If you’re close to my husband and I, you know how challenging the period between August 2015 – February 2016 was for us (okay, definitely longer if I’m being completely honest). But since you’re reading this article on Trinity Western’s Alumni page and I only graced Trinity’s campus for a brief 4 years and the majority of that time I was a yawn-so-typical theatre student lurking in the shadows of the theatre, there’s a good chance you don’t know me or my husband, who didn’t go to Trinity. I won’t get into all the juicy details because that’s my business, not yours, but let me tell you a little tale of how God is pretty dang cool.
About a month and a half before we got married, Patrick quit his job and went back to school full-time to finish his degree in counselling. Nearly everyone we spoke to recommended he shouldn’t do it and we should wait because the first year of marriage is challenging (yessss!) and we should really spend that time investing in one another and building a foundation for our life together. But Patrick was 31 at the time and we thought, “It’s now or never” so we went ahead and did it. I won’t lie, it definitely had its challenges, but it was worth it. Ultimately, our decision for Patrick to go back to school was building a foundation for our life together. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be where God has led us to now.
Patrick finished his counselling degree in late August 2015 and immediately started looking for work, but unfortunately, work was scarce in his field (maybe every field – boo the economy and stuff). Sure, he could have easily started managing a restaurant again, but we were determined to have him practicing what he just went to school for, and what many see as his vocation: counselling and caring for people.
The 6 months following his graduation took its toll on us. It is so disheartening to not see the fruits of your labour in the time frame you had hoped for. But that’s life, isn’t it? And that’s God too – whispering for us to wait, to press into Him, and hold out for His best.
When I visited Bangladesh with my friend, Danielle, we were speaking with some of the locals and one of them said, “It is so hard to be reliant on God sometimes. I mean, we pray and pray and pray for the desires of our heart, but if you do not have your prayers answered after a few years you think, ‘Okay, He is not hearing me, or it is not His will, time to move on.’” I immediately laughed. In North America, we have such a sense of urgency. A few YEARS? If God does not answer my prayers after a WEEK, sometimes a DAY, or 10 MINUTES, I tend to give up. How ridiculous is that?
Six months in the grand scheme of life is not that long, but when you’re living it, it sure can be suffocating. But through all the insecurity, doubt, anger, frustration, and desperation both Patrick and I experienced, we learned how to cleave to one another, and support one another in our weaknesses, and ultimately how to be dependent on God and trust in His providence.
I had been the only financial support since August 2014 and silly ‘ol me had just started a low-residency Master’s program in Playwriting and Screenwriting in January 2016. As I worked full-time and did school full-time that January, I felt the weight of it all and I saw my husband slowly slip away. We prayed and prayed and prayed, just as we always did. We were desperate – we needed God more than ever. There had been so many positive interviews, and second interviews, but then no job offer.
On February 7 of this year Patrick and I talked about waiting one more week. If he did not receive a job by the end of the week he would apply to manage a restaurant because I couldn’t handle doing “everything” anymore and he couldn’t handle not working anymore. We prayed diligently and firmly that night. On February 9 I got a text from my husband that said, “I just got offered a job.” So, I left work 10 minutes early, rushed home, and we had a conversation that changed our life.
“YOU GOT A JOB?” I squealed as I ran into our apartment.
“Yes,” he said.
I stopped squealing like a squirrel. “Why don’t you look excited?”
“Oh, I’m excited,” he said. “I’m just worried you won’t be.”
“It’s in Wabasca, Alberta,” he smirked.
“Where the (beep) is that?” I swore. But don’t worry, I wasn’t angry.
(Now readers, if you google Wabasca – let me attempt phonetics…wha-bah-ska — you’ll see that it’s a tiny hamlet in Northern Alberta. We live on the Desmarais side, which is the Native Reserve. We’ve already been to round-dances, Patrick ate Moose before I arrived, and I’m participating in an upcoming moccasin-making class.)
One of my favourite bible verses is Daniel 10: 12 – 14. Daniel receives a vision of an angel, who says he’s been fighting to reach Daniel for many days, and even received help from the archangel, Michael, to ward off the demons restraining him from reaching Daniel.
No, that’s not one I am likely to memorize, but I love the visual; that God hears our prayers right from the start and that He is fighting a spiritual battle on our behalf. He is our conqueror, our strength, our redeemer. And if we pursue God with a genuine heart, our desires, and His will, will align.
Looking back, we see God’s hand guiding our every step.
I’m grateful for the times we struggled. It taught us to be dependent on our creator and trust in His providence. It brought intimacy to our marriage and in the end the wait was worth it. We’re where we need to be and we trust that this is God’s call of our life, for now.
Of course, there are a lot of cons to leaving the lower mainland (goodbye family, goodbye friends, goodbye theatre, goodbye luxuries such as reliable internet, movie theatres), but overall, this is the best, best, BEST news. We have such an exciting new adventure ahead of us.
Becky MacDormand (also known as Rebecca Martin) graduated from TWU’s Theatre program in 2013, is a former director in Vancouver, BC and is a current aspiring playwright in Wabasca, Alberta. She is currently working on the first play for her MFA degree, takes exciting trips to the post office, and frequents local round-dances.