"But now, compelled by the Spirit I am going to Jerusalem." Acts 20: 22
My version of this verse is "But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Portland, Oregon."
Growing up in Newport, Oregon, our family bought our "forever" home when I was two years old. I never had to move until I left home to attend college. My parents lived in that home until they died. I loved living in the same house all those years, and I knew when I married and settled down, I would want the same for my family.
When Jim and I got married, we moved nine times in the first year! After that I was bound and determined to again have a "forever" home. After about ten years and three different homes, we finally built the home I had dreamed of. We built it on five acres with a huge sand box for the kids, a fruit orchard with 30 fruit trees, a huge backyard with a swimming pool, and an outdoor sanctuary with redwood trees and a life-size crucifix!
We dedicated our home and property to the Lord and called it "God’s Place". We held youth group at our house, back-yard masses, prayer groups, bible studies, and just had lots of fun times there. I believed that we would stay forever. But I was wrong…
One of our sons wanted to help a friend start a business in Portland, Oregon. They offered Jim a job and the chance to invest in this great new start-up. When we met with them and heard about their proposal, everything in me cried "NO!", but the Holy Spirit said to me, "Just say yes." And so I said, "Yes." And Jim said "Yes." And within a few months we had sold our "forever" home, down-sized a great deal and moved to Oregon.
It wasn’t an easy move, and for a time I thought God would surely take us back to our home and community in California. But He had a plan which brought all three of our sons to live in Portland and we have again put down roots because we very much enjoy living near our kids and their kids. However, I’m no longer looking for a "forever" home here. We may move again; we may not. What I know for sure is that I will follow the Lord wherever He leads and I will have my true "forever" home when I get to heaven.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, Oregon and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected]