Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Life-Changing Setback

Tomorrow is December 1, and it seems like a good time to write about what's been on my mind for the past few weeks. I know Thanksgiving is over and everyone's stopped posting Facebook statuses about what they're thankful for, but honestly, I can't get my mind off it.

On December 31 of last year, I wrote this post. This is the one thing I keep coming back to as being most thankful for. Because a lot of the things I'm enjoying now (family, job, friends, apartment, church), I'm enjoying because something initially tumultuous happened.

On December 30, I sat down in a stark white office across the desk from my boss. He informed me that the company was going in a different direction and subsequently, downsizing. A result of that was my job was getting terminated. I felt the mix of emotions--outright anger, fear, sadness, a twinge of relief--and proceeded to process them in different ways.

After I got home, talked to a bunch of family members and friends, I wrote the blog post. By that time, I had worked through everything and my outlook was better, positive. At the end I wrote this:

So my adage or quote for this experience is, "One day's ending is another day's beginning." I feel like that
sums up everything I've learned tonight. This is the end of one day, one chapter, one part of the whole.
Tomorrow, a new day dawns, another chapter opens and another piece begins. How fitting that it falls on
the end of one year and the start of another.

I can't wait for my new beginning, a glorious dawn full of potential and life. I can't wait for God to open doors,
provide in radical ways, and shower me with his love along the way.

I read that last line tonight, comparing it to the reality of my life now, what it has become since December 31, 2010. And it is completely, 100 percent true.

God has opened more doors than I can count, provided in amazing ways and shown me that he loves me no matter what. The big things I think of when I look at that last line of my post are...

- I've gotten to reconnect with my family in deeper, more meaningful ways. After I moved home, I got involved in the Tuesday morning Bible study my mom leads at our church. I joined her group because I didn't know how long I would be able to attend if I was able to find a job. I got to attend the study through the entire semester, and through it, got to connect with my mom (and a lot of other amazing ladies) on a spiritual and personal level. I cherish that as one of the best times since I moved home.

A few months after I moved home, my grandpa's health took a steep decline. My mom decided to travel out to Michigan to help care for him and my grandma. That gave me the opportunity to help take care of my dad and brother at home. I got to pick my brother up from school almost every day, take him to his piano lessons, attend his school functions, and get to know him where he was at in his life. I also got to help my dad cook dinner and use the washing machine. :) When my grandpa was nearing the end of his life, since I was still unemployed, I was able to travel to Michigan with the rest of the family to be with him in his last days. After he passed, I had the opportunity to help prepare for his funeral and support my family along the way. I know if I wasn't home jobless, I wouldn't have been able to be a part of everything.

- I've been able to join in the formation of a group in our church for the "20-somethings." This has been a huge blessing as I've been able to connect with so many amazing people who are where I'm at in life. We've been able to support and challenge each other through the past year, and share some really fun memories. Each person has become a friend I am thankful to have.

- I got a job in May, and not just any job, but the job I had before I moved to Denver. Of all the things I regretted when I moved away, that was one of the big ones. I hated that I had left behind a job in the career field I'd spent years preparing for. When I got it back, I couldn't have been happier. Then, in August I was promoted to a new, even better position, which was something I was hoping for since I heard about it. Now I get to go to a job I truly enjoy with some of the best co-workers I could ask for.

- There are other things, too, that I'm thankful are part of my life here. I get to volunteer as a sponsor with the high school youth group at my church. I have the most perfect apartment I could imagine only blocks away from work. I have the love and support of a church family that I know really cares about me. I got to be in my closest cousin's wedding in June, which was such a fun privilege. And I've been able to see and keep in contact with my closest friends who live across the country.

So while Thanksgiving has come and gone, I'm still busy being thankful that the lemons of my life have been made into deliciously-crafted lemonade. It's been a slow process of ups and downs, but I can honestly say this has been one of the best years I've ever had, all thanks to one life-changing setback and what God did with it.
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