Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our news (no, it's not a new baby)

Two and a half years ago we said our final Pittsburgh good-byes and drove away from our friends' charming, red-brick, four-bedroom house and headed to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Jonathan was excited about starting in the leasing side of commerical real estate with a growing company.  We had a new house in a nice neighborhood waiting for us.  We craved Lake Michigan, Midwestern accents, and new beginnings.  We planned on retiring there.  Most importantly, both sides of our families were in Michigan so that's where we wanted to be.

But God had other plans.  Within weeks of our move, the economy tumbled even more.  Especially in Michigan.  Especially in the commerical real estate field.  Jonathan's company soon went bankrupt and he spent three months unemployed while searching for the next thing.  Carrigan was on the way so Amalia, Brinnly and I together did some child care gigs.  Our rice and beans budget would have made Dave Ramsey proud.

The next thing did come.  We were blessed with a new, full-time, salaried position for Jonathan that allowed him to be home at nights and  to cover our basic expenses.  It was outside of his field and interest and we knew it was a temporary solution.  It has now been 21 months. He has continued to look for the right fit that entire time. 

And now the next thing has come.  God has answered our prayers and provided Jonathan a wonderful  opportunity with a new department at PNC Bank.  He was specifically recruited for this job and will be working directly with many contacts he knew from his previous position in Pittsburgh. That means we will be moving back to Pittsburgh.  Back to hill landscapes, close neighborhoods, First Trinity, and dear people like the Ryans. Away from our families and our Grand Rapids life that we learned to love, even in the midst of challenges. We have big plans for staying connected to Michigan and even bigger plans of making up for the distance that will be between us and our families.  Both now and long-term. We're not (quite) ready to retire yet, so we've got plenty of time to make those arrangements then.

The transition will be sweet-bitter and we're trusting God again to answer our prayers during that time. The girls will be starting preschool at Redeemer Lutheran, in Oakmont, PA.  A wonderful school that will complement everything they are learning at Our Savior.  Several of our friends are running the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon and we will most likely let ourselves get talked into that too.  Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Ikea will be waiting with open arms to welcome us back., or so we picture.

And that "charming, red-brick, four-bedroom house" of our friends' that we said good-bye in front of years ago?  It's going to be ours, at least for a while.  Our friends are moving nearby and we're renting it until we are in a better place to make more decisions.  The best part about it? Lots of room for visitors.


Sarah said...

Congratulations on all of the good news in your life!! Best of luck with your move!

mh said...

I am thrilled that God answered your prayers, and it sounds like Pittsburgh is a great fit for you all. Although leaving family behind is not without difficulty, it sounds like there will be lots of opportunities to visit.

It always seemed to me that hard economic times for the nation translated to even harder economic times for Michigan. Since leaving my beloved homestate, I've experienced a dual nostalgia; one of longing and one of realizing that I can't really go back to it. I have been contemplating a major move for the last two years, but not to Michigan. I've had a love affair with New England for as long as I can remember, and it was more pronounced on my last three visits. Here in TX, things seem to either be stagnant or distressing; both personally and professionally. As much as I would greatly miss my family, I feel compelled to at least venture out on my own. If I don't, I may be a living Robert Frost poem for the rest of my life. :)

May God continue to bless and guide the Wards in this next chapter.

Colleen said...


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