We eventually found out that the powers that be had decided not to create a new position after all, so it didn't have anything to do with us. Still, it was hard not to feel the vibrations from that slammed door.
Well, we thought, we love Florida. Maybe God wants us here! We started looking into possibilities with Craig's current field that he could turn into contract work that would allow us to stay in the area. For a while, it seemed a real possibility. We started looking at houses locally. We made appointments for self-insurance quotes. We got advice from trusted friends.
Right in the middle of our tough summer, when Devon was having health problems and the housework was piling up as I struggled to keep three kids under four happy in the house during the spring rains, those plans flatlined, too. I don't mean to turn this into a post on politics, but there's never been a worse time to open your own business.
Another door shut, and nothing ahead of us but a blank hallway.
Craig ran across a job posting in Delaware. The job looked good. He applied. He interviewed (that work trip about a month ago? Yeah.).
He was offered the job.
As much as this feels like it has been coming on forever, things were decided pretty quickly. The verse we were reading over and over during the past year is Isaiah 40:11: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
That verse is no joke.
Here is where the story really gets cool. A week before the job offer, Craig got a call from a good friend he hadn't caught up with in years. One that works at the University of Delaware. In Newark.
We shared the news of Craig's offer, and the two guys spent an hour making tabs on Google earth, looking at the town and surrounding areas. We learned a lot: everything from major highways to which intersections are bad because of university traffic. We also found out that another friend of Craig's lives in nearby Wilmington.
Craig emailed another friend of his, a University of Delaware alumnus. He said that he liked the area and would definitely move his family back if given the chance.
From there on, the list kept growing. Extended family got us in touch with distant relatives close by. Facebook friends messaged us to introduce us to locals. Suddenly we had seven small but concrete connections in the area.
It seemed frankly miraculous to me. I couldn't believe it. I was telling my friend Jennifer how bizarre it was to find out that so many people we know have connections to Newark.
"Newark?" she said. "My mom lived in Newark for a while. I've spent quite a bit of time there. It's nice."
Devon wakes us up every morning wanting to "go to the house with stairs". He is thrilled beyond words that we'll have enough yard to buy a riding mower. He wants to see the pictures of his new bedroom. He seems to understand the move and is processing it well.
How will we teach the concept of coats when it's already a struggle to keep the kids in clothes? What will happen when we tell them we can't put them to bed in a onesie and wet hair anymore?
How will the kids, who this moment are running around en deshabille in the screened porch licking drippy popsicles, adjust? Devon circles to speak to me. "Mommy, I'm freezing!" he says of seventy-one degrees.
Most of all, we're entering November with more than ever to be thankful for.
God promised to lead us, even at times when we're overwhelmed by the daily pressures of raising three kids. He's doing that.
We were concerned about the toll a nationwide job search would take on our family, with the after-work-hours tasks of putting in applications, checking postings, and flying to interviews. God saved us from that.
With the uncertainty and the furlough, we've had plenty of time to read, pray, and listen to Tim Keller sermons. One thing we've been careful to do throughout this whole process is to ask God for what's best for us, not what we think would be best for us. After all, says Keller, He knows everything. He gives us what we would ask for if we only knew the whole story. We firmly believe he's done just that for us.
We're looking forward to a great new adventure!