In my last “Prairie Girl Goes Coastal” blog, I shared about the stresses I endured while taking on the role as breadwinner, and how a counsellor helped put my husband and me on the road to mutual understanding and healing.
My husband and I had been downsizing and fixing up our home to sell for over a year. We knew in our hearts, with my husband’s two job losses in less than 10 months, that it was imperative that we move. We couldn’t keep up with the expense of living in our home of almost 27 years without a sufficient income coming in; it was jeopardizing our retirement savings, which we had been dipping into on a regular basis to pay our bills. Regardless of whether we remained in our city, stayed on the prairies, or moved somewhere new, we needed to downsize to a new home.
With a new year came a new attitude from my husband. With lots of prayer and lots of time with the Lord, he was able to move from seeing impossibility and despair in his current situation to the possibility of a promising future.
Instead of applying for positions in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta—where the jobs were more prolific—he kept his eye open for, and applied to, positions on the east coast.
I was relieved. His applying to everywhere but the east coast after he lost his second job had caused additional conflict between the two of us. It was hard to reconcile my strong call to the east coast with my husband’s difficulty in envisioning our future there. Now it appeared that we were finally on the same page.
As the new year unfolded, things continued to look up. My husband was able to complete his last few courses for his Bachelor of Theology. I became his audience for a series of sermons he wrote as part of his final assignment. The written feedback I gave, a requirement of his course, became an opportunity for me to encourage my husband and speak into his life in a way I hadn’t been able to do for a long time. His final sermon, which documented his journey over the past year or so and how he was able to pull himself, with the Lord’s help, out of his depression was a bona fide treasure that would never have existed if he hadn’t gone through this difficult time. I was proud of him.
By this time, I had reconciled myself to the fact that you can’t force someone to be ready for a life-changing move if they are simply not ready. While my patience was being honed, I was growing spiritually.
Now that we were on the same wavelength, our downsizing efforts continued in earnest. My husband couldn’t wait to leave the prairies to go to the east coast and explore our future.
We made plans to leave in late March despite the risk to drive in unpredictable spring weather. Having something to look forward to, gave my husband hope.
In the meantime, another major life event took us by surprise—we found out that my son and wife were expecting their first child, our first grandchild.
My son and his wife lived less than ten minutes’ drive away from us. Could I, in my heart, leave them behind? For the first time, my conviction to head east wavered.
Nonetheless, my husband was chomping at the bit to move on. In his mind, there were too many doors closing on the prairies, both professionally and personally, and he was now convinced that our future absolutely lay at the east coast—grandchild or not.
What happened next, no one could have seen coming.