It happens to us all and usually we are reluctant. Even when things aren't going great, the fear of the unknown keeps us stagnant. But we aren't made to stand still. We aren't meant to stay where things are comfortable. We are called to "go" and "do". Oftentimes, those words mean change.
This past week, we moved out of our house. We had fabulous friends who came and helped load our moving van with all of our Earthly possessions. We said our farewells and we drove the truck, not to our new home, but to a temporary resting place. Our new parsonage is not ready for us so we are spending a week catching up with family before we settle in Knoxville.
Monday, we will unload the moving van and begin setting up our new home and life in Knoxville, TN. Joe has been called to serve a new church - Norwood United Methodist Church. This means our family will be meeting the next group of people we will do ministry with. These church members will be at our side during Tillery's next surgery and the next phase of treatment afterwards. They will meet us at a time when we are at our best but in less than 3 weeks of meeting, we will be back in a pediatric ICU room with our daughter.
Tillery's surgery is our next item of change. Right as we set up our new home, we will again be whisked away to Cincinnati. While the planned surgery is fairly low risk (as neurosurgery goes), we have seen that things don't always go as expected and things can quickly change. We have been soaking up a lot of extra family time lately as we prepare for the unknown that will follow surgery. We are excited for a new, rounded head for Tillery and we pray that she will be back to her baseline quickly. We need all to go well so we can be back home soon for the next big change coming at us...
Tillery's big brother Luke is starting Kindergarten 3.5 weeks after her next surgery. He's very excited about it and we are very excited for him. He really seems to enjoy school and he loves the independence that comes with having his own thing going on. We know that with school will come new learnings and new frustrations but we are ready for this next step into the world of parenting "big kids".
And speaking of big kids, Tillery's getting to be a big girl herself! She's moving very quickly on those little legs of hers and she's gotten pretty steady, as well. Since her chemotherapy doesn't have harsh side effects and her immune system has held at normal for a very long time, we are planning to enroll Tillery into a school program once she is cleared by her neurosurgery team following July's surgery. She will still need some medical care and physical therapy and we will be working to have a medical IEP worked up to ensure she gets all her needs taken care of at school.
The family we have been over the past 6 months is very different than the one from the year before. We are excited to see what we look like in even just a few months down the road. By the time we reach the 2 year anniversary of Tillery's diagnosis, we will be living in a different town, serving a different church, with one child in Kindergarten and the other in some sort of school program. We don't know how Joe's day's will compare to what they have been at his previous church, but there will definitely be differences there. As for me, I may even go back to work.
Change doesn't have to be bad. We are excited to see where these changes take us.
Let the next chapter begin...