Monday, September 19, 2016

steps forward, journeys back

Oh friends, the last couple years have brought so many changes.  They have brought tremendous joy, heartache, and discovery.  They have grown us as a family.  They have revealed faults, strengths, desires, and needs.
Hence, our decision to move once again.

We journeyed here (Utah) to pursue Andrew's dream of ministry in this part of the country, which is also where he was born and raised.  This time being near his parents has been an incredible blessing...  Especially in how it has allowed me to form a relationship with them and let Rennie bond with her grandparents!  As we take these next steps, our one heartache is how it will put miles between us.  But as Andrew's current job continues to strangle us in relationships, in ministry, and even in our family time, the choice to relocate has become necessary.  Andrew has also felt his pre-marriage dreams fade to be replaced by ones that belong to *us*.  In the 2+  years we have resided here, Andrew has struggled to see a future for himself vocationally and I have felt incredibly out of place in the fast-paced and often appearance/performance-driven culture.  I won't lie, our location of choice is made all the more appealing by how it will minister to and help heal our hearts.  I am so thankful that the Lord has given us an option that will help both Andrew and I to grow and flourish, personally and in ministry!

Door after door have opened, making it clear to both of us that we are being called back to Indiana.  My heart is overflowing at the prospect of returning to my beloved state, near to parents and siblings.  We will be trekking across the country a second time, this time to live in the same town as my family.  We have such high hopes for this next chapter... potentially owning our first home, getting back into ministry eventually, growing our family, and Andrew pursuing job options more to his liking.  <3  

Our lease ends right after Thanksgiving, so at that time we will be moving in with Andrew's family.  They have graciously opened their home to us so that we will have the ability to grow our savings and pay for this big move!  We're so excited to spend the holidays with them and strengthen our relationships all the more!  Then, sometime around the first week of March, we will be eastward-bound.

Please pray for us!  Andrew's job isn't difficult physically, but it has worn us both to a thread mentally and emotionally between long hours and challenging supervisors.  He will be working this job until we leave the west, which includes commuting two hours (round trip) each day while we live with his family.  To sum up our feelings at this point: we miss each other.  He is gone so much and our time together is usually spent catching up on groceries or projects.  We miss having life together.  We are hoping this will be one of many things to improve as we relocate!  Prayer for endurance in the meantime would be so appreciated.  Prayers for God to be preparing a home and a great job situation in Indiana would also be wonderful!

Thank you, again and again, for your encouragement and life-sharing with me!  It is such a blessing!

"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And though we are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will;
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Excerpt from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Ulysses"

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