It’s been a year since my last blog post. And as I look back over that post and compare it to where I am now, I’m struck with the thought – so much can change in only a year. Seasons that seem so long and painful can change in an instant.
A year ago we were on the struggle bus, and it was barreling full speed ahead. Everything was so uncertain, and I was daily learning to maintain hope and see the opportunity in our struggle (Read more about our struggle here).
Within two months of that last blog post, I received two great job offers – on the same day. One I had applied for, and one came about unexpectedly after I was recommended for the position. I got a phone call about it as I was driving to my second interview for the other job. It was as if the heavens opened up after months and months of struggle and frustration (and so much learning) and said, “Here’s an abundance of opportunity.” My life changed in a moment.
The job I had applied for had an amazing schedule – 30 hours a week and summers off. It seemed ideal and was exactly what I wanted in a schedule. The one that fell into my lap was an extremely competitive university position that allowed me to use my counseling degree and also have oversight in programming and creative development within the department. So, needless to say I was torn about what to choose. Two amazing opportunities.
I definitely value flexibility and time over money and prestige. I want time to pursue my own creative interests and spend as much time as possible with my husband. The appeal of the first job was strong.
But my gut was telling me to go with the out-of-the-blue, dropped-into-your-lap, higher paying, higher level job. Interestingly, I think a lot of people would consider that the “logical” choice – more money. But not me. My head and my heart wanted the flexibility and off time. But I have come to trust my gut over reason and emotion.
So I took the university job.
And life is different.
Life is definitely busier. I have to be extremely proactive about my self-care. I get tired a lot. I put in a lot of hours.
But I have a job that is in the field of counseling where I can continue to gain experience and pursue professional development.
I have a job that has allowed my husband and me to have our own house (thank you, God!).
I have a job that is currently supporting us both as my husband launches his guitar amp business!! I’m especially excited about this – that I am in a position to hold us together financially while he pursues his passion and his calling (seriously – he’s amazing at what he does, and one day he’ll be supporting us both – I have no doubt!).
So this is a season where I’m busy. This is a season where I have less time to invest into personal pursuits. This is a season where I’m learning to be even more intentional in taking care of me.
But. This is a season.
It’s so easy in the middle of a season to start feeling trapped – like things are never going to change. Like the snow will never melt or the sun will never shine again. And sometimes it’s a rough season – sometimes the heat is unbearable or the rain brings flooding. And it can feel entirely unbearable and it can feel like it’s never ever going to change. But when I look back over my life – I see so many seasons. And I see how they’ve changed in what felt like an instant. And I see how they’ve changed me. There’s always learning in seasons.
As I was writing this blog post, I remembered a poem I wrote last year at the beginning of our previous season – when we just found out we would be leaving our home to move in with my parents. I wrote it during the dark season – not knowing when it would end. It lasted months longer. I wrote it in March. Our season changed in September. And this is a beautiful reminder to me of a struggle that taught me to look for opportunity, and a difficult time that taught me that it’s okay to not be okay.
We moved in when the trees were budding
The sun pleasantly warming
The nights, cool & breezy.
I spent my days meditating, learning new things.
You, painting our new place
And making it ours.
Then the heat came.
The sun forced us inside.
Sweating & fanning, we nested
Getting the furniture just right.
Finally, it was home and comfortable.
By October, we knew.
We knew we would have to leave –
Pack up and find a new place.
Only a few months left in our new home.
How could we still feel settled?
How could it be home now?
The leaves were beginning to fall –
The glory of the red, yellow, orange
Dropping to the ground as tears
Hopelessly wandering without a home.
Then came the cold.
The frost suffocating the plants on the patio
The flowers drooping. The leaves withering.
Death on our doorstep –
An agonizing reminder of life’s impermanence
I struggled for weeks.
The frigid air, unbearable in the drafty kitchen
Anger and denial. Where would we go?
And when the toast popped up from the toaster
The tears began to fall.
I don’t want to leave. The words bounced off the walls.
Grief and loss. Darkness.
Where will we go? Still uncertain.
But the sun is shining today –
My body, warming on the patio
Empty planters remind me of death & uncertainty.
But the sun is warm & the breeze is playful and cool.
Somehow hope breathes on my neck.
We will be home soon.