Happy 2024! It just hit me that 20 years ago, John McCosh and I went for a New Year’s Day ride with the girls to “get some ice cream” while the two big boys were at some friends’ home for the day. What the girls didn’t know is that we were going on a 3 hour drive to “get ice cream.” You see, we were driving to a little town in southwestern Minnesota called Granite Falls to check it out.

We didn’t have a doubt that God had called us to church planting (That’s another long story). We just didn’t know when or where, but God did. John had been doing his ministry training for several years. We were asked about planting a church in a couple towns and his first answer was “I’m not ready yet.” The second town was one that we were so excited about because it was close to our families and we wanted our kids to grow up close to their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. We so wanted that place to be “the place.” Enthusiastically, we went to visit, but it did NOT feel right. We should never base decisions on feelings, but we and others were praying for God’s peace and that we would just know where God wanted us. I actually threw up in the Kwik Trip bathroom there. We definitely didn’t have that peace that it was “the place.”

Some months passed and John was approached about another town- Granite Falls. We looked at a map and said, “Nope. Wrong direction. We want to be closer to grandparents, not twice as far away.” End of story…until John’s teacher, Dave Sulack, said to John at class one night, “Did you actually tell God no?” John sputtered and explained that was not how to look at it; rather that he had Biblical grounds that family was important… But like God does, that little nudge didn’t go away. We were in Wisconsin for Christmas and John said to me, “I think we need to go on a drive to Granite Falls and check it out.” I didn’t want to even consider it. On January 1, 2004, we went for that drive.

We were driving north on highway 23 and were a ways out. I said, “I wonder why God wired us to love hills and contour and then calls us to flat nothing nowhere land.” It wasn’t too long after that, we were driving down the hill, and I was crying as we entered beautiful Granite Falls. Remember that peace that we had asked God to give when we found “the place”? We had it. This was the place! It was love at first sight for us! I remember driving northwest of town by the Lee-Mar Ranch Equine Center. There was a captivating western feel and I even saw a real tumbleweed blowing across the highway. I thought that was the coolest thing. Little did we know that we would spend a lot of time at that ranch and the ragweed tumbleweed would become a real pain on our own ranch years later.  We pulled into the gas station and John called Dan Moose, the director of church planting, and said, “Guess where I am?” To shorten a very long story, the rest is history.

God knew that this town was a perfect fit for the McCosh family~ truly, a match made in Heaven! Since writing this, I’ve wondered why we never looked online at the town of Granite Falls when we were first asked to consider it or before driving here. Surely we would have seen how beautiful it is, and learned that the annual town celebration is a PRCA 3 day rodeo (that we’re now very involved in), and so many other things that fit us perfectly. But as I have thought about it, I think God stopped us from doing that. He wanted our yes to be out of obedience to Him alone, and not to the worldly stuff we liked. God has been so good and it is only because of Him that Rock Haven Church and our family have had a fruitful life in Granite Falls. Thank you God for always knowing what’s best for us, even when we sometimes fight against you for a while. And thank you Granite Falls for loving us so well for 20 years! We love you!