So I've realized lately that many of you have no idea why we moved or the story behind it - and it's so important to me that I document this somewhere. I've been trying to write this post for three weeks now, but I just haven't reached the point where I feel like I've fully portrayed the emotions and excitement behind it all. For my sanity, though, I'm giving it my best shot. It's quite the novel, but it's ours and I love it.
About once a week, I remember how crazy it is that we actually live in New Hampshire. Before Jacob started the interview process for this new job back in the fall, I can pretty confidently say New Hampshire only crossed my mind when I got the hankering to sing the state song I learned in fifth grade. When he first mentioned he got a call from a pastor up here, I laughed. I didn't give it much consideration, partly because it seemed crazy, but mostly just because I didn't want to give the opportunity too much weight yet. It was too early and it wasn't just a simple move down the street, you know?
The job process slowly moved along, with phone interviews here and there and eventually a very long questionnaire about our lives and several of Jacob's theological stances. Very few people knew about the opportunity, still, because we thought it was too early and too crazy to tell people just yet. We were almost constantly thinking about it, though. And praying. So much prayer.
It was at this point I started feeling a little sad because I thought I'd have to quit my new job I'd only had for three or four months so far. I loved what I did and what the company stands for - it was a great job to get right out of college and I had already grown to love my coworkers dearly! I shared my life with those people, so you can imagine how difficult it was to keep my over-sharing mouth shut.
At this point, though, my parents didn't even know about the opportunity! We weren't sure it was serious enough to tell them and, well, New Hampshire felt a lot farther away from Ohio than Tennessee did... and we weren't ready to give them that shock quite yet. Looking back, I wish we had clued them in a little sooner, but we held back because we didn't want to put them through those emotions if we didn't end up moving.
But then the pastor called and said they'd like to fly us up to visit. And that's when we realized things were serious and we wished we had already told my parents. But the moment we did tell them was so, so sweet. We Facetimed them together and shared the story and our excitement. They couldn't have been more supportive. They prayed with us for our visit and the decisions to be made - both for us and the church - and told us how proud they are of us! Needless to say, I cried and felt a surge of excitement as our trip couldn't come quicker.
We visited at the beginning of December and were absolutely blown away by the Church. The people were incredible - so down to earth and welcoming... and devoted lovers of Christ. It was a packed weekend full of events and dinners and great conversations with many (soon-to-be) new friends and coworkers. After every single meeting or event, we left with the calm confirmation that this would be our new home. We were pumped up about how much God is moving here and using this church to love this city!! We were so exhausted, though, that we hardly talked in our alone time the first two nights! Any chance we had to sleep, we slept.
But the night before we were scheduled to fly home, we both confidently said we would be crazy to say no. We prayed again and went to bed with giddy, excited spirits. The next morning we met with the lead and executive pastors to "debrief" from the weekend and they offered Jacob the job. Although we knew we wanted to make this church and city our new home, we thought about it, prayed about it, and sought counsel from our parents for a few days.
Later that week, Jacob officially accepted the position as Student Pastor and we started the process of figuring out how to move across the country. We planned to move at the end of January, so we needed to quickly give our time at our current jobs. Both of us gave our time much earlier than two weeks, because we were in situations where that was most appropriate. Chickfila was so sad to see Jacob go - it was really fun to see how appreciated and loved he was there.
And although I was extremely excited for this new adventure, I was very sad to say goodbye to my new job and dreading the process of interviewing for new jobs. The day came when I had to tell my boss we were moving, though. I asked him to talk, shut his office door, and told him we were moving. I'm so emotional, I attempted to keep it together and not cry, but I'm sure he could tell I was on the verge. He was so supportive and told me how they would be sad to see me go, but he knew I'd move on to bigger and better things eventually.
But then he asked if I'd be willing to work remotely for a little while, to help with the transition while they looked to fill my position. I didn't tell him at the time, but I was kind of secretly hoping for that possibility. I was filled with excitement and gratitude that I wouldn't have to search for a new home and a new job all at once. I could see my stress levels deflating immediately.
All throughout this process, God opened door after door, leading us to New Hampshire. Even though moving across the country is a scary thing, I wasn't scared. He provided us with two jobs. We knew he was providing an amazing church family to welcome us in and love us. He provided a temporary housing situation for us while we looked for a new apartment. And the place we have now is so perfect for us - we needed to wait to find it.
Now we are 3 months in to living in New Hampshire - and we are still loving it. My "temporary" remote job has even morphed into a "keep as long as I want" temporary remote job. God has provided for us abundantly in every department and I seriously sometimes just can't even believe it. He is so good, friends. Even the times when I was unsure and doubted that where we were in that moment was right, he provided a way. He filled in the gaps. He connected the dots.
I'm so excited for what is to come. We are finally settling into a routine and feeling like this city really is our home. I'm ready to embrace it, roll up my sleeves and get to work.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. - 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
This verse has been running through my mind often lately. I'm asking God to use our time here - to use us to plant seeds and water seeds, but even more I'm asking him to make things grow.
Thanks for hanging with me all the way through this story. I wish I could have articulated the moments of joy and trust a little more eloquently, but sometimes I can't translate those feelings into the right words. He is so good, my friends. Thanks for your support and encouragement through the beginning of this journey we're on!