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What if...?

Updated: Jan 22, 2019


“Knowing God and knowing self are therefore interdependent. Neither can proceed very far without the other. Both God and self are most fully known in relationship to each other.” David G. Benner


We have been living in Northern California for just over 7 years now. Though we deeply miss our family and friends from Minnesota, it has been a season of incredible growth and opportunity for our family of 6.


We sold everything we owned in Minnesota, except what could fit in the back of a pick-up, small trailer and minivan. Then we headed west. Who knew that such an adventure would be waiting for us in that mid-size town of Redding, California? What we thought would be “next level” and just adding a fabulous layer on top of what we already had built ended up being a season of foundational rebuilding and learning what surrender and trust looks like.


I went back to being a travel RN and working the night shift full-time. Sleeping little during the day and hustling for 12+ hour night shifts. My husband homeschooled our 4 kiddos that first year, so I was the "sugar-mama" which didn't feel so sweet pretty quick. I was exhausted. I missed my family, my friends, my community.


I thought I would step into new friendships immediately. And we did. And they moved. Then we did again. And THEY moved. And then we asked the Lord if WE should move. He said no. So, we kept reaching out and trying to connect. Though after sometime, I realized I was tired. I was tired of being the “drive-thru” and I started deciding to be intentional with just a few. So we were. We kept our circles small and we built our friendships deep. So we thought.


Since moving here, my husband applied and was registered to go to Grad School and Ministry School. Our plan was to leave the “construction world” behind. After several VERY clear God interventions we learned that Matt's heart was to stay in the building field. True North Builders Inc. was born.

I transitioned from the night shift, to a management position.  After sometime, I decided to pursue a real estate license. Soon after starting as a Real Estate Agent I quickly felt the tug at my heart, and a question…”What if?”

What if I could pursue the thing that burns on my heart? What if it was time?

I quickly brushed the thought away and started adding up the numbers as to how many houses I was going to need to sell to stay current on our bills.


But that voice came again, “What if?”


Soon I was feeling anxiety and unrest and I couldn’t help but heed the prompting to "Come away." So I met with my new business partner and explained that I may be losing my mind, but I needed to pull way back. She looked at me kindly, but confused. We were in the middle of our busiest time! We were getting new leads daily, our marketing efforts were paying off. We were selling houses. We were starting to ramp up and make money. Pull back now?! Yup. Now.


After this bold move my expectation levels were high. I’ll never forget that first morning sitting with the Lord, my Bible open and my journal on my lap. Okay, God. Here I am. Now what? What are we gonna do now? I’m listening! I’m ready! Give me the order- you say GO and I’m on it! I sat there and NOTHING. The scripture for the day I was reading in my Bible-in-a-Year was out of Leviticus and the New Testament verse was all the names of the lineage of Jesus. I’m sure there is profound meaning in there, it just wasn’t speaking to me at all that day.


The next day was the same thing. And the next. It was so quiet and SO BORING. I remember looking at Matt one morning as texts and calls were coming in and being jealous of the activity around him. And there I sat. Utterly bored.


Not only was I bored, I was very lonely. Remember all those "deep intentional" friendships I mentioned from the first few years in California? They didn't remain the deep connection we had thought. Deep Hurt. Lots of pain.


Than one morning, in the space between being asleep and awake I heard the Lord speak. He said, “Known. Your retreats will be called Known.” I bolted out of bed and finally had something to journal about! As I was writing, I felt a nudge in my spirit to order t-shirts that said “Known.” It was prophetic act. He wanted to partner with me in this.


The next day, I had a divine conversation with a new friend from church who quickly confirmed that, yes, this was the season for Known Retreats.


Wahoo! This was going to be amazing, I started dreaming and planning who would be on my leadership team, where we have them, what we would do. This was going to just be so great!


And then it started to crumble, or maybe I did. One comment here, one discouraging action over there...the quiet lie, “Do you really think this matters? Who do you think you are? How dare you think you can pull this off…” The lies got louder and my heart got heavier.


But God.


He came and whispered to me, “Will you trust me? Will you trust this is My idea?”


All I could mutter was a quiet “Yes.”


So I started to lean into Him. I asked Him to show me. But I was still very much alone in my process. Now, granted, my husband was very supportive and at times held my arms up for me. But where was my team?