The End of One Chapter and the Beginning of the Next [My Story, Part 10/10]
Last week’s post ended with saying I’d talk about the challenges of coming home, and what gives me hope in the face of my current obstacles. I also mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was afraid of the future – afraid of the things that could go “Wrong,” afraid of the hard things that life seemed to promise it would hold – both for me, and for my loved ones.
A few major fears that I had in coming back is that I would come back and end up in a hamster’s wheel of sorts: Running hard, trying to achieve the same things I’d worked on for years – only to find myself trapped in a world that required more of me than I was able to give it, and left without much promise of moving forward. Rather than being stuck motionless, I was afraid I’d be stuck moving, but moving without progress, unable to make progress.
I was afraid of many things, among which would be that I was afraid of letting go of my cake business – because to me, that felt like failure. I was afraid of not being able to get a “Good” job – One that I enjoyed, or one that paid well. I was afraid of things being hard for my family, and not being able to stretch myself enough to help them in the ways that I wished I could. There were other things as well, but those are some of the big ones.
When I got home, all of those things came to a point of seeming like everything I had been afraid of had come to be a reality. Through tears, I remember telling one of my siblings, “I know that God is good, and he will carry me through; but this is so hard, and feels like so many of the things I feared have come to be.” Maybe that’s a little dramatic – but I felt pretty discouraged, at 27 years old, to be jobless, penniless, and without anything really seeming to work out the way I hoped it would.
I had dropped off a bunch of resumes, at various places with the hope of employment… But I felt pretty helpless to get a job better than working at a local fast-food restaurant part-time, since I didn’t have a car, couldn’t afford one, and there were only so many options for employment within walking distance. Also, I live in a not-always-the-most-safe area… so depending on the timing of my shifts (if I would get hired), even local places may be safer to drive than to walk. Also, although taking the bus was an option (and one to be considered), the extra expense and travel time of that seemed like a major downside to accomplishing anything of my own at home – especially since one of the main things you need for blogging is daylight (for good photos), and losing any of those precious hours would be very difficult.
I did have the option of carpooling into work with my mom, if I could stumble across a job close to hers, and if I could get hours that would work with her schedule. Still, I figured that the odds of that would be slim; especially since she doesn’t work Mondays, so if I had to work on Mondays I’d need to find another way to work. I also hoped for something that would allow me to have Sundays off, since that is important to me – But I didn’t know what would be possible either.
Needless to say, I felt boxed in by limitations, and finding something to suit all of those things seemed impossible. I thought that something would have to give, or somewhere I’d have to give up on one thing for the sake of something else. I had a few opportunities come up for employment when I came home, actually, which was a blessing – but for various reasons, those things didn’t work out.
Also during this time of looking, I had some things come to a difficult emotional climax with relationships in my life, and that was the hardest thing of all. I felt so broken. Yet, I had to keep moving – and I remember praying again, “Lord, I know you are good, and that you will take care of me. Meet me where I’m at, and show me the way forward!”
That very week, I got an email from Anchor Coffee House, which was my current “I wish I could work there” pick. They had just opened their new location, right around the corner from my mom’s work, and they needed some extra hands – particularly bakers! To tell it simply – not only did they hire me, but they were closed on Mondays, didn’t need me on Sundays, and offered me exactly the hours and days of the week I would need to carpool with my mom to work and to have some extra time for my blogging projects. Also, to make that good news extra sweet, the owners of this particular coffee shop are gems; I love working with and for them, and the work I have to do there is exactly in my field of experience and interest. Also, by the end of that week, the “Difficult emotional climax with relationships” that I mentioned before came to a point of resolve and peace.
WOW. God provides, yet again! I wanted to write all of this out, mostly for myself to remember it – but also to share what God has done, to give credit where credit is due, and to hopefully encourage you to press into Him as well. He is well able to provide!
With all of that, here I am today. My life still holds a lot of unknowns, and to go into them all would be another long post… but in those too, I think the way that God has provided for me in these past few years (first with Germany, and now with this job) has been a great reminder that He really does know, He really does care, and He really is able to provide for me and to lead me. There are a lot of things I’m praying about right now that are kind of “Big” for my life – things that I think I need God to speak into directly, to tell me what I should do, how I should change, and where I should step. Yet in all of this, I have to remember that while these things feel “Too big” for me, these things are not too big for God, and I am trusting that He is able to lead me in the right direction, and to continue to provide for my needs along the way, as He has faithfully done!
As was often quoted at Bodenseehof in Germany, “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) I am holding on to that promise.
And so, this is where the next chapter begins. One step at a time, one moment at a time. Goodness Himself walks ahead of me – and walking with Him is something I can be excited about and look forward to, even with the unknowns that lie ahead.
I think this is a perfect way for me to begin the New Year. Once again, I hadn’t intended that this post should line up so perfectly with the time of year… but now that it has, I hope that this story is an encouragement for you to walk with Christ, and to know that He is indeed able, He is indeed faithful, and He does indeed see and know all of the little details of your life. And for some reason (that I still can’t quite figure out), He cares. I’m so glad that He does!
Thank you for following me through this series of posts; please let me know if there’s any questions you have. Now that I’m done writing this series, I’m not sure what to write as my mid-week update… So let me know if you have some thoughts, or if there’s anything in particular you would like to hear from me. If possible, I’d be happy to share.
You’re a blessing!