To say that my family is in a time of transition would be an understatement.
The best way to describe it is to say it feels like standing on the edge of a cliff, or getting ready to leap from a plane (yeah, like I’d ever do that), or summoning the courage to make The Call to push a button or flip a switch. I don’t do well with these types of decisions. I hem and haw over choices like French vanilla versus hazelnut, or whether it feels like a red-striped-shirt day or a blue-striped-shirt day (most days are one or the other, you know).
So at the beginning of 2015, when my husband and I decided—for sure this time—that I should transition out of my part-time job to be home with our girls, I gave myself plenty of time to change my mind. And I mean plenty. I gave my boss four months’ notice. I felt strongly about this decision, and there were many factors involved, but I struggled hard with it. Still, I just kept feeling God telling me that He had this. I just needed to do what He had put on my heart, and He would handle the rest.
I shouldn’t have been so surprised that He would put our faith to the test.
In March, things started falling apart at my husband’s job. It’s a long, crazy story that I’ll spare you, except to say that we were now down to one income—my part-time one. In April, he began a “leave of absence.” After five years of him working at the same company, the whole thing felt surreal. I didn’t really process any of it.
Then we got a call from our daughter’s school about financial aid for next year, and it wasn’t good news. I broke down over that one. The woman on the phone was incredibly kind, and of course had no idea that her call came minutes after my suddenly jobless husband had walked in the door from work at 10 a.m. It was too much. We got down on our knees and prayed. I don’t remember much of what we said, except for these words from my husband, which have stayed with me:
“God, give us more stories.”
The next couple of weeks went by fairly quietly, but all the time I was fretting on the inside. Why in the world would I choose to leave a perfectly good job right now? The clock was ticking away toward my last day. Was I completely crazy to follow through and walk away from it? I asked my husband frequently if he still felt it was the right decision. Thank goodness I married a man whose strengths are a match for my weaknesses, and vice versa. He reminded me regularly of all the reasons we talked about and prayed over so long ago. My calling had not changed. We would not flounder.
Then things started to shift.
I got together with a lovely group of women—fellow moms from my daughter’s school—and shared with a few what we’d been going through. It is humbling and painful to be honest about topics like this, but it is good for the soul to share and feel safe in doing so. Their response was so encouraging, and I felt a little bit of the weight I’d been carrying float away. Everything is going to be ok.
The next day, my daughter finally lost a tooth that for weeks had been hanging on for dear life. This doesn’t have much to do with the rest of this post, but it had been causing her a great deal of worry and stress, and I considered it a huge victory. Age 6 is a roller coaster, y’all.
That same afternoon, I got a call from her school, and the same sweet woman who had informed me of bad news weeks before had a few questions. We discovered that a typo on our application had led to our aid denial. Yep—the nit-picky editor behind this blog had made an error, and a significant one at that. Long story short, our daughter will be returning to her school in the fall.
Over the course of the past month, my husband met with several friends wanting to connect him with job opportunities. I am in awe of the way our community rallied around both of us. The day after the tooth and the phone call, one of these connections led to an offer of work and the possibility of a future partnership. What the future holds, we don’t know, but we are adding this to the always-growing list of God’s provisions. It is another story He is writing so that we will be able to connect with and encourage someone else who is walking through a similar season.
“Give us more stories,” indeed. It’s funny—one of the things I love most about my job is that I get to be a story-gatherer, and then I get to share with our church community (and anyone who stumbles across our blog or magazine) all the incredible things God has done, and all that He continues to do. I will miss that. But I’m excited to have this gift of time with my kids (though I know there will be days when I will long for my little desk and adults to chat with over tacos in a lunch meeting). I know that God will keep writing stories for my family, and I look forward to sharing them. Most likely during nap time.