As you know, it has been a tough year for us with struggles and disappointments and a lot of unknowns. We have spent a lot of time on our knees praying (literally sometimes), there have been many tears and dark days and faint glimmers of hope. Lots of love and prayers and support from the people we love the most.
We have finally come to a really difficult and painful decision in these past few days. We are moving back to Ohio. For now. There can be no promises about our future. We have no idea what we will be doing there or where we will be living, at the moment anyways, but we do know that despite the sadness that accompanies this decision, we will be surrounded by family who love us. And that, we are so thankful for.
We left home almost 11 years ago, moving away from everything familiar to embark on this crazy adventure called graduate school. We really and truly believed that this was where God was leading us and that He was going to use it in a big way, and while the steps shifted and changed along the journey, our faith and belief in our vision didn't waver. First the Master's in Indiana and then onward to Chicago for the illustrious P.h.D. We had absolutely no idea what it would entail or ask of us. We were clueless to the demands and sacrifices it would bleed out of us. We didn't know, as most people don't, how it would change us and shape us.
If we are honest, both of us would probably tell you at the moment that if we could go back again, we aren't sure we would do this again. The cost has been high. We have to believe, though, that the original desire to pursue this in honor of God matters. We have to believe that He can make beauty from ashes. We have to believe that He can take the scraps of the mess that is us and mold it into something useful, worthy or beautiful, even if scarred.
We aren't going to Ohio with the "dream job." That notion shattered somewhere along the way these past 3 years, the final blow being Scotland. We aren't sure what these past 10+ years meant or how God will use them. We are just hanging on to the hope that we matter to Him. That it matters.
It being dreams, desires, hopes, disappointments, loss, fear, struggles. All of it.
We have a mere 5 1/2 weeks left here, in the place we have called home for almost 9 years. We have memories to pack up, belongings to weed through, friends to say good-bye to, a Chicago bucket list to cross off, school to finish up for the boys, and a huge, long, overwhelming list of things to do to prepare. To prepare for something we don't know.
This is taking a lot of faith for us. To place this uncertainty of our future, our longings, our grief, our fledgling hopes, our deep desire to see Him make sense of all of this and placing it all in His hands. We humbly ask for your prayers for provision, for guidance, for protection over our family and for a deep peace as we take this next step.