Life in Tinian came to an end in June 2014, due to the fact that I was expecting our third child. We were counseled to return home for various reasons, so that is what we did. But for the past two years Neemias and I have both felt like our hearts stayed in the Marianas. At the beginning of this year I applied for a job on Saipan and it looked like everything was coming together for us to return to the islands. After many emails and phone calls with the principal we were sure that God was putting all the pieces together. Our prayer was that if this was His plan that things would continue to progress. The school did have a few concerns about our youngest, Rebekah, being so young and the challenges that would bring. Having lived and taught in Tinian when Madalyn was only a couple months old we knew that it would be a challenge. But we were determined to power through. Our hearts were 100% into moving back.
We were not expecting the blow that came. In fact, I’m still struggling with and having a hard time accepting what God allowed to happen. The week that we were going to give our final answer to the school in Saipan my mother called me crying. In the span of a few months all of the leadership in the church of Padova had informed my parents that they were moving out of the country to pursue a better life in England. My parents were devastated. Even their church administrator was leaving. They knew that my then teaching job at the International School of Venice was not going so well due to the long commute and time that it took away from my family. They offered me a job as church administrator. That meant I could see my children more and have a shorter commute. In my mind I said no, we are going to Saipan. So I just listened and tried to encourage.
When Neemias came home I told him about the church. The first thing he said was that we should probably stay. This was God saying that it’s not yet time for Saipan. He said that we should stay and help the church of Padova and allow Rebekah to grow up a bit more before we head back to the islands. My heart broke. I was so excited about moving back to the Pacific. I longed to teach a class of multicultural children and to make an impact on their lives. I was ready to spend the rest of my life on a tiny island living with and loving all those who would cross my path. I had been looking forward to having more time with my own family, far away from long commutes.
I’ve wanted to write about this for months, but have never been able to sit down and put my thoughts into words.
We know that God’s plan is that we go back to Saipan, so now we are just waiting for the right timing. To this day I weekly look at pictures or watch videos of Saipan and Tinian. There have been some days when I just break down and cry because the longing to move back is so strong. My desire to go grows stronger every day. But that doesn’t mean I am not living my life to the fullest in Italy. Our life is full right now and quite busy. A lot has happened since we said yes to staying and helping the church in Padova. But I’ll save that for my next post!