We are not going to teach again in Thailand next year. After months of assuming that we would teach here for at least two years, God asked us to reconsider. It was weird. It was the beginning of December and all the teachers starting asking about who was coming back next year. Matt and I were saying that yes, we would be back. It made sense financially, and we wanted to continue building these relationships and our teaching experience. But one day in the shower, God was like, "Hey, have you heard from Me on that?". A gentle reminder that no, we hadn't really prayed through it. We just thought it was the most logical thing to do, and after all, God is a God of logic.
It's a good thing He gave us this gentle reminder. After this, we talked about it often and realized that both of us have a huge desire to move back home (Charleston) and get settled. We also reviewed finances and realized that it actually does not make as much sense to stay here as we thought--especially since I am without health insurance here.
It's scary; I'll be honest. To move back to the States in the middle of a recession is pretty risky, especially considering that we don't have much of a 'nest egg'. It's also a little scary because we don't know exactly what God will have us do when we move home. We are both considering teaching again, but since we're not certified, it would be at a private school. We don't know where to live. So, to review: little finances, no jobs, no place to live.
There's also the whole factor of more change. I mentioned earlier that moving to Thailand was my 22nd move in less than 8 years. It is quite an understatement to say that I am ready to be settled. I would love to have some consistency in so many areas of my life, and hopefully being settled somewhere is a huge step in the right direction.
I had a great talk with my best friend, Ginger, the other day about all of this. She is always great at offering perspective. We talked through my fears and struggles with all of this, but we also know that God's purpose is so much greater than anything I can understand. For example: I did not want to leave Uz in 2006. Not only was my team kicked out of the country, but the ministry leadership was not going to allow me to go back long-term, immediately, like I desired. This did not make any sense to me, and I fought it! I had no idea that God was orchestrating a romance between me and Matt. But He did, and I've learned more about God through our relationship and marriage than I probably would have in my whole lifetime in Central Asia (whoa, that's kinda hard for me to say... who really knows!).
So, here we are. Our third major shift in direction since we got married. We still have 3 or 4 more months here, so pray that during our remaining time, we would be obedient and faithful in everything God has for us. Also pray for us as we begin to make decisions about life in Charleston. Pray that we would continue to focus on God's purpose for our lives, and not necessarily our plans. (Proverbs 19:21)
My sister, Laura, made this image years ago.