Friday, January 16, 2009

Limbo... Still

As this blog was "supposed" to be a record of our thoughts and adventures as we search for where God wants us to go after Brad finishes residency, I guess I've sort of dropped the ball as it's been about 8 months since my last post! Really, nothing about the last 8 months has turned out exactly as I thought it would. The last time I posted on this blog, I was just bursting with anticipation about what the coming months would look like- I thought it would be all about excitement and adventure and seeing the grand plan unfold. Both excitement and adventure have been part of the last 8 months; not exactly in the way we planned, but BETTER in many ways- there's nothing more exciting or adventurous than being part of the miracle of bringing new life into the world. But as far as seeing the "grand plan"unfold... I must confess I've been pretty disappointed. Here we are, six months away from the end of residency, and we STILL don't know what comes next! I feel like we've been in limbo for so long, and every time I think we are FINALLY going to get some answers, all I seem to get is more "wait and see."

In October, we went to visit Virginia again and to interview more seriously with some people in Fredericksburg, a community about an hour south of DC. I was "sure" we'd have a real solid impression one way or another after visiting and meeting with the people down there. We didn't. Virginia was still just as wonderful and exciting and adventurous as it was in May when I really thought we were going to end up there. But I felt differently about it. It didn't feel like "home" to me, though I did sense that it could be, in time. I knew when we visited the second time that we could easily learn to love life there, that we would really enjoy many things about being there... but that moving there would mean change and uncertainty and all sorts of things that frighten a pregnant woman out of her wits!

So when we came home, we began more seriously investigating our options here in Grand Rapids. THAT felt like a breath of fresh air to me. In my current state, it wasn't difficult at all for me to say sianara to adventure and hello to stability, to NOT having to sell our house in this current dismal housing market, and most especially, to the opportunity to be close to my family, to having our children grow up with the invaluable resource of extended family nearby- to the godly influence of aunts, uncles, and grandparents to help guide them (and us!) as they grow. I could see a wonderful path ahead of us- both my sisters are currently planning to move to the Grand Rapids area in the next couple years, and my parents who "love" the Detroit area soo much will likely follow. Something deep in my heart began to cry and hurt alot at the thought of turning away from that and moving somewhere far away from any sort of family. I really DON'T like Michigan, especially not in the winter! We know that financially, we'd never have quite the income potential here that we could have in a state where there is more positive economic news than there is here. But when you stack that up with all the intangible benefits of staying close to a loving and God-honoring family, financial sacrifices are not so difficult to make. In any case, we'd hardly be destitute anyway; and there are arguable benefits to living more simply.

Options we were unaware of began to surface right around the time we started opening our eyes to look for them. We've essentially given the last 3 months to exploring them, and put everything else on hold waiting to see how they would pan out. This week we finally got some specifics from a group in town who wants Brad to join them. Brad has been really excited about the opportunity and we've both been eagerly anticipating these details that could easily have decided the question of "are we staying?" for us. Unfortunately, there is some language in this contract that really could be a deal-breaker for us, and I am so disappointed. I know that you aren't really supposed to put all your "eggs" in one basket... but this week when the long-awaited contract didn't bring the kind of resolution that I'd hoped for, I realized how much I'd been counting on this working out. My heart is here. I so badly want to have my children grow up near our family. We are less than a month away from having another baby, and I can't think of another time in life when stability feels more important to a woman, and all this UN-certainty makes me feel so lost.

I kind of feel a little left out to dry... although we have spent much time praying about this crucial decision and tried to approach it with as much wisdom as we can, the one thing I haven't really felt is a decided direction from the Lord as to which way to go. I feel like I'm still on the winding part of the path where you can just see a step or two in front of you when I had expected that we'd have gotten to one of those "vistas" by now where you can see further and have a broader persepective to see what's coming next. I know that our God is faithful and that He will answer our heartfelt prayers, but I'm frustrated right now because His timing just doesn't seem to be aligning with mine... and I fear that His answer won't be the one I want to hear, either. I know I must hold all of life with open hands, to truly be open and willing and available to go wherever He wants us to be. But it's just so hard sometimes. Maybe someday I will look back on these days of being in "limbo" and think it makes a great story... sometimes those stories are a lot more fun to read later when they've been published into bestselling books than they are to live day to day.

But I have no choice. I just have to wait and see... and wait and see... and wait and see... until one day, there will be something to see.