Monday, February 2, 2009

Keeping Hearts Unwrinkled (Or, What It Means To Triumph)

To keep the heart unwrinkled,
to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent,
that is to triumph...
-Amos Bronson Alcott

I'm packing to return to the city, and eagerly anticipating finding a satisfactory job there. After my winter of discontent, I find this, my only option, relieving. Freeing, almost. I'll be packing up and shutting down Freeman House... who knows for how long. It's bittersweet.

So much has changed since the fall. The oil and gas industry, which afforded me a comfortable living and funded renovations for Freeman House, caved under unexpectedly. It's strange to lose a career. Say you're a teacher or a chef or a firefighter or a plumber. And say today, as you're teaching or sauteing or fighting fire or fixing a leak that, without warning, there's no more need for you. There are no more students who need teachers. No more hungry people wanting meals. No more fires flaring up or no more plumbing to install or repair. Suddenly the schools, restaurants, fire stations and plumbing trucks are dark. Empty. Abandoned. What would you do? What job would you turn to? How would you cope and survive?

That's been my life, and that of many, many others, for the past four months. It's wrinkled my heart and strained my patience and tested my faith. What do you do when you can no longer do what you've done? When you're no longer a teacher or a chef or a firefighter or a plumber or an oil and gas broker? When you can't find a job? I'm not sure. But I suppose I'm about to find out. I'm thrilled and heartbroken in the same breath.

My friend Lisa has been such a rock for me these past several weeks. Thank our gracious God for friends who stand along beside you when things get funny! I was sitting on her couch last week, prattling on, when the old, When God closes a door, He opens a window bit came up. I snickered. Then she grew quiet and sort of smiled. You know what Captain Stottlemeyer says on Monk, right? (Monk is one of our favorite shows.)

No, I said, pulling my legs out from under me and wincing. My left foot had fallen asleep.

When God closes a door, sometimes He breaks your heart.

**********
So I'm off to the city. I look forward to the opportunity to pick back up with friends. To indulge in Indian food and take off to the theatre and forage through the farmer's market and catch a concert and ... well, be a single 29 year old. I've missed my friends. Missed Starbucks. Missed a vibrant church with ministries for my demographic. But wow, will I ever miss this place! I guess there's nothing to say I can't return once I'm back on my feet again. I'm told that nothing here will go anywhere....

Yep, I'm off. Off to smooth the wrinkles in my heart and attempt to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, and reverent. And obedient. Obedient to the God I've never had a reason to call unfaithful. For that is, in the end, the ultimate triumph, isn't it? That is what it means to triumph.

33 comments:

Laurie Ann said...

I just wanted to stop in and say congratulations for being one of the Internet Cafe’s Top 100 Christian Women’s Blogs of 2008! Your blog truly does bless!

Cori G. said...

My heart and prayers go with you Brin. It's true...sometimes He does allow our heart to be broken, but He is the ultimate Healer and knows exactly what He's doing!

Sue said...

Prayers will follow you as you move to your next step in life. I do so enjoy your blog!

Susan said...

Good Luck and break a leg !!
I know, we allknow that your future will be filled with lots of good & great things. Of course Miss Milly is going along too. Hoping. Take care.

Elenka said...

Man, I'm a teacher and I can't even conceive of what I would do if that job dried up. Weren't you a reporter/journalist before? I'm sure you are investigating that area, but you are fortunate to have that skill as well. I would only have one skill....Oy...I wish you the best of luck .

Vee said...

That you will triumph does not cause me a minute's doubt. Yes, it's true that our hearts can be broken...many times, but in the end, the Lord always, without fail, every. single. time. comes through. Have great fun in the city! Are you bartering for meals?

scb said...

Good luck...I am that teacher you mentioned. Except, there are still children out there who need us...just no money to pay our salaries. Times are tough...but we will all get through it and one day look back and see that God had a plan.

Linda Z said...

May our faithful God bring beauty from brokenness.

Cindy said...

I will pray for you. I , too, have lost a home under dire circumstances, and yes...God was faithful. He eventually led me to a house that I love (well after numerous moves in between), a fabulous husband ( i was divorced before as well) and a new life. As much as there are still numerous wrinkles in my heart, they are slowly....ever so slowly smoothing.

i wish you well. And enjoy city life:)

Sissy said...

I am sure you will find some happiness in the comforts of home. And hopefully, a job. Prayers for you, Brin.

Raspberry Grace said...

I do love Captain Stottlemeyer :)

And I think he's right... but I don't think it means that God has nothing for us, that there is never another open door.. just not the one we though there would/should be...and I think that in 20 years time, when we look back we'll be able to see He was right.. it's just hard to hold onto that in the here and now.. but keep holding! (I'm trying to too)

God bless you in all that lies ahead,

Raspberry xx

Mrs. JoAnne Mabey said...

i am lonely just thinking about it..... *sigh*

Adrienne said...

