Monday, January 08, 2007

Up-and-Down

Apart from sleeping on a boat the last two nights, things in general have been up and down.

I would have never guessed at this time last year, that at this moment we'd be where we are, in the situation we're in. At times I'm excited at the challenges and possibilities (both to stay here and to go), at times I feel sick to my stomach... like today. Mark discovered that calling to register for the American Chiropractic Board Exams (the exams he needs to take and pass in order to practice in America) wasn't quite enough. He needs to sign up in person so someone can notarize his forms. The deadline: tomorrow. The place to show up in person: Bournemouth (a mere 5 hour drive to the south coast of England). So, I'm home alone and Mark is making the trek by himself, after finishing his workday at 7pm. He returns tomorrow in time to see his afternoon patients. Ugh.

On a brighter note we met up with our dear friend Grace Chisholm this past weekend, in Amsterdam of all places. It just happened to be the most convenient spot where our paths could connect. We took a glorified ferry over, hence the nights on the boat. We didn't do much sightseeing. We just talked and drank beer for breakfast and had pancakes for lunch and falafel for dinner. We walked around and eventually toured the 'Bodies' exhibit. VERY cool... where they plasterize cadavers (?? I think that's what they do). It completely blew away those abstruse drawings of the human body from elementary school by making learning about the body so accessible and understandable. It also wasn't gross. I had never seen a cadaver, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Back to real life... At this point almost everyone knows about our possible move. I say 'possible' because it's not for sure. We do believe if we work hard Mark will generate the patient base we would need to survive. The catch is, I think the time we need is less than the time we have to work with. It isn't impossible, but it will be extremely difficult for us to stay. Despite our confusion, as we were planning on staying here longer, we are reminded that God's plans will prevail. If He wants us here, He will provide for us to be here. I have a little card I've put up in our room stating, "Expect a Miracle." We're torn because we generally don't like life in England, yet we will grieve if we have to leave our church. We desire to stay a part of it and continue to help it grow. The tug is for Mark to work with Dr. Roberts, my former chiropractor in Arizona. Dr. Roberts is a great Christian man with a similar heart to Mark's. I think Mark would flourish with him, and I want to see him flourish. The catch is that the practice is in my home-town... a place I didn't expect to move back to so soon. It's filled with pro-war Republicans (nothing against you personally if you are one) and small-town politics. I'd look forward to returning as the different person I am from who I was when I lived there. I'd look forward to befriending those I previously turned my nose up to, and to serving those I didn't have enough time for, but it wouldn't come without much difficulty. Have you gone from 'the world' back to a small small town before that seems so out of the rest of the world? Can I do it? We've thought about living in Tucson (for my work possibilites) and then having Mark communte to Sierra Vista (a 1 hour commute each way). He's up for it. We'll see.

So the POA is to have a meeting with our closest friends here, on Thursday evening, to help us brainstorm our situation and pray about what to do. At the moment, some people from church feel like we are considereing abandoning them. They reminded us that they don't yet have jobs, and still they are committed to the church. ouch. It's true, but I do know that we have many responsibilities to consider, such as: We currently pay £900/month for just Mark's student loans. If we fail to make payment, his parents' farm (they co-signed for the loan) will be re-possessed. I don't feel we can, in any way, put their farm in jeopardy. If God wants us to stay here, I sure hope He does it without us having to risk their farm or us having to rack up any more credit card debt. If we do leave, we hope to leave with our church's and Guy's (Mark's current boss) blessing.

In the meantime, we're asking my co-workers and everyone at church to help pass out Mark's business cards! Please pray for their willingness, enthusiasm, and success in doing this.

And please keep us in your prayers in general during this up-and-down time. We welcome any words of wisdom and encouragement.