Way back, before Jon and I had any clue how our transition might actually go, we talked about how we would find jobs in the U.S. in such a way so that we could have a home in the school district where our kids would start school in the (northern hemisphere) Fall of 2017. This seemed like a very ambitious goal. But we knew that more than anything, we desperately wanted our kids to start school on time in the schools where they would stay.
We never got to actually executing that transition timeline as Jon started his U.S. job in September of 2016. And in fact, our kids ended up starting U.S. school a whole semester ahead of our goal. That was a gift as it gave them time to transition and adjust before the pressure of new school year starts. So, our main goal in transition is accomplished. Whew!
Now that our whole family is in the U.S., people wonder what I’ll be doing. Me, too! Let me share with you what I know. First, it is expected that it takes some time to adjust and “restart” life in he U.S. Even though Jon did tons of this for our family, there is still plenty to take care of to get us smoothly operational in a new setting and a new country. Thankfully, the ELCA factors this in for its long term missionaries and there is some salary coverage, based on how long you served, to aid with the bridge time.
With that economic pressure off for a bit, I am leaning into this reintegration time and trying to do the deeper work of arriving. Besides adjusting to living again in the U.S., I am working on settling us into our house and getting everyone ready for a new school season. I am finishing up financial reporting work from my old job as well as doing catch-up medical visits, etc.
In addition to these life tasks, I want to use this intersection to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider what is next for work. Yes, I want a job. But also, I want to be doing the “yes” work – the work to which I am especially called. Is it a congregation? Is it a nonprofit? What does it mean to have accumulated the experiences and skills from the last five years and where/how must I use them? I am curious and open. I don’t know the answers. But I know I don’t want to speed past the exploration.
So, we’ll see what the coming months hold!