For the past month, we have found ourselves on a blind journey through God's will. We have always been on this journey, I suppose, but this chapter began in June when we were visiting Ben's family in Three Hills, Alberta. Since January, we knew that transition was inevitable - Ben would be finishing his degree at Trinity and I would be looking to go back to work. However, no doors seemed to be opening in BC for Ben and because of the high cost of living and the dark abyss of student loans we began looking elsewhere. We knew that wherever we ended up it had to be in line with our priorities - following the will of God, growing our family and developing our character. Living in BC would cause us to fall short in the second of these priorities as I would have to work full time, probably during the opposite hours to Ben, leaving Jakob in childcare 4 or 5 days a week (albeit with mostly relatives- thank you all who were willing to help us out). It would also mean that we would have only Sunday afternoons to spend as a family.
Winnipeg became an attractive possibility because of low housing costs and an established network of friends however, after much consideration, we (and by we I mean Krista) did not have a peace about it. So when, it came to our attention that the Three Hills Arts Academy may be looking for a new administrator, we welcomed the alternative. This would be a great opportunity for Ben to use his education and fuel his passion for the arts. Immediately curious about the logistics of moving, I went to the credit union to find out about interest rates and while discussing mortgages, it came out that the branch had actually been looking for another lender. We took this as an indication that this may very well be the will of God and took another step. Ben applied to the Arts Academy and I to the credit union.
We waited on these potential jobs for a good portion of June and July but we knew that if we were serious about moving we would need to get our condo up for sale soon because of the slowing of the real estate market. A million thoughts go through your head when faced with a major decision like this. I would have liked to act soley on the perfect scenario in my head, in that Ben would get the job at the Arts Academy, we would sell our place for asking price, buy a cute little house and I would work part time and the credit union until we popped out kid number two a year from now - all in that order. Instead, being the pessimist that I am, I kept dwelling on the worst case scenario. I get a job and work full time, we don't sell our condo and have to carry the mortgage while living at Ben's parents place while Ben searched for a job.
Here is the question that we were faced with however: "What would happen if we based all of our decisions on the worst case scenario?" Nothing, we would do nothing, and we would live in fear. We would come to the edge of the water and refuse to go in, afraid we would get eaten by a shark one limb at a time. I wish I could say that after this thought, we learned our lesson, became optimist and jumped in with both feet, eyes closed. But we are realists and I don't know if we will ever be optimists (God bless those that are), so we weighed the options. We knew that if we didn't try this, our family would suffer, Ben would not be able to move forward in his music and although I am sure we would find a way to get through it, we wondered what would become of our marriage and our son. Most members on the Board of the Arts Academy love Ben and his family, he has the qualifications and some experience. The small town credit unions rarely have applicants with experience so my job should be a shoe in, and housing in Three Hills is cheaper than condos in BC so qualifying for a mortgage would be no problem (if both Ben and I got jobs). BC just sounded better because it was FAMILIAR. Realizing this we decided with confirmation of Krista's job, we would put our condo up for sale. We did and it sold in a week. Okay, God, we'll take another step.
We had previously planned a vacation to Three Hills at the end of July for the Ewert Family Reunion. We were caught off guard, when on our way to Alberta, Ben's mom called with the news that his Grandma Ewert had passed away. We were extremely sad to see her go, but glad we had gotten to see her just a month before with Jakob and that we had already planned to be there for the reunion. She really knew how to plan it, because where most people have only a few hours of memorial, we, as a family, celebrated her life all weekend long and almost everybody was there.
Between visiting with family we were able to meet with the bank about financing, go house hunting, and Ben was able to meet with the Arts Academy Board. Disappointment came, however when it was revealed that the Academy would not know for sure about funding until mid-September, a hiring decision would not be made until October and the start date would not be until the bargaining of November. To me, this was worst than "no". It was the unknown - we could hold out until October only to have Ben not be hired. "Quel Nightmare!" I cried, took a nap and got over it. We found an alternative to facilitate financing, found a house and put in an offer.
So here we are... Pending a house inspection, we can remove subject on the 13th, pack up on the 17th, and be on our way. There have been lots of little confirmations along the way that this is God's will for our family - the fact that it would be preferable for the bank if I work part time (my own preference I brought up in my interview), the fact that, although we did not get asking price we had a better offer than anticipated considering the current market (even though our real estate agent said we were asking too much) and that the house we have bought is empty and we are able to occupy it before our possession date which is September 8th. Okay God, we will take another step.
All this to say, it is still hard to go, we are leaving lots of family, friends and dear ones. There are many dimensions of emotion, many of which I have not attempted to tap into, because crying gives me a headache, but one of these days, I will share these with you, along with the details of our continuing journey. Please stay tuned...