Step out on the edge…

It’s been the year of the hurricane, folks.  At least it has for me!  It’s also been a time of me trusting and stepping out on that edge – having that faith… being *vulnerable*.  It can be an uncomfortable feeling, but hey – faith can be messy.  It can be difficult and evoke feelings that make us want to run in the opposite direction.  

For me, it’s what I do in that situation that defines my faith.  To whom am I listening?  What are my intentions?  What am I afraid of?  Why?

I suppose I should provide some backstory.

*Clears throat*

I’ll start with the last 3 months of 2012 into the new year…  My marriage was put to the test – big time.  Very big time.  The “why” isn’t as important as the “what did you do about it”.  Well, we stuck it out.  Fought TOGETHER through some battles and came out victorious.  There are still little skirmishes pertaining to this war, but the God we serve is greater than anything that can be thrown at us.  I will say that I had a lot of support during this time which was wonderful and so appreciated, so very appreciated.  Another big blessing during this time was our worship family at church.  Man, those people are a BLESSING!  No joke there!  I can say for me that God leads us to places that we need to be at His exact timing.  I kept the happenings at home pretty tight-lipped as far as details go, but still felt such love and sincere, earnest prayer for those who knew anything about the situation.  

Moving along…  

I was working in an AWESOME position as a mental health clinician with a local agency.  I loved my clients, my co-workers were awesome, and everything was going okay – even during the home drama stuff.  Fast forward to May.  My work-world was rocked.  This was just after the home-world was rocked and the storm had calmed.  So May, things weren’t great with work.  There were some *ahem* changes to the budget and my position (along with another team member) was no longer in the budget funding.  

Oh, great.

I had no idea what to do.  At that point, I was the “breadwinner” for the family.  Well, all hope was not lost.  I was offered a lateral position change in a different section of the agency.  I met with the manager there and though he was an incredibly nice guy… I didn’t have PEACE about it.  I had such great anxiety that it felt as if an elephant were sitting on my chest.  Long story made shorter(ish), I’d miss Sunday church 2 – 3 times a month, miss our marrieds group, miss some Wednesdays, Shannon would have had to give up his participation in a VERY HELPFUL men’s support group at church, and I wouldn’t get a chance to participate in an area of church that I had been (and still am!) praying about.  

I emailed the manager and expressed my convictions.  He understood.  I was prepared to not have a job.  Very scary stuff.  So, because things weren’t very stable with what I’d be doing… I made the choice to leave.  I went into private practice for a brief amount of time.  I had a friend at the private agency who moved into another role and there was space for me. I prayed… HARD about this position and it was meant to be – even if only for a short amount of time.  Again, no details on the “what happened” are super necessary to this.  

The important thing is… I stepped out.  WAY out on a ledge of faith.  I was meant to be where I was for a reason.  

I left and began working part-time at my children’s daycare to help with cost and plus – they’re just AWESOME there.  I’d worked here previously.  We’re a big family!  🙂  

So, now… I have been applying and interviewing elsewhere more closely related to my degree.  That’s cool, but like I said… my current job is pretty awesome.  I get along with everyone (no, really!) and it’s just a big ball of positivity.  That makes the decision to leave so very difficult…  It’s no easier the second time around.  

I was offered a position at the agency I left back in July.  Cool, right?  Right.  I’d be working with children and adolescents who have Intellectual Disabilities – very cool indeed.  Plus, I’d get to have some outpatient counseling clients to help with licensure.  I’d get sweet benefits… the insurance is probably a good 10 times better than the pointless policy we have now.  Vacation time… yada yada.  However, I’d lose my staff discount for daycare (womp womp) – which makes the salary change almost equal.  

So, tonight I will probably get very little sleep weighing the options  I have to make.  Oh situational anxiety, how I loathe thee!

Another good leap o’ faith was the choice to audition for a play.  I LOVE acting.  Growing up in rural Alabama, there was little opportunity for me to participate due to lack of theatre activity and my crazy childhood.  That’s another post, friends.  So anyway, I auditioned with Open Air Shakespeare (holla!) for their production of The Winter’s Tale and got a part!  Not only a part, but THE part I wanted.  Double holla!  

Next leap of faith in progress is to audition for my fantastic church’s even more fantastic worship team.  Yeah, we’ll see how that goes!  But… that’s just that inner negative voice speaking up.  I’ve done vocal ensembles before… no biggie.  It’s the audition part that weirds me out.  More on that later.  I should audition late December/early January.  

This was a ridiculously long post… sorry about that!

God is doing SO much in my life and I am going to start to reap the benefits of my faith seeds that were sown.  

We all have our hurricane… be it job loss, marital issues, finances, child stress… whatever.  The important thing to remember is that we always have the opportunity to step out and trust that He will be there to catch us and protect us from the wind, the stinging rain, the painful hail…  We are NEVER alone and always have a loving God standing with us, ready to face the storm right along with us, willing to help guide us through.

“It’s never too late
Never too far
For you to reach out

And take ahold of love.”

-Natalie Grant “Hurricane”