Friday, September 28, 2007

30 years ago today...

I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona!!

I was a 20 years old farm girl from Wisconsin and looking for adventure!
My friend Linda and I sang at our little Lutheran church the morning that we embarked upon this journey of faith. We hugged our family and friends and then took off on the adventure of a lifetime! I loved traveling. I enjoyed every single mile... the breathtaking scenery AND the music on board. Linda had brought along 2 cassettes... 2nd Chapter of Acts and Keith Green. I had never heard such music! It would change my life.

I made our matching patchwork denim outfits from old blue jeans.
Even though I had become a Christian in high school while watching a Billy Graham Crusade on TV... I had grown little in my faith. But I always had a deep longing to totally live for Him in everything I did. SO when my friend Linda started talking to me about going out to Phoenix for a year... well, I literally thought... OK, I will deny myself, take up my cross and follow HIM to Phx. I would learn and grow and become equipped to come back and make a difference in my community! I also had no idea where in the heck Phx was! So a couple weeks before we left, I was looking at the weather map on the news and was shocked to discover that Arizona was way, WAY out West... like touching California out WEST! Oh my gosh.
But in all my planning, in all the good byes, I was at total peace... knowing I was doing the right thing. I had never felt more sure about anything in my entire life! God's plan was unfolding and I was along for the ride! I was expecting GREAT things to happen! And they did.

Upon arriving in Phx, Linda stopped at Coco's, where she had worked the year before, to get on the schedule. I was bubbling over with excitement, anxious to tell ANYONE that I was new in town! So I turned to the guy sitting at the counter next to me and told him I had just moved here from WI! He asked where in WI... I said between Black River Falls and Eau Claire... and he said HE was from Black River Falls! I went wild! He even knew my cousins! Right then and there I knew I was right where the Lord wanted me to be. This big city didn't seem quite so big and scary after all. This was my home.

We immediately found a fully-furnished apartment. The next day we bought new guitars from a nice man at a music store... who, unbeknownst to us, would be our record producer 6 months later. Then while trying to find this place called Hand in Hand, we ended up at another Sat. night concert venue where we met this guy who was a concert promoter... and we sang for him two days later... and he booked us to open for Barry Maguire. It was at that concert months later that this other guy who does the auditioning for Hand in Hand came up to us and said he'd put us on the schedule... and it was at THAT VERY FIRST Hand in Hand concert that I met Randy! Yes, he scheduled us to open for Randy Thompson! Hello!! Are you getting all this??!!

That FIRST WEEK IN PHOENIX literally set the stage... pardon the pun, but LITERALLY SET THE STAGE for me to meet my future husband at that Hand in Hand concert 6 months later! Still gives me goose-bumps after all these years!!

And the only reason Randy asked for my phone number that night was because Linda and I were in the studio recording and he wanted to call us and get some studio info. So when he called, he sorta accidently asked me out. Oh, and did I happen to mention that Linda and I had the same first and last name... so that when he called, thank God he asked for the Linda Larson that was not engaged... cuz yes, I would still be wondering if he got the right one!

So there you have it... 30 years ago today I set out on a journey that forever changed my life!
And how ironic that I'd be heading BACK to Wisconsin 30 years later on a vacation with that handsome, 12 string guitarist named Randy!


Judy said...

Now that's an amazing story! We know there are definitely no co-incidences in this life.

And have a wonderful trip 'back home'!

Jolene George said...

Yup! You were suppose to be here. What a neat story Linda. I'm so glad you shared it. :o)

Becca said...

Oh Linda, what a beautiful story! Your picture together is lovely. I met James at Books-a-Million. He was studying, still wearing his scrubs from work. He teases that I thought he was a doctor and that's how he got me!

Lovella ♥ said...

What a completely beautiful story of the Lord's leading in your life.

Enjoy your trip back home with your guitarist.

Miranda said...

So in a year when I go off to Germany for a couple weeks and 6 months after that study in England for a semester you can't freak out... because you took a chance too and God blessed you.

NanAZ said...

Linda, I LOVE that story! What I want to know is how do you remember the exact day you arrived? I have no idea what day we got to Phoenix. It was sometime in June...that's all I know. Of course, I was a little bit younger and going somewhat against my will, but that's another story.

Sandy said...

Great post and fun pix, Linda! Thanks for sharing and don't forget to stop in and say hi to Barb! :)

Essential Oil Premier University said...

Linda, that is just the neatest story. Thank you for sharing that. It is amazing how God has His hand over our lives, leading, guiding - when we surrender our all to Him.


Lizzie said...

Wow- what a neat story- and definitely made me "goosebumpy" too. You were exactly where you were meant to be, at exactly the right time.

I love the pictures- you are so beautiful!

MsMary said...

Awww, what a cool story. So like the Lord to work things out in our lives. You are a good writer and have such a good eye for photography.

You don't know me, but I enjoyed reading about your Wisconsin (I live in Jefferson, between Fort Atkinson and Watertown)vacation and how you and your husband met.

My husband and I also like to go to Door County in the fall. And, in fact, are planning to soon.

God bless!