Several months ago I started looking for a new job. Not one of those desperate “i’ll-take-the-first-thing-that-looks-great” kind of search. A pleasure search. One of those “where-would-I-absolutely-love-to-work” kind of searches. Applications slowly trickled out. Resumes were written, tweaked, revised, and sent. LinkedIn recommendations were written, etc. I probably sent 2 or 3 resumes per week for several weeks. Only to places that would have been really fun to work (or at least I thought would have been fun to work for.)
The job market here in Temple, TX is not what you’d call “jumpin’” for people in my field. Austin, Dallas, and Houston are really the places to be unless you want to freelance. But freelancing is just not something I could really do. It has never really felt like my calling. It felt like it a couple of times but I honestly suck as a freelancer. I hate asking people for money and I don’t like keeping track of hours. My point is that ultimately there were two choices: move some place or commute.
Having commuted something like 4 years for an hour and a half each day, I can easily tell you that commuting is not my first choice. If gas were 50% of what it was… it would be easier to consider. Having a small child at home makes me want to maximize my time even more. There are good things about commuting: audio books, lectures, talk radio, tunes, etc. But all of those pale in comparison to spending time with my family. Commuting is eh.
Moving was something that I was initially opposed to doing. Proximity to friends & family, a wonderful church and small group, along with so many other things that makes roots hard to pull up was definitely a consideration that had to be weighed in the search for a new job. My stepdaughter has a year and a half left of high-school here, my in-laws are 30 minutes away. There were plenty of reasons to stay here.
But there are definitely more reasons for looking. It is a long story, and one that isn’t really worth telling in depth. The short of it really is that bonds of trust were broken, great initiatives and ideas were discarded, and the desire to give 110% had slowly waned. Granted, I think we all go into slumps and drop below the 90% mark. It just happens. But when the things you help to build and felt were good and right are stripped away and discarded like last week’s leftovers: it hits you like a train. A train that you can see coming but the world is moving in slow motion… and your feet don’t want to move.
It leaves you with two choices: stay unhappy and collect that paycheck or get out of the way.
Well, we’re getting out the way. It’s not easy to look a nice check every month and just say “eh, I can do with you!” Not very easy at all. Especially since Sarah is not gainfully employed. But what is it? A means to an end? Proverbs 11:28 says “Money cannot be trusted in for it will lead to one’s downfall.” Man. My downfall? The strange thing is, just like that “train” I can see it coming. Bad moods, stress, and all sorts of bad things. They lead to worse things. I had to get out… and trust in the Lord.
Sometime in between all of this I saw an ad on Facebook for a job at Classy Llama Studios. They were looking for a PHP Expert. Sure, no problem. So the resume got sent, and a couple of days later a call was made to follow-up. Good thing that call was made because apparently someone had overlooked my resume! Next thing I know, I’m driving to Springfield, MO for an interview. I went from not knowing if there was another job out there for me to “Oh man, this could be awesome!” in no time.
I had prayerfully considered the idea that perhaps God had wanted me to stay in my current job. To do good work, to be kind to those who had hurt me, and to carry on what was started by those before me. However, even those around me started picking up on the fact it would be harder to do than we expected. Things kept getting more stressful, and there did not appear to be an end in sight. I felt a little like David being pursued by Saul. But whereas David has a kingdom waiting for him on the other side, more and more it seemed like there was nothing waiting for me on the other side. I had to get out. But in order to get out, a lot of trust was needed because what was coming was not what we expected.
And so trust we did. We had to put our house up for sale, start packing, find a place to live, come up with a new budget, and gracefully leave my current position. From the very start we knew that we could not do all of this on our own. But as we were talking about the offer that Class Llama sent me, I realized that we were not talking about “if” I would take it… but how we could make it work. It was a “yes” the moment we got it. But there was so much we were worried about.
But as this story is unfolding, it is wholly apparent that our trust has been graciously rewarded. The Lord’s hands have been felt in our lives since we began this process! The Lord provided someone who really wants to buy our house. The Lord provided free boxes for moving. The Lord provided a wonderful place to move. We have been blessed in finding a home for Fez, my cat. The list goes on and on: support from our small group, families, and friends, plenty of time to finish things here, Sarah being able to do some contract work from home…
To top it all off, I’ll get to work with some awesome people, doing awesome things… with a purpose. The icing on the cake is that two of Sarah’s kids live near Springfield, so we will get to see them more often as well! The Lord has truly blessed us. I am so excited about this new job and we are excited about starting the next chapter of our lives in Springfield, Missouri.