Apparently, Dallas and I are not meant to be bloggers. Despite us having a few noteworthy developments lately, we’ve yet to type it all out for our family and friends. Oops. So….here it is.
In the last update we gave, we were learning how to be happy in our little home by the lake as we waited for direction from Jesus. Since then, we have moved back home with our parents in an attempt to save money, Dallas received a job interview for a hospital in Portland, Oregon and our lives have been turned completely upside down.
Dallas and I flew to Oregon in the beginning of November for his interview and instantly fell in love with the city. I can’t explain the (almost) instantaneous feeling we had that this was where we were supposed to be. It was just a sense. It’s a city in desperate need of Jesus. We are two people in desperate search of ways to show Him to others. The fit couldn’t have been clearer for us. So, what does that mean? It means that if Dallas is offered this job, we’re taking it and moving across the country. Bam. How’s that for a life change?
We alluded to finding some sort of mission opportunity for the beginning of 2016, and we have done just that. For the remainder of January we will be volunteering with Gleanings for the Hungry in California, where food is harvested and sent to those in need. It’s not the mission work we originally saw ourselves doing, but we are both passionate about the idea that one does not have to enter a third world country to do the work of Jesus. People have been asking me if I’m excited, even if it’s not Kenya. And I really, truly am. We will be doing hard, manual labor and will probably never meet the people who receive the food we work with, but I can’t wait to experience that. To know that with every day someone will be blessed by our efforts seems like a remarkable feeling.
We have fought with whether all of this was what Jesus had for us or if this is just us grasping for something to do with our time. We never truly found a clear answer. However, a wise friend mentioned a phrase that has stuck with us through this whole process and even influenced the way we look at all our decisions. “Love God and do what you want.” She went on to say that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go to California (or anywhere for that matter) if we were seeking the heart of Jesus while doing so.
As if to answer our ever-growing questions, Jesus gave us a little “Yes” moment. Before heading across the country for a month we went to Gatlinburg, TN, to spend New Year’s with family. The boys wanted to go to Knife World, and after seeing the stuffed animals decorating the walls, I decided the place wasn’t quite for me. While waiting outside, I ran into my suitemate from my freshman year of college, who incidentally is WEARING OUR FUNDRAISING SHIRT. Woah. Wait. What? I haven’t seen her in almost 5 years and I see her here, wearing the shirt she bought from us to send us to Kenya. I told her about how things had played out, and she went on to tell me how Jesus had worked things out for her. Her closing statement to us was “Just say ‘Yes,’ guys. Just say ‘Yes.’” Given how beautifully random the entire meeting had been, this seemed like wisdom straight from Heaven. Dallas and I were floored, and are saying yes to whatever Jesus is asking. So we’re going to California.
So, where are we now? Well, currently we’re in New Mexico. Yes, New Mexico. We’re driving across the country to be in California by the 11th, and are trying desperately to see America’s beauty whilst avoiding the Snowpocalypse that has descended upon the southwestern states. We made it to Big Bend, Texas after driving all night and spent a day (and a freezing night in our tent) wandering the prettiest landscape I’ve ever seen. We’ve bathed in the Rio Grande, spent the night listening to coyotes, climbed down into the caves at Carlsbad Caverns and are now charging up in a Starbucks in Royston, New Mexico. We’ve packed so many sights and so much driving into our trip already that it’s just starting to blur a little. But this is where Dallas and I are at our best. This life of living out of our car, wearing nothing but t-shirts and hiking pants, rarely bathing, sleeping in tents and eating junk food. We’ve been in the car for a collected 19 hours and still like each other, so I think the future of our marriage is looking good.
We still have a few stops and a few more days left before we make it to Gleanings, but this is where we are now (literally and figuratively). After our time in California, we’ll know if Dallas has the Portland job and go from there. But as for now, we’re nomads. And loving it.
That’s as clear of an update as I can give for two people whose life changes constantly. We’re trying to be flexible to what Jesus is allowing for our life, and have some fun along the way. Thanks for tuning in, friends :]