I have found myself telling different people in the past few days that when we got married 20 years ago, we thought that there was a chance that God might call us to India. And that if God HAD called us to India, I am certain that it would have been easier than Staying in one place for ten years.
We’ve been to India on two short trips. After the first trip (when we were not yet married), I left India really okay with never returning. It was the hardest thing I had done up to that point in my life. It was also the trip that solidified our Life Together and we were married five months later. So it worked out pretty well overall.
The second trip was longer and I went kicking and screaming for a number of reasons. But I was surrounded by an amazing team of people and I’m sure that they ministered to a newly married someone who was finding herself in Calcutta way more than I ministered to them. And I kind of fell in love with India. When Marc joined me for the last two weeks of that trip, we began to re-evaluate our Baby Marriage and how we wanted to live our Life Together. (Four months after this trip we re-located to work Together at The Stony Brook School.)
At this point, we decided that we would make a life where we were available to answer a call or invitation back to India. We began making decisions about owning a business and homeschooling even then. Just so those would potentially be two extra details that wouldn’t be ‘in the way’ of any adventure God might invite us to.
The call back to Maine that came in early 2003, and then to the Waterville Vineyard in 2005, was not what we envisioned when we told God we would be ready for His call. But the worship song that we had played over and over again was “I Will Go”. We believed it and we lived it. First saying good-bye to the school and church we had fallen in love with in NY, and then moving to a community that was totally new to us for the church-plant.
When we closed the Vineyard in 2009, we waited for our next adventure. What next God? And we heard nothing. Caleb and Anna did a year of public school in 2009-2010. And this was the year that Caleb began to play trumpet. And we loved the music program and the music teacher.
And sometimes hearing ‘nothing’ began to sound like ‘Stay’, and sometimes it sounded like ‘Wait for your kids’.
Staying in one place has been so hard. Marc and I have NEVER lived in one place for this long our whole lives. We grew up moving. We started our marriage moving. We LIKE moving…. the learning a new place and meeting new people. We are people that Grow a whole lot when we are put in a new plant pot. The growing we have done while we stayed has been much quieter. The growing we have done here has included facing ourselves and each other with very few distractions. The growing we have done here has been hard to see, hard to measure. Sometimes the growing has felt like shrinking.
And then one night this winter at our dinner table, we were all ready. And we talked about where and how. We began to move forward with what felt like a slow pace, but then the last two weeks have been anything but slow. But the reality is, we have been watching and waiting for years, praying for open doors and closed doors, and that we wouldn’t harm our children with our whims.
We are so excited to share our love of moving with the kids. We are blown away at how the pieces are lining up – the ways that each of us is being loved and blessed here in Waterville and by our new community in South Carolina. Things that we might have dared to whisper as a hope are being answered over a megaphone.
We are moving to have a family adventure. We are moving because we can. We are moving because we like sun more than snow. We are moving to serve the gifts we have observed in our children. We are moving because while some people have a community and town that feels like ‘home’, we don’t get that. We have always used Journey and Pilgrimage to describe our Life Together. Home as a single place has never really fit who God seems to have created us to be. We are moving because it is part of our Journey.