[As I started writing this I realized that it was getting long so I decided to split it up into two posts. Here is part one. Part 2 to come later.]
Many moons ago, when Jeff first started applying for jobs at churches, he mostly focused on churches in the southeast, with a few in Colorado and a couple near Kansas, all places near family. As the months dragged on, he widened his search and started applying to basically every job he heard about.
His first interview with the church in California was sometime in the fall, and I didn't think much of it at the time - he had numerous phone and skype interviews with lots of places that didn't go anywhere. Then they flew him out for a live visit in October. I started getting nervous. I didn't want to move to California. I prayed we would find something else. We had a few more leads and I prayed that one of those would pan out. If I'd made a list of all the places I didn't want to live at that point, California might have been in the top few. It's far away, expensive, and culturally very different than what I'm used to. A few weeks later, they decided they wanted Jeff to come for an official visit to preach for the congregation and they wanted me to come also. At that point it was too close to our due date to visit so we decided we'd wait until after the baby was born, thankful that we'd have more time to pray about it.
Those few weeks before Naomi were born were a bit stressful for me. I was anxious about how I would deliver, anxious about Jeff finding a job, uncomfortable from being pregnant, and for several months in the fall I was also working more than normal because we were short staffed at work. I took lots of walks with the dog where I'd just pray and plead for a vaginal delivery and that Jeff would find a job soon.
One night in particular I remember just crying on my walk [Jeff tells me he knew I was having a girl because of how emotional I was this pregnancy] because everything felt overwhelming. I thought back to a particular video lesson in a bible study I had recently finished, where the author described how she prayed that her husband would get a particular job that would take them a long way from home, even though she didn't really want to go, because she felt that's what God wanted her to do. I then did just as she did, praying that Jeff would get the California job.
Going through disappointment is always hard, but having to watch Jeff be disappointed repeatedly during this job search was hard on me. He went through it all determined and faithful, while I struggled to understand why we were going through this. That day in December I had finally just had enough of the struggle.