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All Godís Fault

by Stephan Castro-Shoemaker

Instead of trusting God, I blamed Him for my familyís move.

About three years after I was born (on January 27, 1988) my family moved to Redding, California. I liked it there. I had my little group of friends, a home church, and everything I needed—fresh air, trees everywhere, lakes, mountains, nearby beaches, and family close by. I could’ve lived there my whole life without any regrets.

I remember how it happened as if it were yesterday. My mom called my sister and me into our living room. Then she proceeded to say the worst thing ever: “Were moving.”

Dad had accepted a job offer in Phoenix, Arizona, so we had to move. That meant I was moving from a cool climate with snowy mountains and lakes to a hot desert two hours away from the nearest “mountain.”

My friend Peter put it this way: “In Arizona you can put a TV dinner in the freezer, but when you pull it out, it’ll be fully cooked, ready to eat.”

My family moved to Arizona at the end of my seventh-grade year, right in the middle of my junior high life. I didn’t want to go anywhere. Why should I have to move? I’d never lived anywhere else in my life.

My parents told me, “Trust God.”

All I really did was blame Him. I said, “It’s all God’s fault.”

I started my eighth-grade year at Thunderbird Christian Elementary. It was probably the worst school year ever, mainly because of my attitude. And since I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t make any friends. I just sat at school and thought to myself, I don’t want to be here; I just want to go home.

I didn’t care about anything else except my one main goal: going back home.

The next year started my high school experience. I still thought of nothing else but going home to Redding; however, I realized that since I might be here awhile, I might as well make the best of it. I figured, OK, so I’ll have to go to high school here. But once I graduate, I’ll go to Pacific Union College, and I’ll be back home in California with my friends.

I settled on waiting. Since it’s rather boring doing nothing, I started going to some of the activities that my school offered. I went to “Sabbath in the Woods,” vespers, banquets, and a bunch of other activities because I thought, While I’m stuck here, I might as well have some fun.

Something interesting happened. Because I was just waiting to go back to my old friends, I didn’t care that much what people at my new school thought of me. Yes, I faced some peer pressure. But basically I did what I wanted to, and I had fun while everyone else was worried about what everyone else thought of them. I had a lot of firsts, too—my first driving lesson, my first lock-in, and other things I’ll never experience for the first time again.

When I went back to visit Redding, California, it wasn’t as fun, because I didn’t act the same. Arizona became the place where I could be myself, talk to whomever—it was where I had fun.

God, in a way that I never expected, provided a way for me to be myself. He    showed me true happiness. I figured out that God, even though He doesn’t do stuff the way we want Him to, He provides for us way beyond our own expectations.

Now as I look back at my family’s move, I have friends I never want to lose contact with, I’ve done things I never could’ve done otherwise, and I’m going to college at a school I never thought I would attend. My life, while not at all like I planned, couldn’t be much better. And it’s all God’s fault.


Stephan Castro-Shoemaker, 20, is now a junior graphic design and photography double major at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. He enjoys playing percussion, he loves to eat Japanese food, and he gets a kick out of capturing interesting photos while traveling. His home is in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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