I have been married for a little over 5.5 years. I graduated high school in June of '05, and married my love in October of '05.
I was silly and accidentally (another story for another time) fell in love with a Marine.
I lived in Michigan; he was stationed in North Carolina.
Naturally, when we married, we packed up my bedroom and I moved to New Bern, North Carolina, with him.
Greg and I both grew up in Metro-Detroit. Its approximate population is 4 million people.
In comparison, New Bern's population is about 28,000.
Now, 28,000 may seem like a decent amount to you for one town. But what you must know is that the next biggest town is an hour drive. Drive 5 minutes outside of New Bern and you're in corn, cotton, or tobacco fields.
They're big enough to have one Lowe's, one Wal-Mart, and one Target. But where I grew up, if the Target I was shopping at didn't have what I wanted, I went to one of the other 5 Targets within a 5 mile radius. I also had 5 malls within a decent distance too.
Uhhh, can we say culture shock?
Needless to say, Greg and I couldn't wait to get out of there.
I knew from the time we started dating that his plan was to finish out his 5 year enlistment and attend Universal Technical Institute in Chicagoland for training to become an auto technician.
When we got married, he had just under 2.5 years left of his enlistment.
After LOTS of church searching, we settled on one to regularly attend. It was a long, boring 45 minute drive, but we liked the worship and the pastor was decent. We didn't know a single person at the church, nor did anyone reach out to us but, nonetheless, we attended there for a few months before he was to deploy to the Middle East in March of '07.
For months leading up to the deployment our plan was to put all of our stuff into storage, and I would move back home to Michigan for the 6 months he was gone.
Then a few weeks before his date to leave, storage deposit placed and everything, I felt God telling me to stay in New Bern. I had no idea why...I had no friends, and I wasn't attached to our church in any way, but I kept hearing Him tell me to stay. (Silly me) but I hadn't even asked what He wanted me to do. I assumed the right thing to do was to move back home, yet He was loud and clear in telling me not to do it.
So...two weeks before I was set to move home, I called my parents, broke my mom's heart, and told them I was staying.
I didn't know why, but I knew that God had clearly told me that's what He wanted, and that was reason enough...
Read Part Two here.