One year ago today, we stepped into a whirlwind

It was just before 11 am. The call to head to our staff meeting had been given. And then I got a text. “Got time for a call?” It said. Suddenly, my heart started racing. We’d been waiting for word on my work visa. And waiting. And waiting.

Would I get it? Would we starting an exciting new adventure? Was America actually in our future, or was it not going to happen at all?

“Yep.” I responded.

A moment later, the phone rang.

“You’re in. Pick your start date and let’s get you down here.”

And at that moment, I stepped into a whirlwind. We sat the kids down that night to let them know. One was elated. One burst into tears. One didn’t really care so long as his Avengers poster came along. I wrote my official resignation letter. I wrapped up all my outstanding work to the best of my ability. We made sure everyone had up-to-date passports. We hopped on a plane, looked at several apartments, and applied at one.We didn’t find out we’d been approved until moments before our flight back to Toronto had to take off. We experienced the spectacle of the 4th of July for the first time. On July 5th we were able to officially announce the news in a very “us” way.

About six weeks after receiving that text, we were here in Tennessee.

To some degree, I still feel like I’m in the whirlwind. Although the process started much sooner (a year prior, in fact), there are some things you can never truly prepare for until you’ve experienced them. There are decisions you can look back on only in hindsight. On top of that, I’ve been hard at work learning the responsibilities and demands of my job (which I love, for the record). I’ve never been more anxious in my entire life learning an entire new culture and way of living, while simultaneously being the most satisfied professionally I’ve ever been.

This kind of stuff is not for the faint of heart, y’all.

The day I got the call was also the day before our tenth wedding anniversary. Tomorrow is our eleventh. This last year of our marriage has been among the hardest since our first. It’s also been, I think, the best. From the moment I told her the news, she was ready to go. She listened to me freak out over paperwork, and calmed me down when my anxiety left me a mess in our room. We prayed together and cried together and laughed together. Whatever was happening, good or bad, she was right there with me.

When I stepped into the whirlwind, she did, too. And I can’t imagine doing this without her.

 

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books including the Big Truths Bible Storybook, Epic Devotions, Awaiting a Savior: The Gospel, the New Creation, and the End of Poverty, and Contend: Defending the Faith in a Fallen World. His next book, published by Lexham Press, will release in Spring 2023.