A week ago today we were somewhere between Des Moines and Paducah, Kentucky. A caravan of one huge yellow truck, 2 Toyota Camrys and a minivan. The first 3 hours were spent trying to stay together in thick fog. At one point we were separated for about 45 minutes. We finally figured out that a little space between us was a much easier way to travel and I spent most of the rest of the trip looking in my rearview mirror trying to see if the big yellow truck was still back there somewhere.
Since I was the lead vehicle, with the navigation system, I was in charge of making the decisions about stopping and route changes. I never expected this job to be so stressful! It’s very difficult to lead into unknown territory and know that whatever decision you make, it had better be able to accommodate a truck pulling a trailer.
Some of the time I had a passenger. When I was alone, I found myself having some wonderful conversations with God. I was able to spend hours expressing my gratitude for all the incredible things He had done for us to make this trip easier. Some of those things were related to lessons learned while packing the truck.
On the day we packed, we had a couple of hired movers who were experts at loading the truck. They expressed their concern at the beginning that there might not be enough room. All the expertise in the world didn’t give them the ability to load more stuff than I should have taken. We ended up having to rent a trailer to pull behind the truck and that forced us to drive the car we were planning to tow. This meant that all 4 drivers had to drive the whole time with no relief. The relational stress this caused made me realize that my attachment to my stuff had now caused problems for the people I loved. While I was willing to take full responsibility for this, it was too late to turn back so we headed out and tried to make the best of it. I am blessed to have a family who forgives and moves on.
We were very blessed on the entire trip. After negotiating the fog for the first morning, things cleared up. The list of things I was thankful for grew by the hour. No rain, no snow, no bright sunshine that would make it more difficult to drive. No accidents and very little construction. Great hotel rooms, good meals, no mechanical issues. We all stayed awake. That was a miracle in itself. I was able to drive 30 hours in 3 days and wasn’t really sleepy once. I felt God sustaining me every minute. The only thing I had to deal with was that I was wearing out my voice telling God how grateful I was and singing his praises with the worship music on the radio, much to Alex’s frustration! It’s a good think he had headphones and the opportunity to ride with someone else once in a while.
We finally arrived in the middle of the afternoon on the third day. But it still wasn’t time to rest. We still had to unload the things we would need right away. That night well after dark, we were unloading the trailer. Randy took the trailer back the next morning and then we spent the next 2 days unloading the truck. At one point I am convinced that God sent 3 muscular angels to help us unload Randy’s table saw. They just happened to be working in the section of the storage unit where we were unloading our belongings. We were all so glad to see that truck drive away for the last time!
Now we are getting settled in. We are all finding it rather surreal that we have finally arrived. It seemed like the waiting would go on forever. We often look at one another and say, “we live in Florida,” like that will help it to seem more real.
The things I am thankful for today include sleeping in my own bed again and a room where I can find solitude when I need it. I am also thankful for the way my family worked as a team to get things unpacked. We have many adjustments ahead of us but I already have a deep sense of contentment. I am right where I belong for the next chapter of the Maxey Adventure!
Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.