn’t heard back from the other one (it was an hour away). I called a mobile RV service, but they also weren’t available. I didn’t cancel the meeting. I just hoped it would all work out (just kidding, I stressed about it quite a bit, too).
Friday – Today was the day of seeing the RV. I had emailed them questions that my friends told me to ask, but I had no other knowledge to help me. My other friends husband called me and told me he could go with me (yea!!!!) and we drove to Greeley. He couldn’t find much wrong with it that we couldn’t fix and they even lowered the price for us down to the price I was wanting to pay. We shook hands and I was going to go up the next week to purchase it and pick it up.
As we were driving home, I got my final confirmation – you know, the REAL Bible verse that God wanted me to have and that is “Delight yourself in the Lord and he’ll give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4