It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.
With quitting a job and leaving a state comes a few changes. Some will be gradual and some will be immediate. As we start to pack our lives and mentally prepare, those around us also make a shift. It’s the way it goes. We knew this would happen and really, it’s healthy. But sitting around your co-workers as they whisper and plan their next steps, you can’t help but feeling like your time is already over. Your opinion is no longer needed as you slip through their lives and memories. Sure, these things need to happen. Honestly, I’m so glad that they are able to move forward without me. It alleviates some of my fears and stress with how this move would affect those around me. Now that people know what our plans are, not all plans made are ours. Other plans will be made, and they will be made without us. It’s good, it’s as it should be and it’s a sad realization all at the same time.
Like a lot of things to come this month, it’s bittersweet. Nothing about it should necessarily be different, but I want to acknowledge it’s very real and noticeable presence. This move is an adventure and a blessing, but it’s not all a romantic comedy.
“I bet God has done something in your life that would make our hair stand on end if you told us about it. I bet the story God has written in your life and your home gives voice and breath and arms and legs to the gospel every bit as much as a church sermon ever did.”
God has done something. I don’t even know what it is in its entirety, but I can feel that it’s him. Yesterday, I wrote that “today is the day” and then went to church to hear a sermon specifically about trusting God today. The final song was “Today Is the Day” and it confirmed the thoughts and feelings I wrote about before church without any knowledge of what the message or songs would be.
I’ve been reading the book Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist lately and have found quite a few moments that have challenged and inspired me as I read. In the final chapter she talks about our stories. Her story, my story, your story. A few snippets of what she said (in italics above and below) has given me a deeper understanding of why sharing the next part (as well as the rest) of this journey matters.
“…There’s nothing small or inconsequential about our stories. There is, in fact, nothing bigger. And when we tell the truth about our lives – the broken parts, the secret parts, the beautiful parts – then the gospel comes to life, an actual story about redemption, instead of abstraction and theory and things you learn in Sunday School.”
Last week, my workplace got a tweet from someone none of us had ever met asking if we were hiring. Well, we weren’t. But within a day or two, we had her resume and decided that taking on a part-time receptionist wouldn’t be the worst idea after all. Thanks to some internet stalking abilities, I quickly came to find that she had just picked up and moved with her husband. Just like that. Sold all of their things, quit their jobs and prayed hard. They left their home in California and drove halfway across the country for a change and were living with relatives until they found jobs and a place to live. Hmmm, sound familiar?
When this came about, I thought it would be great to bring up later when I was giving my notice as a person to contact and potentially hire to cover some of my workload. (For the record, I’m not a receptionist. As a project manager though, my work can involve a fair amount of administrative duties that could/should be passed on to someone else in the downtime between project managers.) In my head, this was an awesome solution to the inevitable problem I was about to present to my boss a week later. Suddenly, this girl is in the shop and the owners are walking out with her for an interview and ask if I want to come. What? Is this real? Am I about to help interview for someone who could help with parts of my job unbeknownst to everyone else there? At the end of the interview, the guys offered her the job. She accepted that night.
This is an answer to my prayers, only I wasn’t praying for such a possibility. I couldn’t even begin to imagine it would work out like this. By no means will she be able to pick up where I left off, but it’s a start. Even if none of my work goes her way, there’s still someone else added to the team to contribute and help out around the shop. Not only do I feel more at peace about leaving my job, but I feel more at peace about finding a job. She found one within two weeks of a move and will work with a really great group of people. God provides. He provided for her and he will provide for us. And that is the (somewhat long) story of the latest way God has shown his provisions and power to me.
The world doesn’t need another band, per se. It doesn’t, strictly speaking, need another book or another photograph or another album. The general world population will survive… This is the thing, though: you might not.
There’s a mystery we tend not to acknowledge until certainty has been ripped out of our clutching hands. And only when certainty is gone do we allow ourselves to bend and open to that terrifying mystery, dark and incomprehensible.