I sat there at a loss for words. But not thoughts.
Trevor had his first cluster of spasms literally 3 weeks from when we were due to depart. We had our return tickets in hand. I had put a dent into packing our bags. I was already waking up clammy from flying phobia night sweats, for crying out loud! Our return was THAT close!
Actually, Jonathan pulled a suitcase from the back of our closet the other day. My heart melted when I looked inside. How'd we miss this one? It looked exactly the way I had left it. Packed and ready for take-off.
The thing is - even though we only spent two years actually living in Tanzania - we tallied six more dreaming about & preparing for our life there. Four years of earning Theology Degrees - for the express purpose of building a ministry there. Two years serving on a church staff - with our Tanzanian dreams becoming daily more tangible. And finally two more sharing our vision across the States & forming partnerships with like-hearted churches. Until eventually, with butterflies in our bellies, we lifted off into what we thought was the fulfillment of our dreams. Our Purpose.
Six months ago those dreams were dashed into a million little pieces.
It took some time just to move through the first couple of months and process how our lives were redirecting. But we knew almost immediately that we'd have to resign. We've seen with our own eyes the medical available in bush country. Have I told you that Bristel had a breath-holding-induced-seizure which sent us to Nairobi, Kenya for EEGs, MRIs & meetings with the best neurologist? If I recall correctly, the ONLY pedi-neurologist. Looking back now...we can see how what felt like such a crisis at the time was actually a God-thing. In His Providence, He allowed us to see the level of care Trevor would have access to in Tanzania. We can see now that we NEEDED to know for sure that returning was not an option. It had to be clear. Our hearts had to be protected from second guessing. My soul will always be thankful for that! For the peace of knowing the Choice was never really our's at all.
But now...it's six months later. And the where do we go from here is still a bit blurry.
Jonathan has interviewed with several promising churches. There has even been talk of taking the next step - from both parties. The thought of starting over was even a little bit exciting. We've spent hours on Century21 looking at listings in those promising places. Integrity compelled us to be candid about Trevor...and the uncertainty of his future. It was always after that conversation that the interviews dried up. The next steps dissipated. We're not bitter. We understand how tight church budgets are...and the hit they would take to offer Trevor coverage was most likely a deciding factor.
I think, if we're honest, neither one of us ever really had peace about moving away anyway.
We have a lot of support here. My parents. Their cozy in-law apartment we've called home for the past year. Some close friends. Trevor's first neurologist. World class epilepsy centers. State health insurance.
So many things are still uncertain. BUT we've finally made the decision, together, to stay put. It just makes sense. And I was going a little crazy with all the instability.
Jonathan is still putting out resumes. Only locally now. And looking into taking some courses towards a more market-able degree. I've been scanning the part-times out there. Maybe real-estate? I took this personality test once... We'll stay with my parents until we get our feet back under us. Or they kick us out! And we even have a few sponsors sending us financial support through the end of the year!
So we're putting down roots. Here. A world away from where we ever dreamed we'd be.
But somehow I don't think we'll stop talking about Tanzania any time soon...
Oh and btw...and our container was due to arrive in port today! We haven't gotten the call yet... Sooooo...it'll probably be late. But we know our memories are tossing off the coast somewhere close to NYC!
And I think it's about time to un-pack...