I feel like I disappeared...some of you wouldn't have noticed. I'm not being critical. It's just how life is, right? We come and go a bit, the ebb and flow of friendships. Some of you are like, no you didn't disappear, what are you talking about? You are few in number. I am aware of a withdrawal...and in some ways I'm still living it. Social media is a funny thing, too. Do you feel like you are keeping in touch with people because you are "following" along with their life through their posts? I know I do! Hmmmm.
The truth is sometimes I do disappear even when my body is present. Depending on your personality type you may or may not understand that statement. I can withdraw into a place of observing my life rather than being fully present. I'm working on that! In this case, I disappeared in a different way.
I will call this disappearance survival mode. I'd say what happened was...pretty much everything in my life changed. I'm a slow processor. I'm still, on the inside, saying...wait, what? Part of processing for me always involves writing...I have been journaling A LOT. I often feel a deep desire to share the process with others--like this blog...like social media--but I have had none of those desires. I feel like I've been in an in between space that has required my full attention to survive, adjust, settle, comprehend...all of that. And now, while I am still processing and occasionally wondering where I am, there has been a shift in my heart. I'm ready to talk about it.
In the last six months, a lot has happened. With Restoration Sports we had two beautiful retreat weekends, and Jugamos happened twice--once with a typically fun, deep, hard-working group, and once with the Azusa women's soccer team (AMAZING). I resigned my position with UCLA women's basketball--effective June 31. My husband resigned from his job of 35 years with Heritage Christian School--effective June 31. We moved. We put our sweet 14 year old pup to sleep. Lance started a new job. I started to figure out a new job. It seems so simple when I type it out like that...it was not! Merciful heavens. I'm not very good at change! Let me spell it out a bit more.
Last January Lance and I started believing God was calling us to move to Colorado. Last school year, he started looking for jobs there...and I started the process of retiring from UCLA. It makes me smile to use that word...retire...because that is really never going to happen. I should say, I started the process of leaving my job with the Bruins. It was a very, very difficult process...I deeply love these people. It became clear towards the middle of May that Lance was not going to be hired in Colorado. Many job interviews, possibilities, opportunities...all fizzled out. We were wondering--are we supposed to just go by faith? We even had a trip planned to look at houses and see what God would say (good thing they were Southwest flights!)...because an odd intervention came our way.
Lance "just happened" to see a job opening in Yuba City on a website he had been watching. We didn't even know where Yuba City was! After some research and calls, we decided it wouldn't hurt to apply...maybe this was actually where God wanted us. If you have ever been in this process of job hunting, putting your home on the market (we lived there for 22 years!) and looking for a new home...you know something of the uncertainties and fear and stress and craziness really that we have been through the last six months. It's just a lot!
Lance interviewed on a Monday afternoon, and was offered the job that night. Smart people! And quite a switch from the processes he had been through in Colorado. The following Friday, instead of using our Colorado flights, we drove to the school to meet people and pray. We spent the weekend looking at possible places/areas to live. On Monday at 8am Lance accepted the job. On Monday at 7pm we had an offer on our house (above our asking price). The following Friday my daughter Bethany and my mother and I went looking for houses. The last one on Saturday...that's the one we bought. It is not in Los Angeles. We are no longer in the city. Now we are living on 2.5 acres with a pond! There are wild turkeys! The front yard garden is "magical" says our daughter. I agree. It makes me cry. This home, this location (one hour from my mom and three sisters), surrounded by beauty. Green beauty. Fall beauty. Space. There's so much space. And a guest house. A what? Honestly, it does make me cry. I'm sitting on our sofa looking out the window at our fall colored trees and pond and shaking my head. Lord?
It maybe sounds like it all was easy. It wasn't. It was both of a lot of things--hard and wonderful, sad and joyous, grieving and celebrating, losing and gaining, fear and excitement, death and new life. Most days I feel like I've been spun around a million times and am completely disoriented. The truth is, God helped us (and is still helping) every step of the way. We asked that He would close doors and open doors, and He literally did. We thought we wanted mountains and meadows and trees and family...in Colorado...and He has given us all of those here. He has comforted and steadied me so many times. I feel like my Father gently led us to this new season of life...and He knew all along we would be here.
If you are in between...I hope this story of His provision can bring some hope. Hope is so critical. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things not yet seen. Hebrews 11:1...a lifeline through all of these changes. Faith, hope and love, these three. Yes indeed.
Last week I started to let myself think about and plan this coming year. I had not touched any of it. I was very strongly considering taking a year off of everything--Rest and Renewal, Jugamos.... I had zero energy for planning or doing anything besides getting settled here, and getting my heart settled, and figuring out what's next for me. I feel in process still in so many ways...I am wrestling inside and still uncertain about a lot of things. Last month wasn't all that different in terms of internal processing, but it was very different in terms of Rest and Renewal and Jugamos and possible opportunities for this next year. I'm ready to plan and work. It feels good! It feels right! Can I even say it feels important? Why do Rest and Renewal Retreats? Why go to Baja and run soccer clinics for kids? I have some very deep "why" convictions about both of these things...I shall share more another day! Let's just say I'm ready to go.
I also feel ready to commit to writing here...thinking a bit more "out loud" and openly. Less disappearing and more sharing.
We shall see what happens! Thank You Lord for Your patience and love.
Amen and more soon....