Y'all. It's been a day.
Well, really, 2020 has just been a whole thing so far. So many ups and downs and plans made and plans canceled and extreme excitement followed by extreme disappointment and happy tears followed by tears of frustration and anger. A lot has been going on behind the scenes when it comes to our official move to the UK and I'm still not quite ready to share about all of it.
However, here's a big update.
We are returning to the United States, likely sometime in the next week.
Not for good! Not for keeps! But in order to complete our work visa and enter the UK to live and work legally, we must return to the US to complete all of the necessary steps. We did not know this was a requirement until this week. We had been told multiple times we needed to "leave and re-enter the UK" but we thought this meant we could pop over to France. Not so much it turns out.
How is that possible, you ask? Well, a lot of miscommunication and lack of communication. Some balls were dropped. It's a long story that I will likely never share on the blog but if you ask me in person I might give you an earful. Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Perhaps some people whose job it is to be in the know about these sorts of things should have made this requirement clear much earlier in the process. But alas, what's happened has happened and here we are.
Also, I shared on Instagram yesterday that we were finally going to move into our London flat tomorrow! Today, I was told that would no longer be the case as a scheduled electrician failed to show up and complete the final last bit of work that would enable us to move in. Grumble. I'd really like to spend at least one day there before we return to the US so that all of our stuff can be in one place (currently we have some boxes and things there and some things still with us at Vince and Joan's.) Also, it would be nice to set it up so that when we return from the US we can return to a home of sorts. But alas, that may not be the case and I will have to make my peace with it.
The big debate is whether we purchase one-way tickets to the States now, then one-way tickets back to London when everything is sorted, or if we take the risk of booking a round trip ticket and hope that everything with the visa goes through in time. Right now we are leaning towards the latter, giving ourselves at least 4 weeks in the States and hoping against hope that will be enough. The church has offered to pay the extra fee it costs to expedite the work visa so that is something at least.
I am excited to go home so I can see my family, Joel's family, and hopefully many of our friends. I'm excited to travel back with an empty suitcase and return to London with one full of things I miss like Dominion, my good knife collection, and a copy of the book I was just published in. I might even try to squeeze in some supply preaching while I'm at it. Well, squeeze that into my time at home, not into my suitcase, haha.
The other really exciting news I got today was that the church will pay to move some things from Iowa to where we'll be for our September appointment (I'm not spilling the beans on where that is just yet but suffice to say we are quite happy about it.) This means that we will get to have with us our art, books, movies, games, and many other treasures we haven't seen for years and thought we wouldn't see for years. Plus my parents will get most of that part of their basement back!
And yes, all of these updates happened today. It's been a real rollercoaster ride to say the least. It is nice, however, to finally have some real forward movement, know what needs to be done, and get to doing it.
If you are the praying type, we could use them - for safe travels, for the work visa process to start moving quickly and smoothly, for us to be approved and be able to return to the UK to legally live and work, hopefully sometime in March. I'd love to be serving a church again before Easter.
We shall see.
God is in this and through this and all will be well.
I've just got to hang on for the ride in the meantime.