craziest nine months continued...

we didn't mention this in any of our sabbatical updates because it was too early, but the truth is, just before we left vancouver for virginia, we found out that min was pregnant! talk about an unexpected surprise! though we were thrilled, this would force us to re-evaluate our sabbatical. should we stay in vancouver? what are we going to do about pre-natal appointments in the states without health insurance? if both of us don't have jobs, what are we going to do about income? YIKES!

we decided to stay the course, however. although we weren't able to do a majority of the things we wanted to because of min's morning sickness and discomfort, we were still able to have a lot of fun. again, i won't post the pictures (because min promises to do so), but let's just say there were definitely a lot of moments of levity in an otherwise pretty miserable three months of the first trimester (ie. ear plugs in the nostrils to block out smells, fashion dyslexia and a morbid fascination with a growing gut).

about three weeks into the sabbatical, we paused to make some decisions. the original plan was to stay in virginia for a month, go on a cruise with the parents, then to california for a month and then decide where we wanted to start our next chapter. the pregnancy changed all of that. we did some more marriage counseling which was actually really helpful for us. we identified the inability in our marriage to honestly say what we needed or wanted. i think both of us being first borns and accommodators, we didn't really know how to just say "help" or "i need you to ..." or "i would like...". so with the pregnancy, min was able to say, "i think i would like to be near my family for this first pregnancy and birth." - that was all it took. she was worried that we were overwhelmingly making this decision based on her needs, but i was actually pretty excited at the prospect of living and doing ministry in the east coast. and if pastoral ministry was where i was headed, min having a stable support network around her was only going to help. so that was that.

we changed our plans and decided to go on the cruise with both our parents as originally planned, then go to vancouver to pack up our stuff and tie up loose ends, then go to california solely to spend time with my folks and a few friends in LA, no scouting out ministry opportunities or schools.

the cruise, you can read about. vancouver was great. it was a blessing to be able to see many of our friends and celebrate with our communities there. one highlight was having one last breakfast with our accountability groups.

our church, living hope fellowship, prayed for us on sunday and then took us out for a big celebration at the local pizza joint. we felt loved and blessed and knew that we were not so much leaving as being sent. thanks to all our living hope friends!!

lastly, we took major steps towards selling my condo. i can't believe i first moved in there in 2005. it's been great, 405! we've been through multiple subletters, floods, being locked out at midnight, having my car towed from the front and listening to the smoke detector go off every time i cooked. good, good times. it's been a tremendous blessing and i will miss the last place i lived as a bachelor and the first place we in together as a married couple.

after leaving vancouver we headed to temecula, california. california was pretty chill. we mostly spent time with my folks and my aunt and uncle. christmas and new year's were low key affairs, but again, it's been a busy enough year.

thanks to our inter-varsity friends, awaiting us in temecula was another awesome gift certificate, this time to one of the local wineries. we had a fantastic lunch there and picked up some nice bottles of wine to bring back with us.

now we're back in virginia. the pod has been unpacked (thanks to the generosity of min's folks who allowed us to store our junk in their dining room!), green card process is underway, the job hunt is on and min has a regular ob/gyn she can go to for her prenatal appointments. we believe that by march a lot of our big question marks regarding employment and housing will be answered. we can only pray that is the case, however.

a few weeks ago min was reminded by a friend that around this time had the first pregnancy gone through we would have given birth to a new baby. that made us really, really sad. at the same time, had the first pregnancy gone through, our story would be very different at this point. better? worse? who knows. we can't decide those things. all we know is that along the way we have done the best we can to honor and love each other, allow others to speak into our lives and put the full force of our weight onto an invisible God that we believe in and trust with all that we are.

we look forward to this next stage of our journey that will hopefully involve a new baby, a new home, a new place to do ministry and a new community to journey with. we have no idea how long this next stage will last, but i know with every fibre of my being that the last nine months have been some of the most important in my life.

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