On June 1, 2006, Daniel, I, Mckenna and Gabriel woke up, ate breakfast, showered and got dressed. We played a little, did the dishes, made the beds. I took a little extra time to do my hair and put on make-up. Grandma Gail came over and we sat around the table talking. I read the kids a book, made sure the laundry baskets were empty, and then Dan and I got into our car.
All of the things we did that morning were mundane. We did them all the time. From an outside perspective, there was nothing epic about the morning of June 1, 2006.
But thanks to modern medicine and a wise doctor, we knew something huge was about to happen.
When we got into our car and drove down the mountain, we parked and went into the building. A nurse checked us in and I changed into a gown, and went to the bathroom. My doctor came in to say good morning, my family called to tell us they were in the waiting room, and Daniel and I went over the spelling of Eowyn.
In the next hour, our family of 4 became a family of 5. A new life entered this world, and our lives changed forever.
It was, truly, epic.
Last Saturday felt a little like that June 1 to us. The morning looked similar to what I described earlier. Then, the drive to drop the kids off with family and friends was uneventful, and our conversation ranged from important to downright commonplace. We actually remarked to each other how absolutely odd it was to be doing all these normal things knowing what lies ahead.
We drove for a few hours and used a GPS to locate some houses and other places we had mapped out previously. We stopped at a Starbucks to use the restroom. We sat at a park and enjoyed the breeze.
At an appointed time, we parked at a church, walked up to the office door, and shook hands with a man who could be our pastor, and could be Daniel's boss.
In that moment, the mundane and the epic collided once more, and we knew in our hearts everything could change.
It's not the despair that kills you; it's the hope.
We have dared to hope again. 6 months of being unemployed and "homeless" has made it hard to hope. Because it truly is hope that hurts.
We find ourselves in an interesting catch 22. All of Daniel's experience is in Youth Ministry (though if you know him, you know he has just about done it all...just not in an official format). But when he has applied to Youth Pastor positions, the response has been, by and large, that he is overqualified. Two churches have told him they wish they were hiring an associate position because they would hire him in a heartbeat...but they are not prepared to have a youth pastor with a family who is worthy of a real salary. (Don't get me started on the treatment of youth ministry as a subclass. I am pretending that this is the way it is right now because of the economy, but the truth is, churches are often happy to hire young guys that they can pay a tiny amount to work with students, and I hate how that leads to youth ministry being seen as a stepping stone.) On the other hand, as he has applied for Associate positions, concerns have come up over his lack of experience outside of youth.
ummm...what exactly are we supposed to do with that?
The church we visited on Saturday has a decision to make. They have narrowed their search down to 2 candidates, from two hundred and fifty. That's right, 250. The target group is a large number of 30 something couples and parents. The other two pastors at the church are 45 and 60, so they are very excited about Daniel's age.
On one hand they have Daniel, whom they love because he is young, fresh, and relational. When he told them he would start a small group ministry by having a group of men into his home for a couple months to train them to be small group leaders, he instantly won over half the room full of elders. It's how they want to do this ministry, but it's not something the current pastors can do (time, personality, etc.). On the other hand, they have an older candidate with specific experience in this area, but he is more administrative.
They literally told us they have to decide whether to go with a "young, blank slate," or an "experienced, older guy."
And so, we wait. The response Daniel has gotten through email since we visited has been all positive. They loved him, they have told him so.
It doesn't mean they will choose him.
We are in a good place this time, though. We have moved on from the hurt behind us--not to say it doesn't hurt, but we are thankful to the Lord for moving us on, we recognize that it is He who has directed our path, and we have forgiven, chosen to accept our current situation, and are living it to the fullest as much as possible.
We **hope** to hear this week that they chose "young and dumb" as Daniel likes to call himself. But if they don't, we won't crash down into the depths of despair. Instead, we will take some time to figure out our next move.
I say this often, like a broken record, but we are so thankful for our support system. Our friends and families have been so good to us. My parents are generous for letting us be here, and they have made it possible for Daniel to not just take any old job, but to really move forward by finding a place that is a good fit, since our desire is to be at one place for a long time. How or when that happens is in the hands of God, but while we are waiting, we are thankful for a safe place to be.
P.S. I have some other posts in my head to write, including an engagement, a smashed coconut, and a stack of Freshman research papers on careers (with laughter inducing quotes, guaranteed). But, until grading said papers is completed, I may not have time to write.