That’s the smile I remember!
It’s funny how a simple comment from someone who knew you before life got in the way can make such an impact on you…
Did she know that smile was buried for a while? Weighted down by the roller coaster I called life. And her comment made me think …
It feels like the last five years of my life have been nothing but huge transitions. Many of you have been along for the ride. A lot of you have been my community when I felt as though I had none. It’s gone something like this:
2008 - Lost my job, moved to the city … alone, started a new job, ended a marriage, lost another job, started another new job…
2009 - Finalized my divorce, began to get my groove in my new career, fell in love like never before, began to dream of a brighter future than my past
2010 - Got married, supported my husband in a big job transition, moved out of the city, began writing for Bibledude.net, began dreaming about becoming a mother
2011 – Discerned God calling me to leave the job I loved from the moment I started, got pregnant, left our church community, spent a lot of time wondering about what was next, searched for new faith community
2012 – Became a mother, settled in to a new faith community, supported my husband in yet another big job transition, decided to begin the candidacy process and seriously look at seminary, moved back to the city, began a new job, and with tears in my eyes, decided to take a break from regular contributing at Bibledude.net.
Last month, I joined the staff of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and House of the Rock as Minister of Small Groups. You know, it’s funny – in my last job, I dreamed of one day working in the area of small groups. Of training new leaders, developing new curricula, and even of helping other churches begin their own small group ministries. And today, I find myself doing just that. In a very limited capacity … only about 12 hours a week … but it’s happening. Much sooner than I ever expected.
When I left my beloved job last year, I intended to become a full-time writer. I love to write. But I love the church even more. And I love being a stay-at-home mom even more than that. Writing is in my future … it’s in my blood … it’s who I am. But there are only so many hours in the day. And I had to come to the difficult acknowledgement that I just can’t do everything I want to do. So for now, I take a step back from writing. I have stepped down from SERVE Editor over at Bibledude.net. I will still read regularly and hope to contribute every once in a while, but no more weekly thoughts. At least not for now.
It’s hard – saying no. Stepping back. Every time I go to the site a little piece of my heart breaks. But I know, for now, this is the right thing.
Transitions are hard. Some are excruciatingly painful. Others are overwhelmingly exciting. Good or bad, they always make an impact on our lives. We are changed because of them. Some change us for the better … others … well … if we’re not careful we can forget who we are. We can lose our smile.
Standing where I am today … it feels good to look back and say that God has held me so close. Held me in his hands, hugged me through friends and family, provided everything I needed at just the right time. Because that’s who God is. That’s what grace is.
So today, I look forward with nothing but joy and peace. And I’m thankful for those of you who watched as I lost my smile and then found it again. For those of you who offered hugs, prayers, helping hands. You have been instruments of grace in my life.