Ohio was out. And that was okay. The question still remained however- where were we going to end up?
Throughout all of this change, we adopted the song “Crazy Faith” by John Waller as our theme song of sorts. It just fit. Life certainly felt crazy, as did our faith during this freefall time. God specializes in those crazy faith moments, and His faithfulness shines all the brighter through them. Not that I always kept my eyes on that light. But we kept pushing forward and knocking on doors that God seemed to place in our path.
Some may wonder (as we did), just what was the point of the door we thought was going to open to Ohio? I believe that God used that opportunity as a spacer, so to speak. It timed things out perfectly for us when we found the right door. The Ohio door is what God used to challenge us farther when Will walked away from the IT position. It grew us. It helped us better understand what we were looking and hoping for in a church. I’m thankful for that door and even more thankful that it was closed to us. Looking back with the perspective that time and experience brings, even in a relatively short period of time, it is evident that that church and position wouldn’t have been quite right for us. God knew that and loved us enough to bar that door.
Meanwhile, one of the churches we had been praying about and applied to contacted Will for an interview, and then another, and then an invitation to come for an in-person interview. It was scary, especially after the experience with Ohio that was still a bit raw. Will and I agreed we would go solo on this one, leaving the kids behind with my graciously wonderful parents as their caretakers while we flew to Philadelphia. We were going to interview in a city about 45 minutes outside of Philly. The next stop for us was Exton, PA.
Will and I knew the position in Exton was a definite crazy faith position. The job description fit Will really, really well, and the church seemed to be a solid, Biblically sound body of believers. And the homeschool mom in me could definitely see the amazing opportunities for field trips living near Philly, Valley Forge, 2 hrs from DC, and about 2 1/2 hours from New York City! However, as we explored the cost of living, some of the wind was knocked out of our sails. Early in the interview process, I remember looking at houses on the market using Trulia or Zillow and putting in our desired price range along with our hope for 4 bedrooms for our family of 6. Nothing came up. I laughed a little manically and upped the price range a bit. More manic laughter. I looked at Will and basically told him that if we are called to PA, that it would be a miracle indeed! Either that, or we would just need to live in our van down by the river.
So, we prepared to fly to Philadelphia. We were going to be gone for two nights, leaving Friday morning and returning Sunday evening. Neither of us had been to that city before and I hadn’t flown since high school. My biggest fear at that time became the thought of the plane crashing with Will and I both on it, leaving our children without their parents. But I was also really excited to explore a new area, have some alone time with Will, and see if this could be what God had planned.
The plane ride was incredible. It was a smaller plane, but once we were up in the clouds I couldn’t stop looking out and was enthralled by the view. As we landed, I felt a sense of adventure and we used the next few hours to get to know the city a bit. We first grabbed a late lunch- Philly cheesesteaks, of course. We saw the Liberty Bell, went on a tour of Independence Hall, and then changed for our dinner date and drove through the city a bit towards the restaurant where we had reservations. I was excited about dressing up and going out to dinner in a new city. Unbeknownst to me, thanks to my inaccurate address input into the navigation app, we got to tour more of Philadelphia in nice clothes and impractical footwear for a ten block walk/run in hot, humid conditions to make dinner reservations in time. When we finally arrived to the restaurant, I was kind of a literal hot mess in my retro navy polka dot dress. I had called the restaurant around block five to let them know we were on our way but were running a bit late. As we entered into the blessed air-conditioned space, before we could even introduce ourselves, the hostess (who also happened to be owner of the restaurant) commented, “You must be the Adairs.” My breathless, hurried reputation derived from my phone call must have proceeded us. Bless her, she complimented me on how nice I looked despite my beet red and rather sweaty appearance. I had never loved ac and ice water more. Thankfully, Will and I agreed the food was worth it.
Following dinner, we walked more leisurely back to our rental car and prepared to drive the 45 minutes or so to our hotel in Exton. I was enamored with the beauty of the area as we drove- rock lining the roads, lush and green vegetation and trees. I had not known how beautiful Pennsylvania was. We arrived at the hotel, looking forward to getting uninterrupted sleep, and hopefully ready for our introduction to Grace Covenant EPC the following morning.