I guess with making a fresh start in blogging, it is only fitting to write about another new start Andrew and I are facing. But not without a little history...
When Andrew and I got married a little over 6 years ago, he had just begun working on his Masters in Meteorology. We figured he would finish it in about 3 years and then we would try to move closer to my family. You see, as excited as I was to finally get married, I was not excited about moving to Oklahoma. Moving here I knew 1 person other than Andrew and spent most of the 7 1/2 hour drive in tears. It was only a month after arriving here that I got a call from a church needing some help in their children's ministry. Within in the next few months Andrew and I fell in love with the church family at Grace Fellowship, joined the church, and got involved. We've been so thankful for an amazing church family and for an opportunity to serve. It has been a place where I have felt my calling confirmed and affirmed.
As Andrew graduated with his master's, I realized that I had changed. The girl who was so unhappy after first moving here, did NOT want to leave Oklahoma. Though it wasn't really an issue since Andrew had a job and shortly after he got an incredible offer to begin his PhD. that was just too good to pass up. However, as he finished his doctorate the possibility of moving became more and more real. Andrew sent resumes all over the country and a bunch right here in Norman. What he has always wanted is to teach and do research at a university. However, with the economy in the state it is, and the school's having to cut funding and staff we realized it was unlikely he would find this position for his first job, much less in Norman. It took a lot of prayers and a lot of tears before I think I was actually open enough to be willing to go wherever God was leading us.
Things became super intense as Andrew faced rejection after rejection from the dozens of schools and companies he had applied at. When finally someone seemed genuinely interested, however they were located in the middle of the stinkin' desert in New Mexico! I did not want to go!!! As we talked about it, Andrew shared that it was not really the job he had hoped for and that it wasn't really an area he had wanted to go to. But he felt really torn between wanting us to be happy and providing for us. He seemed to move quickly through 4 interviews. More tears, lots of more prayers! Then one night I made up my mind that I was going to quit being upset about it and that if this where God was leading us, then I was going to be obedient and that I was going to be open. I shared this with Andrew, which I think took a lot of pressure off of him. We resigned ourselves to the fact that this is probably where we were going to end up, far from all of all of our family, in the middle of the desert, not really the job he wanted, with no Tex-Mex anywhere in sight-and we had decided to do it without complaining.
I'll be darned if within in that week Andrew didn't receive a call from Mississippi State asking for him to come in for an interview! Andrew went by himself and called so excited to have met a faculty close to his age, that all seemed to get a long, and all seemed so friendly, not to mention that it was what he wanted to do. He left totally encouraged and told me that if given the opportunity, he would like to take it. Of course I was excited that it was in the South and closer to my family. The next two weeks seemed to drag by as we waited to hear...
Last Tuesday I had started running a fever off and on, had chills, aches, a hacking cough that wouldn't quit. Wednesday night I felt like death warmed over. I had just taken my temperature and it was 102.5 as the phone rang. I showed Andrew the thermometer who didn't seem at all interested and mouthed to me that "this is it!" They offered him the job! We feel incredibly blessed, overwhelmingly excited, yet a little reluctant and very sad to be leaving Norman. It just depends on whether we're thinking of arriving in Mississippi or whether we're thinking of leaving Norman. We have an amazing church family here and I don't know if we'll ever find something similar.
We'll be here through the end of July, so I'll get to take my kids to camp and do VBS before we move. My prayer has become that I never become so comfortable or closed off that I fail to let God use me the way he wants. I'm praying for good friends for Andrew and I when we move. And for a church family that really is a family. And for Grace, that someone will step up that will take the children's ministry to the next level. I think most new beginnings are bittersweet. This one definitely is!