jen was standing onstage at our high school the first time i saw her.  it was my junior year. her freshman. and she was being crowned royalty during our homecoming ceremony. she had the most incredible smile i had ever seen. dressed in a pink gown, she lit up the entire stage. i later told my mom that God had made that smile just for me. i didn’t know jennifer before that day, but i made sure i knew her shortly thereafter.

we began dating my senior year of high school, and we quickly became best friends. i told her i loved her. and i did. we dated through college. even doing the long-distance thing for a couple years. and two months after i graduated from college, we were married. it was the single happiest day i’ve ever known.

a piece of the american dream

everything seemed to come together for us after that. i got a great job at a local marketing firm. helping businesses tell their stories through creative ads and engaging web sites. each day provided new opportunities to learn about different businesses and meet established business owners. it was dynamic, challenging and fun. all at the same time. i loved it.

jen wrapped up her schooling and then she got a great job teaching preschoolers. two-year olds. usually between five and seven at a time. i still don’t understand how that’s physically possible, but she too loved her job. we both thought we were where we were supposed to be. we even started looking at homes. preparing ourselves to buy a little piece of the american dream and start a family.

that’s when things changed. . .

but then things changed. an itch began to grow inside of me. i had fell in love with c.s. lewis’ writing in college. his non-fiction stuff. mere christianity, and the like. and i had started up a blog, about a year into my job. handsnfeet.wordpress.com. a place to dig through what i was reading. and a place to share ways in which i saw Him revealing Himself in my life. and that is when things started to change. it was then that i had this overwhelming desire to somehow integrate my faith with my work. even though i didn’t really know what that looked like.

my dream was to study at oxford. which was about the opposite of my wife’s dreams of settling down and started a family. graciously, she told me she was willing to pursue this crazy dream of mine, if that was where we were supposed to be. so, after some encouragement and prodding from close friends, we went to england. to visit the school. to see if this was even a possibility.

turns out it was. after months of working on applications, personal statements and interviewing, i was accepted on christmas eve of 2009. and we spent the good part of the next year preparing to make this change.

Ryan&JenGoToEngland

this blog is our story of how we left all we called home. in hopes of telling a different story with our lives. a beautiful story. a story about how a couple of kids from the northwest corner of the states fell in love and then decided to do something crazy. in pursuit of sharing Him with the world. a story of how He worked through our step in faith to share Himself with others. when the credits roll on our lives, our hope is that this experience would be used to help tell His story.

thanks for reading.

-ryan

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