This year was essentially one long pause button for my family. We had intended for the adoption to be finalized, for a promotion at my job to be finalized, and for some traction toward moving to happen, but none of that happened.
I’d love to say that we did a good job of waiting, of trusting in a power larger than us to know what to do, and resting and waiting, but we did not do well.
I did not do well.
When I look at the big picture (that’s what the year starting with a new 10s digit will do for you, right?) the 2010s have essentially been a very long pause button. In 2010 we left a job that we thought we’d retire from. Full-time ministry was our calling, and we greatly enjoyed the years of trusting God to provide for our growing family.
With a BRAND new baby and a 2-year-old, it honestly felt when I left staff with Cru that God had dropped us off at the curb, and driven away. I leaned heavily on my own understanding, and started working retail, barista, and sales. I had to dig myself out of this funk.
The church job that happened 2 years later was another case of us thinking that maybe the long pause was over. But the reality that even working at a place we loved was taking a toll on the family and there was no real long-term full-time plan there. God had circled the block and waved at us, but left again.
When I was let go of the telesales gig in 2013, I dug in deep into my own understanding and decided to throw everything I had at this “WordPress” thing. I was going to be an entrepreneur, a business owner, and figure out my way out of the financial weeds.
Two years into that adventure, I’d finally gotten enough skills to land a full-time job. I had made close friends in the industry who encouraged me both spiritually and vocationally.
Then God took a big part of that way, too. My best friend Jesse passed away from complications with Cystic Fibrosis and I was left again with the feeling that God had dropped me off at the curb, and I was alone.
Since 2017 and our foray into foster care, it’s been really hard. My wife was diagnosed with Late Onset Type 1 Diabetes, and there have been other medical issues in the family that are well above my paygrade.
I can’t honestly say I have any close friends, and as we’d made the decision to move to SC, it didn’t make any sense to cultivate those friendships only to have to lose them again.
In late 2018 we thought for sure that the case was finally going to wrap up and that we’d be moving into adoption in 2019. When that didn’t happen, I again leaned on my own understanding and for the first time found that I just didn’t have any understanding to lean on.
I really hope that this “end of myself” thing will lead me back to leaning on Christ, to trusting that he really does have my best interests at heart, and that he has a plan for this 10-year desert.
If I take my cynical glasses off, I can see God’s hands all over the past 10 years.
Not once in those lean years did we have to take out a loan or put things on credit in order to make it. (medical loans not included, but they are all paid off now). More than that, we became officially debt free during those lean years.
Not once in those years have we had to skip a meal (even when maybe I should have).
Even in the ONE job I took in those 10 years that I didn’t enjoy and excel at, I still worked alongside people I truly enjoyed and respected.
Now, on the back side of those lean years, I’m working a job I love, with a team I love, doing something that I’ve truly grown to be good at. I’ve got more money than I’ve ever had, and am looking toward purchasing a house when it comes time to make the move.
Not insignificantly, God added the most precious child to our family and soon that will be official via adoption, Lord willing.
I’ve had to re-learn that even in areas I think I’m capable, it pays to not lean on my own understanding.
My prayer for the 20s is that I and my family will do a better job repenting, a better job trusting, and a better job acknowledging God, who will make our paths straight. Who’s with me?