Sunday, June 26, 2016

Closed Doors and Open Mindedness

Our last few weeks have thrown a lot at our family and yet we're keeping our heads above water. There have been some of the lowest lows and some of the sweetest moments as well...and I guess that just summarizes the whole life experience. You just walk through the worst until somehow you can breathe again and get to a place where routine starts to take over and you find your way back to some sense of "normal".  

We experienced "the worst" when we lost our nephew, Mac, to cancer just three weeks ago tonight. It's still pretty raw at times but we certainly have a lifetime of memories that we often talk about and laugh through, in spite of how hard it is missing him.  This weekend, I spent some hours out on the lake on a paddle board, just trying to breathe through the "missing" and hang on to as much of the "memory" as I could. It comes in waves, I swear...and it can be a song or some guy walking down the street whose gait reminds you or some weird sense of overhearing his voice.

We are back to being a family of four but even that is a bit tainted by the events of the weeks since Jason finished his course to be a Certified Harley Davidson Technician. We're really proud of him finishing so well and so happy to have him back home. This week will be the first week of just being home and having time together as the four of us. I'm looking forward to having the boys around more and Jason being home somewhere in the mix.

This past Wednesday, I walked into a meeting at work and learned that my position with the church was being cut. It was a tough few days at first and no small process to get my head and heart around the fact that I was expendable.  I wanted to crawl into bed and stay there but that's not going to change anything so I just continued on with a head full of questions and an aching heart and I think I can say with some sense of optimism, that this too, isn't really something that I am going to let myself lose sleep over.

If I believe what I say I believe, then this is one of those instances where I'm going to believe that there is something out there that will make sense of the timing, if only in hindsight. I will say, however, that I reserve the right to change my optimism to pessimism at will, and I may not feel as resilient in the coming days or weeks.  (Just in case you're keeping track, this means that the only employed person in our household at the moment is our 17 year old, Aidan.)

The thing is...the things I loved about my work are the things I am still able to do. That was the beauty of the past four years though, I was getting paid to do what I really am passionate about.  So, I think, in the scheme of things... losing my job may mean I have less time to do what I am passionate about, but it won't keep me from it. And, on the positive side, some of the most amazing messages of encouragement and affirmation have come from the people in the community that I have been able to get to know and work alongside over the past four years.  I love that they don't feel that anything has to change simply because I'm not employed by a church any longer.

I don't know what's next. I do know that I've gathered an amazing group of friends and family over the years who are able to encourage me to dream, to lament for me and even to offer to go ballistic on my behalf, God love them.... and it's those things that foster the belief that everything really will work out.  Regardless of whether I find the next "dream job" or just find the best way to pay the bills...I'm incredibly aware that I am surrounded by people near and far who are willing to stand, once again, on the cliffs of the valley I have to walk through...and be right there waiting when I come out the other side.  I just spent a weekend with a handful of exactly these kind of people...and it was just what I needed. So, tonight, I unpack what was a great weekend and tomorrow, I pack up an office...and figure out where the next chapter begins. Stay tuned.

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