Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walk by faith...

{disclaimer: This is a blog post for me to read when I start to forget how God has provided when it seemed impossible... I know we all have stories of how God provided when there was no way. Let this also be a small reminder for you. And to THANK GOD for his provision for his children!}

Looking back it has been a short 10 months living in Hamilton, MA. As I reflect on our time here one thing resonates: God's faithfulness and provision. God has proven to be faithful over and over and over and over again. My last post's pictures make our stay here look as if it has been all "fun and games". But to be honest, it has been one tough ride. At first the hardest part was adjusting to a new town, new accents, new people and please don't get me started on new grocery stores and then walking what seems like a block from your car up two flights of stairs and down the hall to your apartment just to turn around and go back for the second load in the car. But all of that faded. We met friends and found our "spot". We learned how to deal with missing home and familiar faces. We had to trust in God. We had to push through and trust that we made the right decision. Making this decision meant we were truly serious about missions and possibly working overseas. 
Recap: Soon after we moved I applied at Talbots in a nearby village store. I walked my happy self in and asked if they needed any help (knowing nothing of retail- I had high hopes of finding a job soon). Just a few days prior, they received notice from corporate that they were able to hire a new support associate. Little did I know "support associate" was not necessarily a sales associate but one that hopped around and helped in many areas- mostly "shipping and receiving". I came back for an interview and they hired me!
Why was I not applying for a dental hygiene position at a local dentist? Because upon moving here, I/we decided not to pursue paying boo-coos of money for me taking another state/regional board-which also means finding a patient. So, for the time being I worked at Talbots hoping to find a nanny position nearby to help supplement the difference. Nothing worked out! All the hours overlapped, the mothers wanted me to be there until 8pm, cook their child all their meals and pretty much be a stand in mom. It just didn't work out. 
One day in June, Jonathan decided I needed to pursue a Massachusetts dental hygiene license. Money became tight and it just made sense. I knew he was right but I just DIDN'T want to go through that process of finding a patient, paying over $1000 for a board, taking a board, waiting for results, and finding another job. But GOD provided! The weekend that the board was to be in MA, we were going to be in NC for Jonathan's ordination. A month later the board would be offered in NYC- hey Sarah lives in NJ, 10 mins outside of NYC! I signed up! No patient to be found, I drove all over the north side of Boston- I walked the streets going to every dental clinic I could find- drove 45 mins away in each direction. No one wanted to go with me to NYC even if I paid their way. We did a little thinking and facebook advertising; my dear sweet Uncle Charles agreed to be my victim patient :). I assured him I knew what I was doing, I've been a RDH for five years, I could do this. Long story short he passed the standards a good board patient had to meet. Now, just to get to NYC and take this board! I don't remember much about NY other than my 2 days at NYU's dental clinic (not impressive). Took the board, both Uncle Charles and I survived the stress. One week later I received my scores- I PASSED at 100%! I was flying high. Jonathan's first words were "We won't be poor anymore!" <-- yeah right! :)  I had one more written board to pass, apply with the state and we were good to go. Passed the second at 90%! License came in the mail (after a long process and another test on state laws).  
Now, out to find a job. I hand delivered over 35 resumes and e-mailed almost 20. ONE dentist called me back! ONE! There were nights we would plan out how to "make it" by looking on Craigslist for hygiene jobs in NC. I would move to NC and Jonathan would still live in MA and I would just visit him when I could. (Honestly, I had accepted this was going to be what it took to survive this year, but I didn't "want" to do it. But I was committed to do what I had to do. Thankfully, that never happened)! Every time it seemed we were going in the hole, I got a call from the dentist office asking if I could work a day or two. This happened several times before Christmas, then after Christmas I filled in for 2 months and now off and on once a week until we move! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! 
Every month we would pull out the bills and every month we've been amazed at how God has made enough out of almost nothing. Just when the money ran out- God answered our prayers. We have lived in complete faith with our finances these 10 months. God has proved to us over and over again that we just have to trust in him. May God bless the people who have been obedient to him by sending us money, out of the blue! The prayers from family, friends, strangers... none of it has gone un-noticed. As I type this I am amazed how God loves and cares for me/us this much. I'm humbled by his love. Living on campus at Gordon-Conwell you hear so many similar stories! It echos in the halls and seeing happy children run around the playground and parking lot. You see it on the stay-at-home mom's face as she cares for 2 crying children and keeps a smile on her face as her husband studies in the library all day and at home all night. 
As we close up these last two months, my prayer is that God give Jonathan the strength to complete his school work with the same intensity and dedication he has had the pass 4 years. We can see the end (of this degree) in sight and it feels so good. 

Graham Girls. My weekly Thursday night blessing. :) I'm going to miss this bunch
L to R: Amber, Marya, me, Ramona, Jen, Robin, and Alison (baby Ivy)
Missing: Mara, Sara, Rachael, and Mandy.

The beginning of March we sent out our application to become overseas mission workers! Doors are opening and we are walking through them as we wait patiently for God to order our steps.