I had a breaking moment today.
I pleaded to God and told Him “I hate this.”
It was one thing to remodel our home but quite another to take a mobile home down to nothing and build it back up. I’m not made for this but here I am feeding red and blue hoses to Jim who is under the mobile home in a hazmat suit in 82-degree weather with 60% humidity. I don’t like being sweaty and between humidity during the day and night sweats I experience every night, I’m always wet and sticky. And dirty. I hate being dirty. The red clay mud here is gross and sticks to everything so I’m always dirty.
Funny story. I was walking to my car in my good clothes to go to the grocery store. There had been downpours and flash floods the day before. Anyway, I didn’t realize I had the mud on my good shoes and walked into the bathroom at the local grocery store. There was water on the floor and I looked down and thought someone had an accident all over the floor! Then I realized a moment later it was the mud from my shoes!! I stayed in the bathroom, cleaning my shoes with paper towels and letting people know what happened until a staff person with a mop could come to clean it. Embarrassing. Did I say I hate being dirty?
Part of the journey with God is trusting the journey He has you on whether or not you enjoy it. It’s about growing and becoming the person that God meant you to be and sometimes that means getting dirty and sweaty. It’s putting God first and honestly, the only way we grow is if we get out of our comfort zones and I’m so out of mine!! If you believe that life is only about living and dying, ask yourself what is the purpose of living? Most of the time life isn’t very fun and often very painful with a bit of happiness sprinkled in between. Seems to me life wouldn't be worth it if there's wasn't something more than living and dying.
So why does God have Jim and I in West Virginia trekking around in red clay mud and rocks, and remodeling a once filthy, rotting, stinky drug-infested mobile home?
Our journey to West Virginia started out with a surprise greeting with lots of plans to help this state’s economy and the 60% of the people who do not work or make low living wages and train them with new high tech skills. We were invited to meetings to talk about funding and grants. Jim was invited to the broadband board meetings. We were on the news and hurting people who wanted to learn new skills reached out to us. We truly thought this is why God brought us here. That all came to a crashing halt with one phone call. Won’t go into detail here except to say a huge lie from the past reared its ugly head because someone didn’t believe a couple who owned their own business would sell their home, move to a new state living in an RV just to help out a state where more people are leaving than moving to. This is what trust and faith in God does - even when the world or anyone around you doesn't believe you or thinks you're crazy!
Our business is the business of high tech and Jim’s knowledge in this area could truly help this state. Datacenters if you can call them that are a data breach waiting to happen. Jim’s face went stark white when we walked into one and left five minutes later with our servers in hand. Cell phone coverage and Internet speeds are a joke and I think Starlink is this state's only saving grace for the outer low populated areas. Broadband is growing slowly.
We also learned here that property taxes are low but there are personal property taxes that didn’t come up in any of our research. It will make up the difference in property taxes.
Our introduction to the state's business community was one of the Chambers. They are fast-moving with a go attitude. Little did we know they are the exception. Businesses here are slow and many still require you to come in person instead of filling out information online. It takes forever for someone to call you back if they do at all. Now I’m not sure if this is everywhere in the state but it is in most of the areas we’ve been to, which is three or four counties. I’m hoping the areas where they are trying to lure remote workers with $12k are better equipped or they may find that their remote workers will turn around and leave like all the young people are doing. We didn’t come to take from the state but give so we didn’t move here for the incentive.
We were excited to explore a new state and give our knowledge and expertise. But instead, we are both just left frustrated and wondering why were are even here. I whine to God A LOT! However, there are a few glimpses of hope. There is no Seattle freeze here so people smile and say hello. I absolutely love being in the Eastern time zone as it stretches my workday. There is no traffic and we’re a day's drive away from our families in Wisconsin and North Carolina. When I’m frustrated, I find peace in prayer, watching the fireflies, and hearing the frogs on the warm summer nights. I enjoy walking around our property. It’s tranquil with lots of trees and we have amazing plans. I spend a lot of time asking God why. Oftentimes, I just simply pray “God … help” like earlier today. But until He says otherwise, I’ll continue to keep doing what we're doing ... getting sweaty and dirty on 45 acres in West Virginia.