The thing that you are most worried about or have the most fear about usually is the thing that surprises you the most. When you actually encounter the reality its silly that you even worried about it in the first place. But you do. You try not to let it consume you, but it does. It’s like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae – wouldn’t be one without it. But the way that things work together and are so intentionally placed in a sequence of events makes me wonder why worry at all? Why are we so fearful of a particular thing when the whole of it seems good enough.
We moved to Arizona because of a job opportunity that my husband pursued. After about a year and a half, it wasn’t going anywhere and I could tell he was so unengaged (<<87% of workers are disengaged, he was one of them). He really wasn’t part of a team or part of a bigger cause, he was over going thru the motions and wanting something more. Surely the grass was greener anywhere else. So he got an another offer, quickly in fact. It was like an end of an era since we both had worked for the company, and a bittersweet goodbye. It’s odd how the people you work with become such good friends that you can’t imagine life without them. Regardless when he started his new job he had a feeling from day 1 (or maybe day 2) that it wasn’t a good fit. How could you even tell that from the second day on the job? Stick it out, I told him, give it 3 months then figure out what to do next.
After spending about two weeks there it was clearly not a good fit. And it wasn’t that they are a bad company or doing horrible things, my husband wasn’t about the rat race and wanted more. So we pulled out our budget, thanks to Dave Ramsey, and shifted some things, committed to some things and he quit the next day. It was a somber experience. Humbling to say the least. Had he failed? Or had he just not done enough leg work before making the commitment? Had they failed for not sharing the expectations prior in a more clear manner. It was weird. My husband has worked since he was a teenager. And this was his first time not working. Of course I made a list the same length of the Mississippi river of all the things he could tackle while he was home, including selling everything we don’t use (we should do this anyways!).
Two long weeks went by (Did you see I only said weeks?). He submitted his resume to dozens of companies around. We wrestled if we really needed to stay in Arizona , what was keeping us here? I challenged him to try something different or new, something not related to what he was doing prior as it might be a good opportunity to spread his wings. He felt like it wasn’t time to give up on his career just yet, he was just getting started and really did enjoy what he did.
A few weeks ago we went to the Harvest Festival at our church. We volunteers in the games area. As we were figuring out who was doing the ring toss and who was going to run the bean bag game, I was pulled aside by a lady who I’ve worked together at the church with prior (specifically for this event REMIX). She mentioned that an IT position had opened up at the church. I looked at her with my jaw to the floor, did she know that Ed was out of work? That he left a good job and quit another? She didn’t know anything of the job and if it was the right type of IT for him or even if the job was real, but she said to keep our ears peeled. An hour later, Ed was introduced to the chief of staff at the church in-between ring toss throws from the dressed up children. Friday evening we were driving home from a friend’s house and he gives me his phone to read the email with the job description. At this point, IT can mean anything. I pull it up and it says “Network Engineer”, as I read it aloud (because Ed is driving) I get goose bumps everywhere. Every bullet was something he was passionate about in a geeky IT kind of way. The next day he sent over his resume and Monday he had an interview with the Business Manager of the church.
We had so many questions. What did the work look like? Was there a team or was he the only one? What opportunities did a church have for a Network Engineer, what were they even engineering? The questions outnumbered the answers. After the interview and many questions were answered. The big one remained. What do you make when you work at a church? As a man, many of the self-worth comes from what you can provide for your family, and what was the contribution going to look like. He knew it would be crumbs to what he was making before and what he could make in the corporate world. We didn’t even want to think about it, about how disappointed we would be, Ed included had a fear about this. But we knew we had to at least see what the offer was and maybe he would keep looking to see if somewhere else offered anything better. When the offer came, we were blown away about the generosity. As I mentioned in the first paragraph the thing you worried about most, is the thing that surprises you the most? This was it. We had been surprised that the thing we were worried about didn’t need any worry at all.
He starts Monday. And just because it’s a church, it’s not going to be perfect. But we know it’s a perfect timing orchestrated by someone on purpose. He mentions that he would have coffered at the idea if someone came up to him while he was at his previous companies with this opportunity, not even willing to give a look. But because of being humbled and experiencing that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side he had an open mind about the opportunity. He will have the opportunity to lead, to design, to learn and to build in ways that he probably wouldn’t have at either of his previous companies. He couldn’t be more thrilled and I can’t wait for him to get out of the house!
So long story short. We are staying in Arizona. We didn’t know if we would, but now we know… We had to have faith.
I wouldn’t want to miss these sunsets.