While we have been very content in Nebraska and enjoyed living in Lincoln, it has proven very difficult when it comes to visiting family. Any time we want to see our families it requires us taking multiple days off from work and flying across the country. It was OK for a time when it was just the 2 of us, but with Madison, it's not only tough but impossible financially. Plus, we really wanted to be able to raise our kids closer to family so they would know & have relationships with some of their relatives growing up. So we knew that someday we would move away from Nebraska as our closest relatives live 8 or 10 hours from here.
Last summer around the time Madison was born, Matt sent a letter to several statesmen (senators, congressmen, assemblymen) in New York to see if any of their offices had any job openings. We figured it was a long shot but since he's doing that sort of work now, it would be an easy transition. Other than one thanks-but-no-thanks letter, we didn't hear anything back. Not a big deal - we just figured it was worth a shot, even if it was a long shot.
We planned to fly back to NY for Christmas this year to spend the holiday with my family and our many friends in the area. Just a few days before leaving, Matt received an email from Congressman Randy Kuhl's chief of staff asking if he was still interested in moving back to NY as the congressman had a job opening in his Fairport (Rochester) office. Matt replied that not only were we still interested in moving back but we would be in the area in just a few days! That being said, plans were made for Matt to have a job interview with the congressman's office the day after Christmas, just before we returned to NE.
The news that we might be moving back made everyone back in NY very excited. The job interview went well but as the chief of staff was not present and the hiring decision would come from him, we continued to wait. And wait, and wait. Our only correspondence from their office after the interview said they would 'be in touch soon'. Well, that could mean anything - either a job offer or a no thanks. So we continued to trust the Lord & tried (sometimes without success) to be patient knowing that He was the one that had brought this whole thing about in the first place.
Finally, last week, a full 3 weeks after the interview, Matt received a call from Kuhl's office. They offered him the job!! While this was exciting & gave us high hopes, it wasn't our deciding factor. The real clincher was whether or not the salary would be enough considering the higher cost of living. We had sat down ahead of time and figured an estimate of what the higher rent, gas, utilities etc. would cost us. Especially since I am at home full time with Madison, we knew they would need to offer at least the figure we came up with in order for us to be able to afford it on one income.
When the topic of salary came up during the phone call, they asked Matt what he was thinking. (He hates being asked that - nothing like being put on the spot!) He explained that there would be an increased cost of living and gave them the figure we came up with. They responded without hesitating that that sounded good -- that was the figure they were thinking as a starting salary as well. !!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!! Not more, not less, but exactly what we had figured would meet our basic needs and allow us to take the job & move back to be near family.
Wow!! We were so excited to witness firsthand the power of our faithful God who is able to move mountains in our lives to bring us to the place He wants us. Not only that but He proved that He truly will give us the desire of our hearts if we are resting and trusting in Him. Proverbs 3:5&6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." He went before us and toiled on our behalf -- we didn't even have to work to pursue this, He dropped it on our lap. Did I already say 'Wow'? Wow!
Matt will start his new job on February 21. He will be running the Fairport office and his primary job will be working with constituent services (helping people get their Medicaid or VA benefits, working with federal programs, etc). It will be a great opportunity for him, and the experience he has had with the Nebraska Legislature will be of huge benefit to him when it comes to the learning curve.
As excited as we are to return to NY, leaving Nebraska will still be bittersweet. He has been here 5 years; I have been here 3 years. We were married here, had our baby here, had jobs here, friends here, church here. We have experienced the good life of possibilities endless. (I had to throw that in ;-) When we came to Nebraska, we thought it had only one thing -- corn. But we leave knowing she has much more -- we leave with a love for her people. We will miss so many things and so many people. We surely won't be gone forever though; we'll be back to visit.
Please keep us in prayer as we have a lot to do in a very short amount of time, as well as a long drive cross country with a 6 month old. But amidst the planning & packing frenzy, our hearts are filled with peace & joy knowing that it is God who moves us on.