Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Major Life Update

I've been trying to get this post finished for days now but things just keep happening to keep it from happening. I know some of you have read Russ' post or seen stuff on Facebook. For those who haven't or want to know details I haven't shared, here goes!

In just over 36 days, Russ and I will finish our Clinical Pastoral Education (hospital chaplaincy) residencies (my 2nd year, his 1st). Needless to say, it's been a difficult year for us. My health especially in regards to my fibromyalgia has taken a nosedive. I went from being able to walk, albeit slowly, to needing the assistance of a cane, and now to using a power wheelchair to get to and from work as well as to use at work. My stability is pretty bad and the pace I am able to walk is almost always a turtle's. We believe that the stress of the work/on-call situation combined with the horrible humidity in Houston has contributed in large part to the nosedive my health has taken.

In the last few weeks, we have felt God strongly telling us that we need to pack up our things and prepare to move on. So we are beginning that process. Our residencies both end on Wednesday, August 31st. We will load up the moving truck on Thursday, September 1st, and drive away from Houston on Friday, September 2nd.

Now comes the question? Where will we be driving the moving truck too? We're not sure yet! We have applied for jobs in Abilene and San Angelo. Abilene is where we went to seminary. We both said that if chaplaincy residencies had been available in Abilene, we would have never left. We are in contact with lots of friends, former classmates, and former professors in Abilene and they have given us numerous leads on jobs. I had a phone interview last week and should hear back from them by the end of this week. We also have some former classmates/friends in San Angelo and we've applied for some things there.

We've had such God confirmation in this decision. In the past week, I have had 3 separate colleagues on 3 separate occasions remind me of Abraham and how our situation mirrors his. Remember him? God called him to pack up his things and prepare to move. Where? God didn't tell him at first. But God did guide him to the place that God had for him.

I'm also reminded of 2 years ago at this time. I received a phone call that my previously promised residency position was most likely not going to be available. So I madly started searching for open residency spots. On July 30, 2009, we came to Houston and looked at apartments. On July 31, 2009, I interviewed with and was offered a position at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. We moved here on August 15, 2009. Crazy, right?????

So, this is not the first time this has happened for us. And we have constantly been reminded that God is taking care of us and will continue taking care of us.

What can you do? Pray (I'm going to list some specific requests below). Let us know about job opportunities. We are leaning towards Abilene or San Angelo, but we are open to other options. Let us know about housing possibilities. We do have a Plan Z in place just in case, but we'd rather not have to do that if at all possible.

How can you pray? (I've "borrowed" this list from Russ' blog and made a few edits of my own.)
Pray that God would move us to where God wants us (our first preference is Abilene) and that we have a place to live.

Pray that we would be able to pay rent.

Pray that we would be able to pay our car note.

Pray that we would be able to find jobs…quickly (we’ve got applications out).

Pray that we would be able to pay our bills.

Pray that we would be able to maintain health insurance for me.

Pray that we would be able to be involved missionally in a local church where our gifts can be put to use for God’s kingdom (again, we would love to be back home at Crosspoint). I can’t overstate the importance of this one and how passionately we feel about this.

Pray that we would be able to work out the proper schooling option for Damaris (we would like to homeschool her again).

Pray for healing to come to my body.

After what have been the most intense and stressful two years for us, where quite honestly we have been beaten up a bit, pray that we will both have time to rest and enjoy a Sabbath (preferably in the mountains).

Pray for Russ' ability to dream and to pursue those dreams. He applied to five PhD schools and received rejection letters from all of them. It would be easy now to give up on this but its something we firmly believe God wants him to do. Pray that God would keep this dream burning in his heart. Pray also that we would be able to pay for application fees for another round of applications and the fee to retake the GRE.

Pray for healing - physical, emotional, mental, spiritual - healing in our bodies, minds, and spirits.

Thanks for still reading if you've made it this far. Here we go on an exciting new adventure. Thanks for journeying along with us.