For weeks I have pondered the best way to begin this post… the first paragraphs of the story of our brand new adventure. I have waited for inspiration, for the most perfect, profound thoughts and words.
My heart is full. My heart is so full of so many things that it literally feels heavy sometimes. It is full of fear, of excitement, of joy, of hope, and of glorious expectation as Andrew and I move forward toward what God has in store. My expectations of the journey ahead are literally out of this world. I expect miracles. I expect pain and trials, but I expect also that they will be worth it. I expect to see the mighty power of God at every turn, at every green light, and at every stop sign.
I am terrified to move forward.
But I cannot wait to move forward… to press on.
Maybe the best way to proceed from here, for the purpose of fully telling our story, is to back up a bit.
Here it goes:
Andrew and I were married almost two years ago on August 7th, 2010. We were fresh out of college. Actually, he still had one semester of student teaching before he would officially graduate. But he did graduate and got a job teaching high school… at the school that he had prayed, prayed, and prayed more for. Not only did he get a job teaching, but he got a job coaching baseball and golf as well. During all this time, I had been working as a social worker for a local nonprofit agency. Oh… and I got a dog! A chihuahua named Lady, who was nine years old at the time (as best her previous owners could guess) and weighed in at about three and a half pounds. Both of us are were happy, and after many months of living in a 500 square foot apartment, we felt settled enough in our jobs, and stable enough financially to move somewhere a little less small. In searching for a larger apartment we found a beautiful home about a mile and a half from my parents. It was affordable… an old parsonage in an established, quaint neighborhood. Again, we prayed, prayed, prayed and felt like it was a God-thing.
So… we bought the house.
We also redid the kitchen.
And bought a lawnmower.
And planted plants.
Like real grown ups.
We did all these things because we thought we would stick around awhile. Or, we thought we would stick around for most of our lives. We were happy. Andrew loved his job, both teaching and coaching.
Last October (2011) I quit my job as a social worker and began working for my parents at my dad’s dental office. Humongous answer to prayer. It was then, and it still is now. I love it.
But in Andrew’s life, things had changed overnight… literally. Andrew began to hate his job. Pulling himself out of bed each morning was difficult for him, as he went to bed with dread in his heart over what would be in store the next day. As his wife, it was truly painful to watch. He had been saying for months that he felt a desire in his heart for something more, but was not sure what that meant exactly. And he was not sure if it was a God-thing or a self-thing.
But the feeling did not go away.
It became more prevalent by the day until, finally, it was all-consuming.
We bathed it in prayer. Andrew and I agonized, and then fasted and prayed. For months. CONSTANTLY.
And the discontentment in his heart grew, and grew, and grew.
But there were no clear answers. God was not hitting him upside the head with any “next steps,” or specific instructions.
So we waited.
And… applied to dental school.
Yep. He applied to dental school. He came up with a plan… something to move him away from where he was.
He, of course, did not get accepted. He had taken very few of the prerequisites, and applied at the last minute.
He enrolled in several science classes. In fact, Spring 2012 Andrew was a full-time student, as well as a teacher and coach. He was enrolled in three science classes, all of which were accompanied by labs. He wanted to be ready in case he decided to re-apply to dental school. All the while, he did not have any indication that this was the way God was saying to walk. All he knew was that he had to go somewhere.
Have you ever experienced that “ah-ha moment?” Like the moment you knew the man sitting across from you was the man you were going to marry. Like that annoying math problem that you spend hours trying to figure out. And then, in an instant, the formula comes to you and you cannot believe it took so long for you to grasp it. Like slipping into a pair of jeans and just knowing that, of the fifty pair you tried on that day, that was the pair for you. Like finally figuring out how to thread that stupid sewing machine after all these years.
Andrew had that kind of a moment. An ah-ha moment. The kind of moment that significantly impacts the rest of your life. A moment when God said, “This is the way; walk in it. (Isaiah 30:11)”
That moment came through a six word, on sentence long text message send to Andrew from my dad on Saturday, April 7th, 2012. The text said this:
“Have you ever thought about chiropractic?”
Andrew’s response read, “I don’t know anything about it.”
Ah-ha. “This is the way; walk in it.”