I wrote most of the story all in one sitting, but broke it down into shorter posts for easier digestion. I want to add a note of thanks to the beginning of this post because I feel so very grateful for every email, FB message or text I received yesterday in response to my post. Thank you for allowing me to be honest.
It's the only way I know to be.
So, that said...the next part of the story...
Losing your job is a lot like losing your purpose.
At least initially.
You wander around kind of aimlessly, still nursing ripped-open wounds, wanting to shout from the rooftops about injustice and how it really feels to be stabbed in the back. You want to, but you don't. Because grown-ups don't use Facebook to air their grievances.
At least not the kind of grown-up I want to be.
So, there we were. Jobless. Hopeless. Confused. Broken. Bordering on bitter...
And still directing a show for the company responsible for all of it.
We asked that it all be kept quiet until after the show. We didn't need the kids to worry about us. They needed to worry about learning lines. And remembering movement.
An email was sent out directing our families' attention to the politically correct announcement on the company's website. Moments later, teenagers in our cast texted us they were praying and could they do anything and maybe they could bake us brownies.
So the focus was right where we didn't want it. On us and not on the show.
And just like that, there was speculation. How could there not be? We weren't talking about it so no one knew what was going on...but there were plenty of rumors being spread and I have to say, that part of it really kind of stunk.
For a fleeting moment, we considered walking away. A very fleeting moment.
But there was no way we were going to leave our kids. They had already worked so hard. So, in spite of the hollow rawness in our bellies, we made a silent pact to make our show the best one we possibly could.
For our kids. Not for the people in leadership.
But when you direct a show, you're a leader and you're a cheerleader. You're the one people look to. And I was falling apart. More than once I ended a rehearsal crying the bathroom. More than once I walked in on adults talking about us and our situation (not always in a bad way--everyone was just trying to make sense of the ridiculous decision when no facts were given. Sometimes, though, people were just gossiping. And that hurt.)
Adam and I spent our days trying to figure out what was next.
He was mostly concerned about me because he wanted me to feel secure. Lord knows when I don't I'm not much fun to live with. We vascillated between being just fine and being utterly awful. We took turns being positive and we took turns being depressed.
We cried. We prayed. We were hopeless...
Until the day we weren't.
I explained to Adam that more than anything I didn't want him to be miserable. His job at Group Publishing (in Colorado) was fine, but totally NOT for him. He is not a sit-behind-a-desk-looking-for-stray-commas kind of person. He's a creative. He's a doer.
I asked him not to trade my security for his happiness.
That's not a fair trade.
But we didn't have a plan. So, we did what anyone in our situation would do. We looked backwards. What had we done before that we could do again. And that's how we began to investigate a familiar pain. Ministry.
It's so easy to go backwards when what God is really doing is pushing you to an entirely new place you hadn't yet considered.
There was a job opening at a church that sounded perfect for him. And by perfect I mean, tail0r-made. There was a commute , but he'd already been commuting, so did that make a difference?
He sent a resume. They called. They did a phone interview. They really hit it off. They invited us to come out for a service. We did. It was lovely. The church is huge. We were impressed. They recorded their own CDs and valued creativity. It was really tempting...
I have no idea what a cow photo has to do with anything. I just like her. I told you I didn't have a lot of pictures...
But on the way home that Sunday, I knew something was wrong. I had been trying in my heart to embrace this idea, but I could tell Adam was not on board.
Finally, after much prodding (seriously, why do men require so much wearing-down before they open up?) he told me he absolutely did not want to work at a church again.
We'd done that. It's so easy to walk back into a familiar pain. It's easy to revert back to what is comfortable. And for us, that's ministry. We love it, but we simply no longer feel called to church minsitry.
And sometimes learning what you don't want (or what God doesn't want for you) is even more valuable than learning what you do want. Looking back, I feel like we needed to imagine that whole idea out for a little while because we had to be absolutely sure it wasn't for us.
And it wasn't.
So, now that we had that out in the open, and now that we were starting to get out of the way, God could finally show up...