And Back Again

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Another picture I didn’t take.

When we first sat down and really thought about what moving to Scotland would mean, we had a long conversation about what would come next. As much as we truly loved our lives in Ventura, we were consistently met with the reality that if I wanted to work in a field that I was passionate about we needed to live somewhere else. Probably a big city, probably DC. DC is also home to my alma mater, where leaders of all faiths serve campus as Chaplains in Residence, providing community and pastoral care within an inter-faith context, ultimately operating as a campus safety net for all students of all faith experiences. It is a roll that as we say in Christian circles, Jeff had a deep heart for.   So, for a long time DC was this hypothetical end point, but a lot of things needed to happen to make it a reality. A lot of pieces needed to come together to “validate” our decision to uproot our existence.

What is really morally edifying is that over time as we contemplated worst case scenarios (I love you Mom and Dad, but I am really grateful we don’t have to move into the guest room), our experiences here began to outweigh “the worst.” It is a strong mark of our culture that we see the value of things as what they do for us. While I don’t think we were ever so singularly focused, in and through this experience, our education, our friends, our travels brought an intrinsic value that far surpassed taking a next step in our careers. Now, admittedly it is really easy to say that now as our post-Scotland lives have solidified, but I promise there were many moments in the midst of uncertainty, where even if it took us a few years to regain our footing, this life was well worth the risk. Scotland was certainly no means to an end.

Appreciating this year as a stand alone gift, makes celebrating the next step that much sweeter.

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This is the exact moment we found out we were moving to DC. Walking on a beach in Morocco. Double chins of joy!

We have been hoping and praying about serving at Georgetown for almost two years now. Hearing that Jeff got the job as a Chaplain in Residence was pretty much the best day. There was a lot of awkward dancing. We had a home, as we will live on campus, and a clear purpose. Really if things had ended there we would have been quite content. But a few weeks later I got a job at Kroll, building on my internship here in St Andrews in due diligence and anti-corruption investigation in the Middle East and Latin America, a field that I love even though a year ago I didn’t even know it existed.  And just this week, Jeff was offered a teaching position in the humanities department at local K-12 school, where in addition to history and English, he gets to teach philosophy and ethics. We are overwhelmingly excited and generally amazed at the opportunities in front of us, to serve and to grow and to contribute what we have been given. This work is such a privilege, and we are grateful.  I am also thankful for the many No’s we received this year, the many unanswered resumes and endless cold call emails because they brought us to this point. That was certainly not true at the time, but in retrospect, gratitude.

So, we are at once so excited for the future and so unwilling to leave the present. Scotland has been too good to us.

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