Every. Single. Year. This morning, I was reading a post I had written just under a year ago. I was reminded of the difficulty in bracing for impact and preparing for disappointment. It’s true. We seem to do this every single year. Wait. Wait for opportunity, wait for direction, wait for blessing.
A friend of mine once wrote a post about finding out that she was pregnant and then a couple weeks later about her devastating miscarriage. She said that she was glad she had told people about her pregnancy before the “safe” 12 week mark because she wanted to share her joy, even though she knew full well it was likely to end in disappointment and because she wanted her readers to know both sides of the unfortunate event and be able to pray for her and her family with context.
I think that too often we only share the good stuff—the successes and the happy moments but we need to understand that those successes often only come after trial and heartache. To get to the mountain peak, you have to trudge up muddy, uneven and often treacherous paths that are usually covered in a canopy of trees and brush. You can’t see beyond the next few steps—you certainly cannot the see the destination even though you may catch glimpses of it here and there. You just have to trust that you are headed in the right direction. We are all on a journey.
To be honest, I am grateful that we are at this point in our journey and not where we were a year ago. While there are times it feels like a very similar place the sentiment in my heart is very different.
We are moving. Again.
Last year, we felt that Edmonton had had its fill of us and was kicking us out. Our landlord told us she needed the house back and we were forced to leave our jobs for various reasons. We were ready to move on. The only problem was that we had nothing to move on to.
Technically, we still have nothing to move on to, but we have hope and so we have given our notice, are packing boxes, selling off the excess and preparing to transition yet again. Except this time, there is no back up plan.
You see, I thought this post would be so very different. I thought that when the time came and all of our ducks were in a row, I would jubilantly announce that we were moving to England and all the heartache and trials of the past seven years would be redeemed. But friends, our ducks are not in a row and we are still anxiously waiting on paperwork and so, like a vulnerable mother who is in the early stages of pregnancy, I am asking for your prayers, knowing full well, it could end in disappointment.
38 days until I have a one-way ticket to the UK.
But let me back up. Last Christmas, a job came up in a little town outside of London. Slightly skeptical and yet, with hope, Ben applied just as he has for so many other jobs. The Church was very impressed with his CV and it worked out that when we were in England this past February, we were able to visit the town and Ben was able to go for a proper interview. They LOVED him and offered him the job right then and there.
This was everything we had been praying for for seven years. The position itself is like a broad Minister of Music role with some teaching/preaching duties combined with the primary music leading/overseeing of traditional (choirs and organ) and contemporary music (praise band) in three churches in this parish. There is a large emphasis on growing the music ministry and combining it with outreach into the community. This is our heart.
The town is actually a village: one of the largest villages in England and seems like a great place to raise children. It is settled on the outskirts of the Chiltern Hills but is just twenty minutes from London (actually, not too far from where a certain event took place today).
A full-time job
In music ministry.
And they are willing to sponsor us to come over.
It’s nothing short of a miracle really. The only problem is that our paperwork is taking much longer than expected. The first step is for the employer to apply for a certificate of sponsorship from the UK government. Their application has been received but we haven’t heard back yet. We cannot apply for our visas until we have this certificate number and so we wait.
Life in Limbo: it may just be the title of my next book.
I didn’t want to post until we knew. I still don’t really want to post and yet I do think it is important to share our struggles because it makes the victories so much sweeter. This is something that is often mentioned in our Down syndrome family. It takes our kids a little longer to learn how to walk, or say “momma” or read, but when they do, we all celebrate together with a proper understanding of what it took to get there. I hope that this can be the same in our own life. I have shared this journey with you: the good, the bad, and the ugly and I hope that one day, very soon, we will be able to share the incredible things God is doing in and through us.
It’s not to say He hasn’t been doing things all along. If we hadn’t stayed in Edmonton chances are, I would not have had the opportunity to share “This is Ella” as much as I did. I would not have had a chance to meet with the Minister of Education about inclusion and I would not have been able to share life with our friends in Edmonton for the past year. Ben would not have been able to perform Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicolas with the University of Alberta Madrigal singers, sing professionally with Pro Coro or give as much attention to his candidacy exams in preparation for the completion of his doctorate.
That being said, we do truly, madly, deeply believe that it is time to move on so please will you pray for us? We would be so grateful. And don’t worry, should our prayers be answered and we do find ourselves moving to England, we will be sure to let you know.