Life update: the Holy Spirit man, he moves swiftly, powerfully, and clearly…
Me on the other hand… a little slow on the uptake… which is why you haven’t heard from me in awhile!
Here’s what’s been going on with our family in the last few months…
The Ongoing Job Search
Ever since we moved to this little, rural, town in Georgia, we knew it wasn’t a forever home. It’s too far from family. Too little to do. And sadly, too lacking in authentic Catholic community. Thus, since we arrived, Chris and I have both kept our eyes peeled for potential job opportunities elsewhere.
We weren’t looking to move right away and we weren’t looking to stay, we were simply just looking. And listening. Looking for movement of the Holy Spirit. And boy did that Third Person speak clearly this spring.
Over the past three years, Chris has looked into a handful of other job opportunities, interviewing in-person for three of them. So when he asked how I felt about him applying for a job in Charleston, I had no hesitation. In my mind, “applying” isn’t the same as “accepting” — it’s simply gathering more information. And I had no problem with him gathering more information about a potential job in which he was interested.
A month later, he was asked for a phone interview. Again, not a big deal in my mind. But after that went well, he was invited on campus for an in-person interview.
Our Spring Break Investigation
The interview was scheduled for Good Friday. And while Chris was adamant about wanting me to get a feel for the area to help with discernment, neither one of us thought it would be a good idea for Imogene and me to tag along on the official visit as it would certainly shift Chris’ focus.
Spring break happened to fall ten days before the interview, so we decided to get in the car and spend a couple days exploring the city.
There was no denying the aesthetic beauty of the area, or the fact that there was lots to do…
Yet, for almost the entire trip, I wasn’t convinced the move was a good idea.
Since Imogene was born, I’ve wanted to move from our current home… but I wasn’t sure that this move would solve any of our problems… the cost of living was more expensive, and we would still be a considerable distance from family, and we didn’t really know anyone. How could I be sure that we wouldn’t find ourselves with the same “problems” but in a new location.
The Bavarian Madonna
I prayed. And I thought back to the time I was discerning my first move away from home. There were so many little “lights” that lead me to Knoxville, one of them being a simple statue.
Growing up, the Bavarian Madonna had sat upon the fireplace mantel in our home. It was in front of that Madonna that I had learned to pray – both externally with others and internally by myself. She holds a special place in my heart. She taught me how to listen and hear the voice of her Son. So when I ducked into a nearby parish after my Knoxville interview, and saw her statue tucked away in a side chapel, it spoke to my heart. It was as though she was telling me, “You’ll continue to grow here. You’ll continue to hear my Son here.” I toke it as a sign (one of many) and accepted the position when it was offered to me.
Fast forward to the present, this occurrence came to me in a moment of thought during our Spring break trip. I remembered the profound clarity and prayed simply “make it clear again.”
I didn’t care what the answer was one way or another. I simply wanted to do the right thing for my family.
Dinner with a Side of Clarity
The one person I knew in the area was an old friend from college. She and her husband graciously hosted us for dinner on our last night in town. The kids played, we caught up on life, and at one point, I had to take Imogene somewhere quiet to feed her (she’s too curious and social to nurse when there are lots of other people around. Girl has major FOMO).
I sat down on the couch, Imogene latched, and I looked around the room as she began to eat. It took less than two seconds for my eyes to land upon a familiar face: the Bavarian Madonna.
Based on my concerns, prayer, and recalled memories from earlier, I knew it was –once again — a sign. How is it that this statue — which isn’t super common (not like other versions of Our Lady anyway) — appeared once again while discerning another move?
The Holy Spirit. That’s how.
A Leap of Faith
That sign was all I needed. We didn’t have all the answers about finances– Chris hadn’t even interviewed or been offered the job yet. But in that moment, I knew. I knew we would be moving to Charleston. And that Charleston would be a place where we could grow spiritually.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit expanded on this clarity. Both Chris and I were offered great jobs in our respective fields (surprise! I’m going back into the classroom! Maybe I’ll write another post on this later), affordable housing kind of fell into our laps, and in-home childcare with another Catholic family became readily available (something I just never really thought we’d need because I always thought I’d stay home with our children).
The Holy Spirit moved swiftly and obviously… making it easy for us to respond peacefully and joyfully.
July 1st, we’re moving to Charleston, SC.
…Which way to the beach?