From the West to the East

Hi friends,

You may have noticed that the blog has been a little quieter since I wrapped up my year of monthly challenges earlier this summer. A lot has been going on in Matt’s and my lives, and I wanted to share some big news!

Some of you may know that my amazingly smart husband Matt has been trying to get into medical school since January. After studying for the MCAT entrance exam for about four months, he applied to almost 40 schools. The application process takes almost a year and a half, so we were prepared to enter a year of waiting to see whether he gets into med school or not.

In the meantime, we decided to read a book called The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. It’s a book about prayer, and in the beginning it challenges the readers to choose a Jericho prayer – a miracle or dream that you commit to circling in prayer.

“Drawing prayer circles starts with identifying your Jericho. You’ve got to define the promises God wants you to stake claim to, the miracles God wants you to believe for, and the dreams God wants you to pursue. Then you need to keep circling until God gives you what He wants and He wills.”

Although Matt has more than a few obstacles to overcome to get into med school, we truly believe that God would not have placed this desire to be a doctor on his heart if He is not going to make it happen. So instead of simply praying that Matt would get into med school, we started praying a bigger prayer: that he would get into one of his top three schools, all on the west coast.

We had been praying this Jericho prayer for a few weeks, seeing rejection after rejection come through his inbox. But we still trusted that God would open doors, just like He has in the past. Just before we were about to go back to Oregon for a quick vacation, an admissions representative reached out to Matt from one of the schools he had applied to. Although he was rejected from the medical school, the rep wanted to talk to Matt about their Master of Science program in Biomedical science. The application had closed a few weeks ago, but after reading Matt’s personal essay, the rep thought Matt would be a good fit for the program and asked him to apply over the phone. Emails and phone calls flew back and forth for a few days as we learned more about this opportunity.

When Matt first told me about the program, it seemed like just another possibility that he was finding out information about. But the more it looked like he would get into the program, the more I had to consider that it was a real possibility – one that would involve moving from LA to the east coast in less than two months.

My friends and family can attest that I’m not one for change. Sure, I like exploring, but I don’t like huge risks or changing scenery. I really like things to stay as they are, for the most part. So God and I had a conversation about whether or not this program would be a good idea. I asked for Him to give me peace about the decision, that Matt and I would be on the same page, and that he would speak through our family and friends to make it clear what we should do.

In the next few days, I had an unexplainable peace about the program, if Matt was to be accepted. Which again, is very strange considering I really don’t like change, and this move would be a year earlier than we expected! Matt was pretty shocked that I said I think we should do it if he got accepted, but it was a comforting feeling that we were on the same page.

Matt and I also reached out to our close friends, family, and mentors to ask their thoughts on it, and they pretty much all said something like: “this sounds like a really great opportunity, you should go for it!” So it was fairly unanimous that those around us were supportive of us going.

We got back from our trip to Oregon on Wednesday praying that we would find out by Friday so we could make a decision and that he would be accepted into the one year track vs. the two year track. On Thursday afternoon, Matt got the call that he was accepted into the one year program!

Not only did God answer our prayers about the program and determining if we should go or not, but we also truly believe that this is an indirect answer to our Jericho prayer, since Matt’s chances for getting into medical school will go from about 30% to about 100% after finishing the program.

So from now until the middle of August, we will looking for new jobs, finding another apartment, packing up and moving to Virginia! We are obviously very excited about this new change, but are also extremely sad to leave this wonderful community we have in LA. This past year has been a year of flourishing and growing in our friendships, in our ministry, in our jobs, and in our marriage, and we have been in such a good season of our lives. We’ll miss our community group, our church, our high school students, friends, coworkers, and the nearly perfect weather and beaches. It’s been a rollercoaster few weeks as we’ve started preparing for the move. But we are trusting in God’s provision that He will get us there!

I hope my post reminds you of the power of prayer, because it truly is powerful. Speaking of prayer, if you happen to think of us, we would love prayer for a few things:

  • For me to find a job in Virginia before we move
  • Finding a new apartment
  • Balancing spending time with friends and getting logistics taken care of
  • Somehow moving our stuff across the country
  • For us to quickly find some good friends and a church to get plugged into once we are there!

Thanks so much for your support and prayers during this big life change! Stay tuned for an LA Summer Bucket List post coming soon!

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4 thoughts on “From the West to the East

  1. Janis Williamson says:

    Oh Jess…….I am excited for you and Matt. This was beautifully written, expressing your faith in our Lord. God answers prayers and I believe He is guiding you and Matt and giving you peace in your decisions. You both have been in our prayers and we will continue praying for your requests!! We love you both so much!!


  2. Yvonne Gordon says:

    Jessica, I love this! You are the perfect mate for Matt! God has you both in His hands, I can truly see that. 💕💕💕


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