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.