In the spring of 2014 we moved our family to the small town of Marshfield, Missouri. Why? Beats me. Seriously, I don’t remember what our logic could have possibly been but I know that I’d never do it again in a million years. Through what felt like a series of unfortunate events we found ourselves ripped from a world we loved and living in a complete and utter rattrap in the world’s least pleasant town.
Having grown up in rural Kansas I’m no stranger to small towns but YIKES. Nothing to do. Mostly unpleasant people. Rife with despair. It took our family a long time to find some sense of stability. Life felt upside down for more than 2 years and I worried that our family would fall apart too many times. Irritatingly, every effort we made to put Marshfield in our rearview mirror fell flat(we made MANY attempts). It was depressing. It really shouldn’t be that hard to move ANYWHERE ELSE but every job opportunity cracked at the worst possible time and my husband is a sensible man who won’t leave one situation until another is comfortably arranged. He’s good for me in that way, if it had been up to me I would have assumed anything would be better than this and kept going until I hit an ocean or the van broke down. That’s my way. Confidence was shaken, hope grew thin, and I grew angry. You know how Bruce Banner doesn’t really seem all that imposing on a normal level but when you piss him off he smashes things and makes life miserable for anyone who has the misfortune of being around at the time? I tend to be the same way. I’m a tiny, pathetic human, insignificant really, until you make me mad and then it’s going to become my solitary purpose to smash you to bits. I’d dearly love to see Marshfield become a site for…I dunno…nuclear bomb testing or something. I don’t think that will ever happen but I daydream about how satisfying it would be to watch the mushroom cloud billow into the sky from a safe distance sometimes.
After several angry months and too many disappointing “almost” escapes I took my frustrations to God. In a very loud, arms waving all over the place, WHERE-DO-YOU-GET-OFF?!? kind of way. I was shocked with the answer He gave me in the midst of my pained outrage. So, here we are in 2017. Nearly 3 years of Marshfield and God tells me that we’ve been here but we haven’t really been here. As I rail at Him about the injustice of my life He quietly and calmly asks me what I think He could do with a heart that was willing to pursue Him and His plans for our family even if it meant Marshfield and went against everything I personally wanted. My jaw hit the floor. I don’t want to stay here. I dream of better things and He KNOWS it! It makes me mad honestly. He KNOWS my heart, he sees the mushroom cloud billow up from Marshfield just as clearly as I do in my mind’s eye, he knows how our family has been bent and tangled up here…yet…He asks me to stay and have faith in Him.
Sorry to be vulgar but that’s about the best response I have. What else can I do? Only an idiot would run when God so clearly says stand. I have very little desire to be eaten by a whale . Knowing my luck, it could happen. Marshfield has to be better than being eaten by a whale…right? That’s pretty much my sole logic for staying. I don’t want to be ingested by a whale. It’s all I have.
So we’re here. We’re making efforts to repair parts of our lives that have been beaten out of shape. We’re renovating a rattrap house that has suffered through 100 years of abuse. We’re making our own fun in the place where entertainment goes to die. We’re building a stronger marriage and family. Most importantly, we’re watching to see what God will do with hearts that pursue Him above their own desires.
What will happen? I don’t know, amazing things I hope!