One Year Ago

Today after church, my parents came over for brunch and my dad built a bookshelf that’s been sitting in a corner waiting to be build for almost a year. You know how sometimes that happens? You don’t? Well then I hate you. But I am that kind of person who lets some things set. Not all the time. Just sometimes.

The parents and I were joking a bit about how long the bookcase had been unbuilt and commenting about how it’s now been almost a year since I moved back here. It will be a year since I moved at the end of August, but all the stuff that went on that led to the move was happening a year ago. I was not in a good place. My job was in a very unstable and difficult place. I’d been trying for months to get something else within the company, and all the doors slammed shut. I had just finished being pretty much interim everything at church and was really burned out. Fortunately, they got an AMAZING pastor about a year ago and so I was relieved of my responsibilities and got to take a break. I’d had some particularly difficult financial issues. It was a mess.

I was also getting ready to go on an amazing trip. Last year I left for a 2 1/2 week trip to Philadelphia, Mallorca and Phoenix. Bizarre combination, I know, but it made sense for me. As I was leaving for my trip I was hearing from my boss in SF about how things weren’t going well and that I should be worried. After my few days in Philly I met up with all the girls for the Mallorca trip and when we got to the airport I panicked. I called my boss and he told me to calm down and enjoy my vacation. Mallorca was perfect and I had a really great time. When I got to Phoenix the anxiety took over again and I could barely eat the entire trip. I did nothing but listen to Chris Tomlin’s And If Our God is For Us album and pray fervently.

Part of what I decided when I was in Phoenix was that it was time for me to move back. I got in touch with the store manager of one of our brands and it turns out we have several mutual friends. She didn’t have an opening but another store did and so I met with that store manager and the district manager. I also drove around and felt the car almost pulled into one particular apartment complex. I looked at places and felt so drawn to it and it’s where I live now. It was just perfect.

When I got back to SF, I told my store manager that I’d be moving (via email because she was traveling for work) and she didn’t respond. I also didn’t hear from the store where I’d interviewed. Then, out of what felt like the blue, I got a call on a job I’d applied to back in May. I’ll save you the suspense – it’s my current job. But at the time, I didn’t think I’d hear about it. Turns out, it’s just perfect for me, it moved me back to Phoenix and gave me a raise. As soon as that happened, pieces slit so beautifully into place I thought I was in a Hollywood movie. Apartment, job, church, everything. Done and worked out beautifully.

As I look back at the difficult and dark time I was in one year ago in contrast to where I am now, I am thankful for all of it. I knew I would be. I’ve dealt with enough struggle to know that I’m always brought out on the other side, borne up on the shoulders of my community and propelled by the grace of God.

I posted this song the other day as part of Friday Five, but it’s a favorite with which I’ve recently become reacquainted and it bears repeating.