Decisions {part 3}

I’ve finally gotten around to {part 3} of our saga, aka The Story of Us, aka Chip.&.Deb, aka not so exciting people who sometimes do exciting things. . . . 

Anyway, I’m taking it back to 1990-91, which I remember fondly as our first year of wedlock.  During that school year, my husband Chip finished up college.  I had already graduated.  Because I’m older and therefore wiser.  Actually, I’m only 7 months older, and ended up one grade ahead.  

We had known all along that Chip was not stopping with a mere Bachelor’s degree, but would move on through graduate school, and/or seminary, in preparation for vocational ministry.  Conveniently, the school at which we did our undergraduate work offered a Masters in [I can’t remember what. . . . religion? ministry? it definitely wasn’t forestry] and it seemed like the perfect plan for Chip’s next step in academia.  We lived in married student housing, I had a full time job on campus, and most importantly, we were living in San Diego!!!  

But alas, sometime during that school year, we decided this wasn’t the plan.  Forgive me for not remembering all the details, but it’s been 20+ years ago.  We began looking into other schools, in other places.  Some of which were [gasp for me!] on the other side of the country.  We researched Trinity in the midwest.  We looked into our [then] denominational school in Kansas City.  We considered Fuller in California.  But, we finally decided upon Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.  

And that was our first big decision as a married couple.  I don’t know if I realized at the time how life changing of a decision it was.  We would never again live in the “west”.  We would eventually have children and raise them, for the most part, in the “south”.  We had charted our course, with plans to move across the country and begin a new life of sorts.  Far, far away from everything and everyone I knew and loved.  Except my husband.

This week I noticed something in a picture hanging by my work desk.  

Starry Night Over the Rhone
Vincent van Gogh
I had never really paid any attention to the couple walking by the water [they’re hard to see in the above copy].  It’s night, it’s so dark, yet they’re out together, holding onto each other as they walk.  They don’t strike me as especially happy, yet not distressed either.  I see them as people who know each other well, and they’re not scared to walk through the dark.   There’s a little light and that’s all they need.  

We have made countless decisions over the years.  Moves, health issues, job changes, home purchases, kids’ school choices, on and on.  Some of those decisions have left us physically alone, with no one else to cling to but each other.  Sometimes no one else in the world understands completely and sometimes we don’t understand each other completely.  Yet, despite the darkness that is often surrounding, we are together.  

Stay tuned for {part 4}, which will involve the move, culture shock, life in Japanese corporate America, an intro to basketball mania, hello to tobacco farms, and a good-bye to authentic Mexican food for many years.  

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