On Staying

8/27/12

We thought we were nomads.

I've been shifting from place to place since I was fifteen. The trips, back and forth, between Uganda and America, the season spent in Europe and that adventure to the Middle East, have left me unsettled and I feel like I have been living out of trunks and suitcases for the last handful of years.

And though Zack's life has kept him well-grounded, he is just as thirsty for adventure as I am. When we married, we imagined that we would remain nomads for a few more years at least.

We had a plan. 

It was a good plan. A brave plan. And for eight months we've been working and planning to leave this country after our first year of marriage. The occupation and location were chosen; we'd applied to a program and been accepted; our language study was about to begin and our support letters were just ready to be mailed when, suddenly, everything changed. 

We thought that God wanted us to be nomads. 
We were certain of it. 

And then Zack was offered a job. A good job. A job he had never even applied for. A man happened to see Zack's resume laying on the reception desk at his company office. Deducing that Zack was a Christian, he called him up and asked to take him to dinner. And somehow, after an amazing dinner followed by a sudden interview, Zack was offered a job. 

We were unexpectedly at a crossroads, uncertain whether we should take the road less traveled or not. Because, you see, this job conflicted with our plans; it negated each and every one of them. “If you work hard for a steady number of years, this job will take you anywhere in the world,” Zack was told over dinner. Then the man named the exact region of the world where we had been planning to move next June. For a moment, it seemed too real to be true; it all made too much sense.

And so we prayed and talked with wise friends. We made lists of pros and cons and prayed a good deal more. For a week, we wavered, not knowing what to do and fearing to make a decision. 

And then, after all the talking and considering, after all the wavering and praying, we realized that we'd already made the difficult decision to stay. God's hand was in the changed plan and we could not say “No” to Him. 

Letting go of the other plan was hard; I cried before we had to withdraw our application to teach overseas and then cried a little more after. We are sad— in some ways desperately so—but it was our decision to stay, and we know that it is the right thing to do. 

It is strange for us to think that we will be living here for the next five years or so; though, I suppose, if anything, I have learned that plans can always change (and they most likely will). For now, this place that I thought was only a town of transition must somehow become my home; my heart doesn't yet know what to do with this.

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