As I have been looking through my “started” list of articles, I found this one that was originally started on December 9, 2018–a year and a half ago. We’ve been in Williston six months now, but I’ll do a another post for that update. ~Tracy

One year ago today I woke up with my right side going numb.  Eventually even my scalp was numb from the center of my head all the way down on the right side, like when you get a shiver and it feels like your scalp shrinks. It was weird, annoying, and starting to get creepy because a similar thing had happened two years before on the left side.  As my readers know, this led to the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on December 28, 2017.

A year.  A lot can happen in a year.

After my diagnosis Nolan and I decided we would move the family to Williston; we are finally doing that this week.  We have a buyer for our house–the home we’ve had for the last fifteen years and the place we’ve raised our children.  Although we thought (and hoped) it would sell sooner, we’ve actually needed this whole year to adjust to the reality of moving, of letting go, of trusting that this next step is the will of God.   It’s a good thing we are convinced this is His will because this move is going to be quite the change!

Our home since August 2004

We live a mile and a half (technically only 1/2 mile from the northern edge) from a town of 2000 people on three acres. We have a chicken coop, a little barn, a small shed, and a half-finished guesthouse (something we’ve dreamed of since staying in Uncle Don and Aunt Kathy’s guesthouse in Washington years ago).  We’ve raised chickens and pigs, had dogs, cats, and rabbits for pets, and cared for bottle lambs some years.  We’ve had a huge garden that people would drive past just to look at how it was coming along.  Over the years we’ve added trees and bushes to block wind, absorb excess water, provide food, and just for their beauty.

This house is where our six children have most of their memories and, for the youngest three, all of them.  Fort-building (both inside and outside), wagon rides, sledding, mattress sliding on the stairs, sword fights, real arguments, dolls, hammocks, zip line riding, biking, frisbee, and star tipping. There have been the homeschooling ups and downs. They’ve all taken piano lessons (and guitar for a couple), participated in Missoula Children’s Theater, worked part-time jobs, and been active in church.

For most of these years, we’ve had the Vandal family living across the road and the kids have met at the end of their long drive in the spring to play in the water-filled ditches. Vandal’s have been like cousins and the fun the kids have had over the years are sweet memories. The boys worked hard to make a trail through the slough and used it year-round for bikes, sleds, four-wheelers, and anything else they could think up. They would pull old mattresses (and once a couch!) behind the snowmobile! I’m sure I’ll hear some stories years from now that were the, “Don’t tell Mom!” ones.

It’s been hard to leave all that behind and move to what I encouragingly told the kids, “It’s like the Tardis–it’s bigger on the inside!” We’ve gone from three acres to a postage stamp yard with neighbors who share walls with us. It’s been a big change and we’re learning a lot about ourselves. And, really, that’s what happens when life has to change–we change and discover things about ourselves we never knew. But we know that, as James reassures us in 1:2:

My brothers and sisters,[b] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

We are trusting, and are sure, that this move will do just that for each of us. I look forward to the time when we’re able to look back and see, as God is able to see clearly now, that this move was a blessing to all of us, even through the tears.

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