A big decision has been weighing on our hearts and minds for the past several months. A decision that is both exciting and terrifying. A decision that we question and doubt on a daily basis. And for that reason, this post has been written and waiting in my "Edit Posts" page since September. And I'm only getting up the courage now to actually post it.
It started over a year ago (summer 2009) when Erik and I began talking about moving to Manitoba. Contrary to what many people think, the idea started in Erik's head. When he suggested moving to the place where I grew up, I think I laughed at first. It's not really out of character for him to make crazy and completely unrealistic suggestions. But he just kept talking about it. And I fought the idea all the way. The thought of leaving our lives in Abbotsford and moving to the town of Boissevain was just too... weird.
But, the idea grew on me over time. We even made a list of pros and cons when we got back to BC last year. But even though the pros seemed to lean towards MB even then, neither of us felt like it was enough to just pick up and leave. We decided to stay put and wait for more direction from God. The months went on, and pretty soon I had totally given up on the idea and was convinced that God wanted us to stay in BC. It seemed like Erik had several great job opportunities on the horizon... but, ironically, none of them really amounted to anything.
Fast forward to this summer. When we decided to spend our whole summer in Boissevain, I was totally "over" the idea of moving there. Instead, I decided that we were getting the best of both worlds - spending our summer months in Manitoba while still coming back to our life here in BC - perfect! In fact, I warned Erik on the drive out that he shouldn't get any more big ideas in his head about moving.
But in a matter of weeks (maybe even days) Erik was already talking about how much he would love to live there. Again, I fought it.
Just a little background here: In our relationship, Erik is the emotional, "fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants" one. I'm the cautious one. So while he was pushing ahead with his big vision for our future, I was pulling back on the reins. Hard. But Erik had some convincing arguments and slowly I began to see why all of his reasoning made sense.
One of the biggest reasons is the obvious ease of financial pressure - the unpredictability of Erik's business plus having a mortgage (on a tiny townhouse) in this insane BC market has been super-stressful on us. Another big reason was the change in lifestyle for ourselves and our family - moving from the city to a small town where our kids could go to the same school from Kindergarten to Grade 12 (the same school that I went to for 13 years!) and where we can be involved in a smaller church and a smaller community. Also, moving to Manitoba means being closer to my family for the first time (my parents live in Boissevain and my 3 siblings and their families all live within a 3-hour drive).
And no, I haven't forgotten about the prairie winters; though Erik actually considers that to be an advantage.
I'm not quite convinced :)
We've spent a lot of time talking with friends and family about this big decision. And most arrows seem to be pointing to Manitoba. Even after we've come back to Abbotsford and had many, MANY moments of fear and doubt and questioning, our times of prayer and journalling seem to keep bringing us both back to the same conclusion.
So, with fear and trepidation we are slowly taking baby steps towards making this happen. Testing the waters... and feeling a little fearful of diving in all the way. Today we put our house up for sale on Craigslist (click here to view). Not sure if it will amount to anything, but it felt like a significant baby step. Right now, our tentative plan is to move in the spring or summer.
Honestly, I don't feel like I have any unrealistic ideals and dreams about what moving is going to look like. My cautious nature might be at fault, but I'm kind of expecting the worst. Not sure if this is a good thing! But, I guess I'm just well aware that a big change like this doesn't come without some big bumps in the road. In some ways I feel like we're moving to a completely different country. Small-town Manitoba & greater-Vancouver BC are 2 entirely different cultures in a lot of ways. So, I feel like I'm preparing myself for culture shock, for loneliness, and for the feeling of not quite knowing where I belong. At least in the beginning.
So, we slowly step forward and put each decision and fear and dream into God's faithful hands. If you think of us, we'd appreciate your prayers; that we would have clarity in our decision-making and that we would trust God to direct us on this journey...