As I read over yesterday’s post I realized that my entire list started with the word “waiting.” Living in-between really is just another way of saying that we’re waiting… for something. Waiting isn’t new territory for me. There have been several times in my adult life that have found me waiting for “big” things. Sometimes I’ve done well in the wait, and other times I’ve plowed through it kicking and screaming. The nice thing about getting older is that we have the gift of retrospect. I can look back on my other waiting seasons and see what I did well and what I wish I’d done differently. Then I have a choice. Will I do better this time, or will I choose to throw a temper tantrum again?
Just a couple months ago John finished grad school. When we decided to move down to this area it was with one goal in mind — for John to attend seminary. We had no idea what the next few years would hold as he sent in his application to the school, we just knew that the next big thing was seminary. We didn’t know that there were a few other “big things” that would be heading our way in the process… things like full time ministry, international adoption, two beautiful babies, and a lot of trips to the doctor.
When we were just at the starting line of this grad school adventure our plans were something along the lines of “we’re going to do this, check it off the list, and then on to the next thing!” But all the other “next things” that came during seminary made the plans a bit murky. A year ago we decided to sit down and have an important discussion about our plans after grad school. John had just begun his final year and we had just welcomed home our second child. What were we going to do when school ended?
I had one request… nothing. Could we please just do nothing for at least a year once school was over? John would only have to focus on his ministry position (not ministry and school) and I could just focus on the kids and us spending more time together as a family. John agreed that this was the best plan. We needed a break, after all. We’d already packed a whole lot of life into just a few short years… why not take a breather? So that was the plan according to us.
But something funny happened as the months went on. God started breaking down that nice, safe, beautiful little plan. We started to hear the whisper “Not so fast. I might have another idea.” And so some phone calls were made and it quickly became clear that our finances could not sustain that plan to do nothing. Student loan payments kick in on January 1st. Something must change by that date. So wheels have been turning and a plan has been hatching, all while we couldn’t see any of it. Back when we sat on the couch and decided to do nothing for a year, God was already working on something else. Or so it seems to us.
My husband applied for a new job last week. This new job would have him serving in full time ministry, which is very important to him, and serving college students at a place he loves very much. It also means we’d move four hours away. Away from family (commence the weeping) and some dearly loved friends. Away from our church and current ministry. Away from doctors and therapists who we’ve come to love. Away from everything familiar to the kids.
This in-between time has us sitting in the uncomfortable position of thinking that we know what God is doing. We’re pretty sure how this will all work out and where we’ll be in early January. But we aren’t positive because nothing is official, yet. So we’re waiting. Actively waiting. But waiting. And I don’t love it. Life is so much easier to live when you know what’s going to happen next. But we don’t know, not really. All we know is that our entire life will be hugely impacted by the decision made by the people reviewing his application. So we wait for just a little bit longer. And, as a mommy, I try very hard not to worry.