It is full of plenty of ups, and plenty of downs. It has moments of ugliness, but overall, I think I can confidently say, it is a story of beauty.
This season was all about waiting and trusting. And letting God show Himself good, and faithful.
So often when I would beg to hear God's voice for direction, all I would hear is "Be still, and wait on Me." So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more.
There were so many closed doors. So many opportunities that I really believed were the beginning of the next season. But they weren't.
I was still here.
Months and months and months and months of waiting.
And even though finanically, it was so very hard, in other areas of life, it was absolutely wonderful.
Waiting and trusting gave me time and space.
I learned that waiting isn't a passive, boring thing.
I slept an healthy and appropriate amount every night. I trained for, and completed a half marathon. I advocated for victims of human trafficking, and raised $1,600! I preached the Gospel whenever I was given an opportunity. I help start a street ministry for prostitutes and the homeless. I helped deliver a baby. I spent real time with friends. I help launch a NY Times bestseller. I traveled to Austin, Buda, Houston, and Phoenix. I started training as a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. I served weekly at a homeless shelter. I started writing my own book. I napped in the sun. I took care of myself.
It was the perfect way to push "pause" and take care of myself, after years and years of taking care of everyone else. I nannied full time for years, and recently found myself so burnt out. My identity was in raising those babes, and when it was over, it was difficult.
I figured I would have a new job the week after my nanny job was finished. Or at least that's the way I planned it. I started job hunting months before I was done, to assure the fact that there wouldn't be any wandering or waiting.
Clearly things didn't work out the way I had planned.
That was a big life lesson to learn.
"I'm not actually in control, and that's okay."
So I job hunted, sent out resumes, and prayed for something to pan out.
All the while I baby sat, dog sat, cat sat, fish sat, house sat, old lady sat, cleaned houses, ran random errands, and did odd jobs.
Bills were paid. I was okay, but I wanted that next thing.
Thirteen times I thought the door was going to swing open, the next season was going to begin, and the waiting would end.
But thirteen times, I was wrong.
Email after email full of "we are no longer pursuing your application, but good luck with your search!" filled my inbox. Three times God told me "No". A handful of times I never got an answer, even after a follow up. A couple of possibilities had interviews, and I was convinced we were so close.
They were all closed doors.
Thirteen closed doors.
Thirteen jobs I wanted, and had daydreamed of, never would be.
Throughout the long process, I decided what I wanted, more than anything, and then committed to doing it, paid or unpaid.
I want to do good, love people, and share Jesus.
The same month I lost my job was the same month I started training for a half marathon. I now can see so many similarities in both situations.
I remember when I ran my half marathon. The last .1 mile was the LONGEST moment of my life.
I had just completed 13 miles by running, walking, skipping, jumping, and dancing. But that last .1 mile made me feel like no matter how far I had just come, the finish line would never get there. I wanted to quit more in that last .1, then the entire 13 full miles combined. (And that includes when I was vomiting as I ran into Canada.)
That last little bit almost slayed my soul.
I remember how everyone who saw me yelled, "You're almost there! Just a couple more blocks! You're so close!" Like that was supposed to be encouraging. It wasn't. I wanted to give up. I wanted to punch them in the face.
But then I remember turning the corner, and seeing the finish line, all the balloons, and the stands of people cheering.
I ran harder than I had all day, and I did it! I crossed the finish line. And I couldn't stop crying. The wait was over. There was a medal around my neck, a chocolate milk in my hand, and I could rest.
Thirteen point one miles were behind me.
I did that.
It was tough. It was ugly at moments. It felt like it was going to last forever. It brought me to tears. It made me sick. The training lasted months and months.
But. It made me stronger. And it made quite a beautiful story.
So with thirteen closed doors behind me, I keep on going, praying that finish line shows up soon. Because I'm so tired, and I just can't wait for rest and that chocolate milk. And I know I didn't sign up for a full marathon.
13 down, .1 to go.