I have been on a roller coaster for the last two weeks. And I am not a fan of roller coasters.
We invested in a new business venture up in Utah. It has grown quite rapidly and our partner suggested that we to ought kick our involvement up a notch. It feels like the right thing to do, so John has been traveling a great deal up to Utah were the business is centered. Our partner also suggested, wisely, that we ought to consider moving our family to Utah.
This is a development in our lives that caught us a little off guard. We pray continually that we will always have work to do so that we can support our family. Then this opportunity came along. In Utah. I guess we forgot to ask the Lord to keep it local when we were praying for work. In that light, we are trying to keep our feet moving so the Lord can direct our path.
While I wasn't looking for it, a move to Utah started to make sense. It would be nice to live closer to my parents as my kids have never lived near them. It would be nice to have cousins close by. It would be nice to live in a culture where everyone talks about missions, college, and marriage instead of thrill seeking, travel, and hook ups. There are a lot of things about peers and culture that I find appealing about an area with more Mormons.
So we prayed and moved toward the idea as it seemed quite logical.
If we moved, we knew it needed to happen right away so our boys would be able to be in a new school for basketball season. I know this seems like an odd consideration, but we thought a team might provide an instant network of peers as they moved to a new state.
We narrowed our search down to Herriman, Alpine, or South Jordan. My reasoning was that I either wanted to live within walking distance of my parents (South Jordan), or else out on the very edge of the city (Herriman or Alpine). John took the boys to both schools for open gym practices just to see if they had a chance to make the teams. Both coaches said that while they couldn't guarantee a spot to anyone before tryouts, our boys had a solid chance to make the team. So at least we knew that was alright.
We obviously had to tell our kids about our thoughts of moving if we were taking them up to Utah for open gym. In hind sight, I am not sure it was the best move. Although we asked them to keep it confidential, Gabe felt he ought to be able to tell his 'close' friends if we were going to be moving away.
So ya, in about 2 days, the whole ward and a chunk of the school knew we were moving. Having people ask us about it made it all the more real and imminent. All the momentum seemed to point that way. It looked like we really were going to move to Utah, and now that everyone told us how sorry they were that we had to go... well, it kinda makes you think you have to go.
I headed up to Utah with the intention of 1) deciding on a school to attend and 2) find a rental house available immediately for our family to rent as we moved the kids up. I am not sure how this job fell to me, but I was determined to do my best to do what the Lord would have us do and be where He would have us be. John had found a rental house that looked perfect. It was in a good location for a rental, right down to the elementary school boundary. It seemed that both questions were answered by this house. As I was driving into the SL valley, I called to make an appointment to put down a deposit on that rental, when the nice lady let me know they had just rented it. That busted the whole location decision wide open and we were back to step one.
A couple of days ago I had an experience that eliminated Alpine for me (I was visiting a Farmington Seminary class when a student mentioned he had gone to the HS in Alpine and it was not good. I just knew as I heard him that it was not for us.) So it was down to Herriman or Bingham HS. I went to both schools and got transfer paperwork for Gabe (Seth is still in Jr High in Utah). I walked the halls of both schools to try to get a 'feel' for them. I went and visited the Seminary at Herriman and had a totally weird (not good weird) visit there.
I was staying at Kim and Steve's house and I was not a fun houseguest. I literally felt like I might have a heart attack at any moment. My chest was tight and I felt a tremendous amount of pressure as I tried to work through this decision. I tried to explore every option, with the hope that as I went around, when I came to the right spot, the Lord would part the clouds and send a ray of sunshine on the right place. I went and looked at rental houses, I drove up and down the streets of neighborhood, I met with realtors, I called friends of friends to ask for their input. I talked to anyone that I thought might be able to help.
And I prayed.
I knew I had studied this problem out in my mind and had narrowed it down in the most practical way, yet I didn't feel I'd made any progress or seen a clear path to continue down. No matter what I did, I could not manage to feel comfortable with any of the options I was pursuing and I was running out of week. So Saturday morning, I got up early and went to the temple. I knew that if there was a sure way to go, my best chance of seeing it would be in the temple. I figured as I visited there, my mind would clear and I would settle on what to do.
Well, man, was I ever wrong.
I have never sat in a temple session where I have had such a hard time focusing. Not only could I not focus on the session, but I couldn't even seem to think about what I was there for. I thought about everything under the sun, except where I should bring my family. I felt really disappointed, mostly with myself, that I had not been able to concentrate and keep my mind where I thought it should be. After leaving the temple, I still felt flat out awful. My anxiety had not diminished, although my confidence in my ability to discern things spiritually was certainly waning.
I did more work, called more people, visited more homes, and hoped for a miracle. I really needed to know where to move my family and the Lord was not giving me any inklings as to where in the Utah Valley that might be.
So I decided to quit. To go home, and to let it all just lie. And I did.
I drove home very late on Saturday night. John and the kids were all fast asleep. I crawled into bed and didn't even wake up when John left Sunday morning for his early meetings. I was absolutely dreading talking to anyone at church as everyone would be asking where we would be going and I had no good answer. I didn't even want to talk to John. I felt like I had tried so hard but had not accomplished the task I set out to do.
Church was just as painful as I thought it would be. The Bishop came up to me after Sac Mtg and told me that he was having a hard time thinking about John leaving. He told me (somewhat jokingly) that he hadn't been able to decide on another councilor (John is in the bishopric) and that he wasn't sure we were supposed to move. I looked up at him (I had been avoiding eye contact with everyone by this time), looked right into his eyes and said that I wasn't sure we were supposed to move either. I probably freaked him out with my frustrated tone, as he was just trying to be nice. But I am such a brat that I just gave a weak smile and walked out into the hall.
I felt true anguish. I did not know how to proceed. It was not pleasant.
Finally, finally, after feeling literally ill, I decided that this must be my answer. I had done enough legwork and knee work (praying) to feel confident that it wasn't a matter of me looking harder until I discovered the right answer. I decided that the feelings I had, after all I could do, were the answer.
Now I just had to break the news to John. He had late meetings and didn't get home until after dark. Before he could come in, I went out to the car and hopped in the passenger seat. I smiled and calmly told him that I had finally made a decision (he had heard me moan and fret all week on the phone as I called to update him often). I told him that he would just have to move to Utah alone, because the kids and I weren't going. I told him how horrible I had felt and about the temple and the Bishop and...you get the idea. He patiently listened (typical ;)) before he smiled, leaned over to hug me, and told me that he was so glad that I felt that way, because he too had felt terrible all week while I was up looking around.
I pushed out of our awkward in-the-front-seats-of-the-car-hug. I gave him my maddest look and asked how he could have just let me flounder around up in Utah when he didn't feel good about it in the first place?!!! He just smiled at me and told me that he knew I had to have my own answer or I would have constantly second guessed his.
Dang it. He was so right.
We went in and immediately called a little family council. The kids gathered around and when we announced that we weren't going to move, there was a mixed reaction. Gabe fist pumped and said, "YES!", Seth and Elise moaned a little (they were really warming up to the idea), and Jackson and Jebb flat out whined their disapproval (they were apparently super excited to live near my family). We knelt in family prayer and after John was done, we excused everyone from our room. John then told me that he had had a spiritual witness while saying the prayer that he knew we were making the right choice and the Lord wanted us here in Durango for now. I just smiled and said, "Good, because I am not moving."