“We will never move without a job in place.” I spoke these words about this time last year, as the seeds of the idea of moving to Nashville started to take root in our hearts. I was confident and honest, and I felt completely rationale in the definitive boundary I had placed between reality and fantasy.
It was realistic, after all, that my husband could get a good job within a reasonable timeframe. He has his Masters degree and glowing recommendations and he was in a prestigious position at the time, working as a Director of Admissions and Marketing at a local Christian high school. He was making enough to support our little family, and we had excellent health benefits to boot. It was more than we could hope for, living in one of the expense-ville capitals of America: Orange County, California.
|Ahh, the illusion of "security"|
I don’t say this to brag in any way – we were still living paycheck-to-paycheck like most of our peer group does these days; but we were “secure” and “comfortable” enough to not worry about making rent each month. I also say all this to set up a clear picture of where this all started, and properly introduce the path we were about to take…the path less taken, so to speak.
It was around last December when the Lord truly started to place on our hearts a steady momentum towards looking at Nashville. Following a series of significant conversations, I had begun to look into MFT (Marriage & Family Therapy) programs offered in the Nashville area. Upon my finding a perfect fit at Lipscomb University (more on this in future posts) I began the arduous application process and it was our first major step towards placing actual potential on this dream of moving across country.
As my application process proceeded, Josh began to put out feelers for jobs and opportunities in the Nashville area. A few promising leads, including a job interview that even flew him out there for a meeting, gave us reason to believe it would not be too long until something came through and all our proverbial ducks were in a nice, neat row.
We prayed for a job. We prayed for God’s will. We prayed for God’s best for us. And job after job began to pass through our fingers. Rejection hurts. And I couldn't understand how someone could "pass" on my husband!?
My husband with the charm of a winsome politician and the credentials of a noble scholar!?? Sure, I’m biased. But, this is a swell guy, people! Someone who works hard and loves well. And frankly, someone you want on your team. I was sad for each rejection. I was frustrated on his behalf. And, I was quickly moving from “defensive wife” to “pissed-off human” as I lost hope in our country’s workforce.
I got accepted into school, and we celebrated. My husband, always encouraged by the “win” for Team Pardy, was wholeheartedly pleased at the success of our (and I really mean “our”) application into grad school. All of this was a Team Pardy effort. There was not going to be any option for "my successes" versus "his losses". Marriage doesn’t work like that. Correction – marriage can’t work like that. There was only “OUR” successes and losses. We celebrate together just as we mourn together, and we continue to commit to this every single day.
School would start at the end of August, so that gave us roughly four months to get a job for Josh, get ourselves to Nashville, and settle into a new home before my program started. In that order. Right, God? Work, move, home, school. Yes, that makes the most sense.
And this is when God smiled. And this is when I started to worry.
Choosing to quit a job that paid well and provided health insurance seemed unfathomable a few months ago. In an economy where the unemployment rate high as a kite and the cost of moving is limitless, it was impossible to consider a scenario where we would abandon the security of comfort for any imaginable reason.
But, then again, Jesus was never one to work within the man-made boundaries of reason or rationale. God doesn’t always adhere to our measurement of “how things should work”, let alone abide by the calendar we keep.
So, then, as job possibilities came and went, Josh and I became very accustomed to the notion that our usual “sensibilities” of how things were “supposed to go” needed to be reexamined. It just didn’t make sense for him not to get some of these jobs he was applying for. It didn’t makes sense…except for the fact that we had been praying according to God’s will, for Him to provide the best for our lives. Evidently, none of those paths were the right one.
As hard as it was to swallow, the truth of the bitter rejections was that somehow, we were dodging bullets. Though we might never know why they weren’t the best fit for us, we could only conclude that it was better to be grateful for what was to come rather than dwell on the disappointment of the present.
Still, the clock was ticking. Certain things had to be in place, and so we started to look into housing and moving options. We couldn’t wait on a job forever. We had to recognize that God’s promise for us was to provide for our needs…that didn’t necessarily mean it came with the security of a regular paycheck, like it or not. This is what you call a leap of faith. This is what you call obedience. And you’re right – it doesn’t make much sense in this world.
As you may have read in previous posts, we found an apartment within two miraculous days. Multiple miracles were quick to follow as the plans of our move fit into place like the border of a giant puzzle. We weren’t exactly sure what the resulting picture would look like, but the parameters were set and all we could do was keep filling in the missing pieces as the information came to us. All we could do was trust and obey. God was moving us to Nashville. God was moving us to Nashville…without a job. The words I had spoken just about a year ago were coming back to haunt me.
Never say never, indeed.