Our Unconventional Life
Life in the Evans Clan has been anything but conventional. Most of our marriage, our family, and even my career have been highly unconventional (with good reason). I am blogging our journey because many of my past colleagues, friends, and family have reached out to me wondering how we’ve managed to survive as a family with all the adverse circumstances we’ve faced. I hope I can address that in a compelling and inspiring way. I’m sure my wandering mind and ADD will take us all over the map.
*BTW, I have my wife’s consent to share our story (it will be highly summarized in a series of future blog posts).
After being encouraged to make our family story more public, that is exactly what I am going to do. If it helps you or someone you love find hope, then it is worth my time to share our story. Now that we’ve left Minnesota and moved to Arizona, the timing is right to let more people know about our continuing journey.
I’ve been told that we are a resilient family. If that’s true, our resiliency comes from a few key places. It comes from having strong values, a good support system, and most importantly, our faith. Our faith in God is what carried us through the darkest moments of one medical crisis after another over the past four years.
We moved to Arizona because we believed my wife’s life depended on it. It’s clear cut and as simple as that to me. Life is to short to consign yourself to the fate of a medical diagnosis. I refuse to let nature take its course, especially when there are measures we can take to circumvent or delay what the doctors say is inevitable (use your imagination).
Moving to Arizona wasn’t just a recommendation from Cally’s Medical Team at the Mayo Clinic, it was something we felt we needed to do. Getting here was miracle. When I think about it, I get teary-eyed.
For example, our house sold really quickly and a “too good to be true” housing opportunity opened up to us (many thanks to Nancy Fenstra). New job opportunities were coming in. A majority of our family felt like this was the right decision for us. We had consensus amongst the people we most respected. It was a whirlwind of grace.
In Minnesota Cally had become very reclusive. She isolated herself in our home, seldom leaving. She was withering away due to a variety reasons, since the move, she is now flourishing. It’s hard to explain, but her transformation is amazing.
A Fun Fact
Cally’s full name is Calantha, which means blossoming flower in Greek. My wife is truly blossoming in Arizona. To see her thriving makes us happy. She still has daily issues that are quite literally “life and death” in scale, but it is much easier to deal with here. Life is short, we want to make the best life we can.
I left the career of my dreams. I’ve postponed a major writing project. I left the good friends, the recovery community, the faith community, and a city I loved because we needed to do what was best for my wife. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. But I talk to my mentor regularly and he always gives me a hard gut check. I am quickly reminded that I am no hero. Most of the people I know wouldn’t hesitate to make the same sacrifices for some they loved if they found themselves in similar circumstances. Living life takes courage. My wife has more courage than anyone I know. This is a journey that will benefit us all in the long run.
Thanks again for following along, for keeping us in your prayers, and asking about our family life. I will post more about our journey as time allows. As you know, my musings about life and faith are random and abstract, if you can follow along, you have a better attention span than me!
Pastor Jeremy E.