Dear Brin -
My prayers go with you as you follow God's leading. At times it's hard to understand why He allows the heartbreak and pain but then, when we least expect it, He opens the path wide before us and we walk into a place where we never dreamed we could go. I really believe He will do the same for you. Please let us know how things are going. And don't let your dream die - you never know how God's path will lead you straight back into that dream. Only better!
~Adrienne~

Kathleen Grace said...

I know what you are going through Brin. My husband lost his job of 22 years in the building industry (no houses being built now!) in Sept. But I know you have many talents, the obvious one is writing of course! I hope you will continue the blog in the city. I pray that you will find a job and a life that unwrinkles your heart. We are all pulling for you out here in blogland:>)

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

As one feisty 56 year old, I've been hit by layoffs aplenty. Never let it get me down though. It took me a year to find the job I am in now because I was over qualified for everything. Now I know to match myself to the job ... then later hit them with my smarts. :) Good luck, dear girl. xxoo

Courtney said...

Ive got a bloggy award for you on my site, I really enjoy your blog.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

At age 54, I look back and realize the times I let God move me (usually kicking and screaming) ended up being times of great blessing.

It was just very uncomfortable in the transition.

It's funny, I was just listening to a minister on TV preach about how God seems to be moving people around, like He is placing them where He wants them in these difficult times.

It will be interesting seeing what happens as you are brave and make this transition again.

Shelley in SC said...

Please keep us up with how God leads and the messes and thrills you find in the city!! Thanks for taking us along on your journey!!

Geri said...

I know what it's like to have a career and then to suddenly be without a title. It was scary for me and it was hard to get use to not indentifying myself with my work role. Hope everything works out for you. Change can be good!

So blessed! said...

Northeast Texas won't be the same without you in it! You have a special spot in many a person's heart as you have taken us on your personal journey through your blog.I know God has a plan for you no matter where you land and what city you live and work in.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Sandi said...

I just found your blog a few days ago and I could sit here and get lost reading your posts. You have such a way with words. I am sorry for what you are going through, but rest assured that God will be with you every step of the way down your new path. And it will be a *GOOD* new path! I know it!
Blessings!

Cheryl said...

Yes, and triumph you have, and will. Oh honey, I'll be praying you find your window and it will be beautiful.

fairmaiden said...

Most gracious blessings to you as you move back to the city, and leave behind your dear friend~Freeman House~ I know you will miss her and we will hear of your precious tears here on your blog. But I always love to read about your adventures and this move is another adventure that we get to follow you, I hope?! We will get to follow you along this journey, right?!!! You see everything so beautifully...I anticipate meeting your new home.

Rosa said...

I pray that God blesses you as you head into the next adventure in your life and I'll continue to pray for you and your family.
I too hope you'll share the journey with us! :D

Kath said...

You really do lead a messy thrilling life, hey? I was listening to a sermon yesterday about how the richest times in our lives are usually the hardest, and I've noticed how true it is. I live in Australia, and also suddenly have no work (architectural industry), and to top it off, 3 weeks ago, just as I was about to send out 200+ resumes, I broke my leg! I am wondering how this is a part of God's plan, but I think maybe I need to learn some lessons ;) But in my times of need I've seen how much He takes care of me, and keeps His promises. I can't wait to hear more of your adventures, and how He's taken care of you :)

Jess said...

Congratulations on the start of this new adventure!
You are one of those people, even jsut knowing you through your blog...who will be a huge success in all you do. I'm excited to hear all about it via your blog!!

As a side, any word on the calendars?

Take care and keep us updated on all of your exciting ventures!
Jess

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Oh Brin, I've had alot of catching up to do since my internet was down due to the ice storms, and I was sad to read that you are packing up and leaving Freeman House but I know you will find a job and hopefully can return soon. My prayers will follow you, please stay in touch with us, keep us posted and congrats on your award, so deserved! Safe travels and keep the faith, God will lead you! Hugs!!

Amy said...

You've got a couch in Stephenville if you need to crash! I'll keep my ears open for things around here.

FoundProdigalDaughter said...

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. I especially nodded in agreement with what Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said. Keep holding on to your faith because He sees the big picture and will use these difficulties for good.

Michelle said...

Good luck, Brin. Freeman will be waiting for you whenever you need her. :) Congrats on being included in the Cafe's Top 100 Christian Women's Blogs. You are indeed an inspiration to many women no matter how hard times have been. I will keep you in my prayers and look forward to your new adventures!

Michelle :)

Kim said...

Just wanted to say you will be in my thoughts and prayers Brin. I've enjoyed reading about Freeman House and life in the country. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures and life in the city. Wherever you go and whatever you do, our Father has a plan for you. I've dealt with the heartbreak and felt the peace of his whispers in my ear the past few months -- he's always faithful and for that I'm very thankful. So good luck and may God's hand be on your back guiding you through.

Sherry said...

We ARE going to miss you here!

The Vintage Rose said...

i pray for moments of joy amidst the busy-ness of packing and moving, for God's creative energy to keep flowing through you, for daily encouragement along this next part of the journey and laughter through the tears.