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  • Writer's pictureKandy Thietten

Was It a Sign?

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Several months ago, Abe and I started going back to church. In the first sermon we listened to, the pastor was talking about how he was quitting his career as a pastor to work full time on an app he had developed that had yet to make a penny. The focus of his sermon was something along the lines of, "Was God giving me signs, was everything a coincidence, or am I crazy?" I listened, and he started sharing the "signs". I am a skeptic and the first sign he mentioned was a literal sign hanging from the wall of the Y as he and his wife were leaving after discussing his thoughts of making this huge change that would effect his entire family. Yeah...that's coincinence. I wasn't at all convinced. I may have rolled my eyes a bit on the inside.

Then he talked about more and more things. A friend he hadn't talked to for years calling him to pray with him, his young son who knew nothing of the discussions between his parents leading family worship with a Bible verse that fit to a T what was going on, and way more that I can't remember. I do remember that by the time he was done speaking, I was convinced. There were way too many things to be coincidence or lunacy. How could he possibly do anything other than what God was so clearly directing him toward? I wondered if I would be able to take such a risk, but at the same time, I thought how wonderful it would be to get such clear direction from God and KNOW that I was going in the direction laid out for me.

I've noticed something in my career life. When I get to the point that I wake up every morning filled with dread of going to work, there's something else coming. A few years ago, I got to that point with my job, and soon after was unable to work because of a work injury that wouldn't allow me to do my job. I put out a post on Facebook and a friend said he had an opening for me. This was an outside job framing houses (actually a really fun job, but not meant for a middle aged woman) and I do NOT do well in the cold. Winter was coming, and I was getting worried about how I would hold up. My elbow was also starting to hurt to the point that I couldn't swing a hammer. I knew the job was my friend doing me a favor more than me helping him out, so I started looking. I soon found a position on an assembly line. I enjoyed it a lot for a while while I was learning, but my mind isn't meant for assembly line work. I made too many mistakes reading the prints for individual jobs, and I felt like a total failure. It got to where I woke up every morning and it took every ounce of willpower to head out the door in the morning. Soon, I was called into the office with a couple of other employees and we got laid off. (When I started we were given unlimited overtime, but at that time we were struggling to find work to do.) I was flat out giddy as I left. It was time for me to move on.

My next (and last) job was better. I worked with amazing people, and there was a ton for me to learn. I kept my position for a year before getting a small promotion into another position that I loved. Covid hit and I started working from home, which I really loved. I took up running during my lunches, and things were great. Then my knee went out. Then I started getting bored. Then I found myself waking up in the morning with the goal of just making it through 9 hours until I got off work. I was very unhappy, and a bit depressed. And I knew that there was something new on the horizon. History had taught me that.

About 8 1/2 years ago, Abe had a major stroke that left him having to relearn to walk. He also ended up with diabetes bad enough that he was on multiple insulin shots every day. He began exercising regularly and adopted a plant-based diet, which lead to him losing over 100 pounds in a year and getting his health back. His weight was great, his blood sugar normalized, and his blood pressure went down. And he was off all of his medications. After working so hard, over the last couple of years his weight has gone up a bit and he's back on blood pressure medication. Abe has worked in government jobs for 15 years, and during that time he has watched several people get to celebrate retirement, just to pass away within months or worse, they passed away shortly before retiring, never getting to enjoy the retirement they'd worked for their entire lives. With his health history, he knew that that was a possibility for him if he didn't do something.

When my knee went out, I quickly lost the muscle that I'd put on from running and my weight started going up. My overall health isn't really bad, but it's heading downhill. And it's not just our physical health, but our spiritual health that we need to get back on track. We've been complacent in our walk with God and lately we both feel Him calling us back.

We decided that we really want to take a year to travel, and we realized that we needed to start praying. A LOT. This next year will be a wonderful opportunity to focus on God and see where He is leading. I know He has plans for us, and I am excited (and if I'm going to be completely honest, a bit nervous) to see what they are. We prayed before we decided. We prayed after we decided. God, please help us find the right one. Lead us to one in our budget. Here's the list of what we want/need. And above all, God, PLEASE stop us if this isn't what You want for us! And we found one. It didn't have everything we'd asked for, but it had most of it, and it wasn't missing any of the things we absolutely needed. And one of the things it was missing, turned out to be a good thing. We wanted a 40 footer, but ended up with a 36 footer. Turns out 36 feet is just short enough to park across two parking spaces in most parking lots without sticking out too far on the front and back. And then there's the price. We eventually set our price goal for $36,000 but were willing to go up to $39,000 if we needed to. The motorhome we found was $28,000. $11,000 under what we were willing to spend! We put my car up for sale, and immediately sold it for asking price. And no, we didn't list it at a desperately cheap price. We asked for a fair amount.

Even the drive home from buying our motorhome was near-miraculous. We drove about 500 miles to pick it up, and had to take a nearly 700 mile route home, taking us over the Blues pass in Oregon. Most anyone living within 200 miles of the Blues knows that it is treacherous in the winter. My dad was a truck driver and told me that every trucker from California to New York knows about the Blues. When you read the signs telling you to carry chains, you need to do what they say. I've seen that pass shut down for 2 weeks because of snow. It is frequently closed during the winter, and more frequently just has snowy, icy roads. We didn't have chains, but we also didn't have a choice. We prayed and started driving. Abe was in the motorhome, and I was following in the pickup. I've never driven more than a few hours straight and wasn't sure how I'd do, but I followed Abe for 14 hours in the rain, with some stretches of fog where all I saw was white, including the white back of the motorhome that I was following. Abe saw white with a bit of black pavement, and had to follow the white lines to keep him on the road. I watched the car thermometer closely. Abe had told me to let him know if it got down to 35 degrees. If it did, we'd need to pull over somewhere to make sure we didn't end up on snowy mountain roads with no chains. I got wary when it hit 36 degrees a couple of times, but it never dropped below that.

I can't leave out the timing of everything. I had to get knee surgery, and my last day of physical therapy will be the day before my last day of work. I had a tooth pulled a couple of years ago and getting a fake one put in got postponed. I just finished the process a couple of weeks ago. We both have our dental cleanings due at the end of January, we both just had our annual physicals, mine included changing my thyroid medication which requires a second blood test. That test will be done just before quitting my job. The timing of everything has come together perfectly, just as if it was planned...

January 2, we went to church. When it was over, we had some errands to run. An hour or two after leaving the church, Abe realized that he didn't have his phone on him. You should know that since I met Abe February 9, 2017 he has not once forgotten his phone anywhere. While we were driving back to the church I told him there was a reason. We'd been seeing God moving enough and this was uncharacteristic enough that it had to have been by design. Coincidentally, the church had planned a fast and prayer time for that day to start the new year, so there was open still. I sat in the pickup while Abe went in. When he came back, he said it was meant to be. He'd started talking and the conversation led to him telling some of the men there about our upcoming travels. They prayed for him and the pastor told Abe to let him know when we were leaving so he and his wife could come to our house and pray for us beforehand. I'm looking forward to that.

I know there were more answered prayers and coincidences that I'm not remembering, but I can tell you that I am as positive as I can be that this is what we are meant to do. I always think of people being like Jonah, and when God tells them to do something, it's something they absolutely, positively do NOT want to do. Traveling the country in a motorhome is something I've always wanted to do. My senior year of high school I planned on graduating, working for a year, then travelling for a summer, but nothing came of that. I'm sure there will be things God has planned for us that we don't want to do, but maybe He's using this to teach us to hear Him and know what He wants. This is the first time in my life that I've strongly felt that God is clearly directing me

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