On Friday we signed a lease for a new place to live. We’ll be moving soon, a process that has been a long and winding road. Here’s the story of how it happened.
The story begins last summer at the Tomato Pie Cafe in Littiz over fair trade coffee, tea and rich dessert.
Maybe the story starts a few months before that, when my husband graduated from seminary but learned he wouldn’t have a placement in a church. Or maybe this is just a set of chapters in the middle of our life story.
But really, I think, this part of it starts at the Tomato Pie Cafe.
Phil and I met a pastoral couple from our denomination there to talk over what it would look like for us to join their congregation in Lancaster in an unpaid, unofficial ministry capacity. It was an introduction, of sorts. I barely knew either of them. Phil knew the husband a little better. Anything I knew was mostly from afar, and I had no idea how this get together would go down.
What I remember is feeling like we’d always been friends. We shared some of our stories. We caught a vision for ministry. We connected.
Though we’d been practical strangers when we walked into the cafe, we ended our time with hugs. And hope.
Phil and I began narrowing our job and housing search to Lancaster.
It was there that we both had circles of support that were important to us.
It was there that we believed we had a church we could attend and enjoy and love and help.
What we needed to get us there was a job.
Phil spent hours each day searching and searching for jobs and growing frustrated. Because who wouldn’t be frustrated that they had a master’s degree and no place to use it?
During these days we battled disappointment and anger. God, don’t You want us in Lancaster? we cried.
Nothing was changing. Not for months.
We were stuck. Wanting to be there. Still living here. Feeling like we didn’t really belong anywhere. It was impractical to commute that far for church, so we delayed our arrival, continuing to hope that it would be soon, all the while preparing our hearts to say good-bye to our current church family. Any day now, we thought. We felt like we’d overstayed our welcome.
And in the midst of our state of stuckness, we wondered: Had we heard God wrong?
To be continued …