It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to travel as much as possible – exploring our country and beyond. I had planned to live in an RV for at least a year after getting married in my dream life (providing I found someone to marry who was as crazy and adventurous as I am), checking out all the states before deciding which one we would claim and where to put roots down. Obviously life happens differently than we plan most of time, and this just wasn’t possible in the life I was currently living when we got married.
But, as I shared with you over these past several posts, grief changes you. Loss makes you realize what’s most important and what can kick rocks. And so, I pitched it to my husband.,, Let’s simplify completely when the oldest graduates. Let’s get rid of anything tying us down and stressing us out – businesses, possessions, people… yep, I said it, even some people had to go. Let’s move into an RV and travel the country for a while. Let’s spend quality time together, heal, explore, rest… It’s the perfect time to do it, as we only have a 2 year old in the home now, and we wouldn’t have to make any decisions about school for a while.
So, we started to think about it more… how could this work? Was this really possible? What kind of RV did we want? How were we going to be able to afford it? Would we get one that required a truck to pull it? If so, how would we afford a reliable truck in addition to the camper? But we kept planning, talking about what we’d do with our free time, what we’d like to see, and how that would change our lives. We bought a huge map of the US and put it on our living room wall. We started watching videos about National Parks. We researched campers, and then we went out and looked at some to get a better idea of what we would need, but we were not taking it too seriously at this point.
And then, something crazy happened. A dealership in our tiny town had a motorhome for sale (they didn’t even sell campers at this time), and it was the same dealership we bought our family car at a year before. So, we went and checked it out. It wasn’t what I had decided would be our best option, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity that seemed like it was meant to be to at least give it a chance. So, we left to think about it for a day or two. If it was truly meant to be and what we were supposed to do, we would know. We weren’t going to force it or fight God anymore with our life choices. We were going to trust Him to guide us. And boy did He make this one easy. We ended up making a crazy offer that they denied, said that’s fine and left to go get ice cream, and before we even got to Dairy Queen, they called and accepted our offer.
We traded our family car straight up for our camper, without any financing. Wait, what?!?! That’s what our family said, too. What are you going to do about a car now? Well, we didn’t know, but we felt with all of our hearts that we didn’t need to worry about it. And sure enough, we didn’t. Shortly after, we sold our motorcycle and used the money to buy an adorable mom wagon. It was perfect for us, it happened to match our RV perfectly, and it was also paid off. I named that car Ramsey (for Dave Ramsey to honor our debt free journey inspired by his work). I will never forget that experience. No car payments, and yet we had exactly what we needed and what we had hoped for at the same time.
It was on our first “big” adventure with that RV to a beautiful beach in Michigan that I decided I was done fighting God for good. I couldn’t believe everything that was happening so perfectly, and although I could have been angry and bitter after losing Prudence, I went the other way. I had been brought back to the church and God in that trial, and one magnificent bright pink sky over the waters in Michigan that night finalized it for me. I felt like God was talking directly to me with that pink sky – the same pink I use as a reminder of Prudence. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, staring into the sky, and I knew my life was never going to be the same. Every sunset from then on would be there for me, to remind me that I’m not alone, and I never would be.