In an effort to include ALL the amazing twists and turns, I keep delaying send in out an email...but it doesn't appear there will be a break in the action, so here comes the Harms Family Update! We're moving to New York City (yep, Manhattan!) where Matt has been offered the job of his dreams at Columbia University, and the girls and I will open the Big City campus of the Harms Homeschool!
Friends, God is so, so good.
These past 10 years have been such an intense journey through grief, and sorrow, and learning to mine the dark and messy places for signs of God's goodness and faithfulness. Many precious treasures have been found, and He has carried us through much loss, but if I'm honest, the pain, which sometimes felt unending, has taken its toll on our hope and trust.
Shortly before moving to St. Louis, Matt and I had a conversation in which someone asked us about our dreams for the next 10 years. We stared blankly at the man, and had nothing to say. Dreams? We had none. How could we dream when at any moment our daughter could be hospitalized with a life threatening medial crisis, when her health, development and future were so uncertain? At any moment, all plans were laid aside. Our life was awash with uncertainty, and to hope and plan for anything was simply too painful. It wasn't even possible. Our hearts responded to our pain by letting go of our dreams, tempering our hope, and ultimately, protecting our hearts from being disappointed in God. We had no dreams.
But God! He has faithfully used all the heartbreak of the past few years to strip us of our self-protection, and is graciously reintroducing us to hope again.
And so, for the first time since Elizabeth was born, we are dreaming!
In the middle of May, Matt was invited to speak at Columbia, and while there he was offered his dream job doing patient centered research on ALS. We've been really happy here at Wash U and in St. Louis in general, so we hadn't even realized there was a dream job out there! Thanks to the amazing success of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Matt will be able to use his gifts and talents at a world class institution to make huge strides in understanding ALS!
There is so much more to share, and I will as soon as I can take a breath! In the mean time, our dear friends are helping us sell our house, (Click to View Listings) God has delightfully provided us with a fully furnished sublet in Upper Manhattan near the hospital where Matt will work and we have seamlessly transitioned to an Upper West Side community for our Homeschool Co-op, (www.classicalconversations.com).
Friends, we are really dreaming.
Early on in the process, as Ruby processed the loss of everything familiar and her fear about the unknown, God gave us a Disneyland metaphor for this grand adventure. He has invited us to a good and exciting place. And because HE has invited us, HE is planning the trip, outlining the route, scheduling the pit stops, arranging the hotels and buying the tickets! We don't have to handle all the details ourselves, and we certainly don't have to be afraid of the destination. We are learning that he is as committed to providing for our dreams and desires as he is for His commands. We are learning that sometimes a ride roller coaster can feel a lot like free-falling, but we are securely strapped into the arms of our loving Father and we really don't have to be afraid.
So as long as we know He has us, we might as well throw our hands up in the air and enjoy the thrill of the ride!