Well, we left Connecticut almost exactly a month ago. After breakfast at our favorite spot in Hamden, we journeyed through ten states and met Charlie’s parents in Gulf Shores. When we reached the South, we both had this strange feeling that the past 13 weeks had only been a dream. Our conversations went something like this: Weren’t we just here? Did we even leave? Last Saturday we were walking around the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and now we’re at Priester’s Pecans in Fort Deposit! It was strange and wonderful to be back all at the same time.
We had a great few days at the beach with his parents and then enjoyed a weekend in Auburn for a friend’s wedding. It was hard to leave Auburn this past September, but in the back of our minds we knew we’d be back in a few months. This time was much different, since we probably won’t be back that way until we stop travel nursing and need to deal with our storage unit. Not seeing friends for the past few months made it a little easier to process our goodbyes this time, but not by much. After a few more days at the beach, we then headed to see my family in Ocean Springs. We enjoyed a great Christmas visit with everyone, and even got both sets of parents together for dinner in Mobile one night.
While all of this wonderful visiting and celebrating was going on, we were constantly thinking about finalizing Charlie’s next assignment in Texas. Our recruiter told us all along that we shouldn’t stress – there would be a job for us on January 2. However, as the days ticked by with no phone calls from Texas, we knew this was not going to go as we planned. Basically, there were open jobs all over Texas but the door on those opportunities seemed completely shut. While it might be that managers weren’t working because of the holidays, we have to assume that someone was interviewing for and accepting those positions. It was frustrating to not know why we couldn’t get any answers when Charlie is such a good nurse with a good file, but we now know that God had very good reasons for closing off those opportunities.
It turns out, He wants us in Arizona!
This past Tuesday, a recruiter from a company related to our travel nurse company called to say she’d like to put Charlie’s name in for a job in Casa Grande, AZ. We have no idea how she got Charlie’s name or why our own company didn’t have the job posting. However, within the day he had interviewed for the job, been offered the contract, accepted, and completed the necessary paperwork. My prayer Tuesday morning was for the Lord to move us forward according to His plan and not our own. My prayer going to sleep Tuesday night was praise that His ability to do “more than we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) was proven again.
The details of the Casa Grande assignment feature some specific things we really wanted in our next location, but didn’t think we’d be able to find. It’s a smaller hospital in a town of only about 45,000 people. We’ll live right across from the facility so Charlie can walk to work. The town itself is in between Phoenix and Tucson, right in the middle of the desert. We are so thrilled to not be in some suburb of Phoenix – we will actually be out in the area where we’d want to spend all of our time anyway. We’ll be located right near several Indian reservations, yet the larger cities are still only 45 minutes away. Another huge blessing is that Charlie will work all day shifts. My prayer is always that God will care for the details I don’t even know I should be praying for. He certainly proved this week that He alone is more than powerful to carry out His plan without our help at all. Not one thing we did helped us get this job – it was completely the Lord who gave it to us in His time.
So now we’re back to packing up all of our things and getting ready to hit the road. We’ll leave on Saturday morning and spend Saturday night with Kandace and Eric in Houston. Then it’s a long drive to Las Cruces, New Mexico. On Monday, we’ll have a shorter drive to Phoenix where Charlie needs to apply for his AZ nursing license on Tuesday morning. We’ll then spend four nights in Phoenix while we wait for the license to process before moving into our new apartment in Casa Grande on Friday. We’ll have a couple of days to get settled in and then Charlie begins orientation on Monday, January 16.
We didn’t know when we left Connecticut that we’d be in Arizona in a month. We had other plans. Yet no matter how organized we were, no matter how much it made sense that our plans would be accomplished, God worked His own will in His own power. And because of that, I can’t wait to discover the many purposes He has in bringing us to Casa Grande!