First few days of Jason’s “vacation” before officially ending employment at Park Street went like this:
Dropped both kids off at my parents, and drove to Cleveland with the neighbors to have a night away from everything. Getting our mind off of all our unknowns and relaxing with out kids was on the agenda. We decided with no real vacation in our future, we would find a 4 star hotel through Expedia and just enjoy our 24 hours out of Ashland and with no kids to be responsible for.
It was just enough to make us realize that:
A.) we still actually like each other and enjoy each other’s company
B.) 24 hours away isn’t enough.
We ate an early dinner at Der Braumeister and had amazing German food and of course lots of laughs and lots of sarcasm from Jason at Heather’s expense. 🙂 (Heather, I know you’ll read this!) Unfortunately we missed making it to the West Side Market before it closed, so we decided to walk around downtown, and eventually found ourselves back in the car and stopping at East Coast Original Frozen Custard. Oh. My. Word. Exceptional. We had a low key evening and after the Cleveland Museum of Art in the morning and lunch at Macaroni Grill on the way back to Ashland, the time away had come to an end. Then Monday came. Mondays usually live up to their reputation, and this one was no different.
We had been waiting to hear more word about a possible job opening with a place Jason very much wanted to work at, but when Monday came, we found out it wasn’t going to happen. Maybe naively we assumed this was what God had in mind and the possible reason we were to stay in Ashland. But it wasn’t coming together. We were at a loss. We were lost.
What were we going to do in Ashland since (if you aren’t caught up) everything about moving to DC fell through? It’s hard to look forward to or have a good time during a 2-week vacation when you don’t have anything to transition to at the end of it. This started off being God-directed but as we lost some steam, it just seemed like self inflicted pain.
Keeping our heads up was hard but gracious words from people who love us that assured us, “You won’t lose your house.” “We will help you.” “You can come eat with us any time.” So thankful that family and friends are so loyal in the hardest of times. Still, there is a pride thing there- we don’t want to HAVE to take anyone up on these things. We should be able to provide for ourselves. And we have been trying to take leaps of faith and had been waiting patiently for God to reveal those next steps- and still silence. Had we been forgotten? If Jason could just get an interview somewhere, anywhere…the weight of the world started to pile up. Burn out had settled in and became a familiar guest in our home. No one was happy. Miles was constantly acting out, Clementine crying at the smallest noises that scared her and had horrible sleeping patterns, Jason and I on drastically different wavelengths. Me, wanting to know what were we going to do- Jason, feeling the burden of providing for not only me, but for two small children.
It was a rough week. We tried to get our moods up by getting out of the house, but it seemed like every outing we took had some glitch in it. Some small thing, no doubt, but still something enough that our vision of a fun-filled train ride, picnic and hiking at Mohican, walk around Kingwood Center, etc., etc. ended in frustration and tears. Little things in our house were breaking or not working. All of a sudden we had a bug problem. Clementine was waking up 3 times in the night, making my day a little more tired, a little more on the edge of breakdown. Little things, but piling up nonetheless. We were running on a treadmill and getting very tired.
Two years in the making, and it came to this?
We were finally at a breaking point and as silly as it sounds to some of you that have endured these kind of stressful times and much much worse, we had to ask God, “Where are you!? Why aren’t you coming through? We took this step two years ago because we felt you directing us to! Now we feel like idiots- like failures. Now we’re on the brink of nothing- no school, no job, no direction– no clear answer and a shattered excitement to move forward using the talents and the drive You gave us to live a life serving You! What did we do wrong!?”
The next week (last week) was a little better. For no reason at all some of the darkness and the weight we had been feeling was lifted. Some people gave us some encouraging words. We remembered words that brought us hope throughout the last two years. I remembered how months before I had a word from the Lord that things would come around for us- just in the last minute. A mentor of Jason’s also had that same word to give to Jason. Well, when you feel like you’ve been living in “last minute” for months, it starts seeming like you heard wrong. Or that you’re being ignored.
But then just this past Friday something happened. Something that injected much needed hope into our reality.
Something that I’ll have to elaborate on at a later date, but am excited to share with you.
Talk about last minute. Five days to spare, to be exact.
We are feeling overwhelmed and undeserving of all the love shown to us through all of this, and for today at Jason’s “Thank You”/”Going Away” party at Park Street. Going away really just means not being on staff there, but we are glad we will still get to see our church family’s beautiful faces as often as we always had. You have blessed us more than you know. There are many more of you outside of Park Street and outside of Ashland that have also been amazingly encouraging and generous, sharing with us your wisdom and your prayers. We have learned from you and been blessed by your work in our lives just as much.
After days of quoting Annie and Scarlett O’Hara, I can finally say “the sun will come out tomorrow” and “after all, tomorrow is another day” and believe it!