Blogmas 2019

A Tale of Two Cities: A 2019 Year in Review

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” Oh wait…crap…that’s plagiarism isn’t it? Hold on..let me try this again.

2019 Review

This year can 100% be divided in half. I have the “Fort Worth, Texas” half and the “Alamogordo, New Mexico” half. 2019 I think can best be described as “The Year of Uncertainty.” With so many changes happening all over the place it was only fitting that the word I chose to focus on was “Faith” So let’s begin there.

Faith: My Word for the Year

When I set out at the beginning of 2019 with my 2019 word for the year little did I know just what I would be getting myself into. You see, I had just graduated from Seminary. As I spent time celebrating and being excited that I had reached a HUGE milestone I also realized that I was closing the book on a chapter of my life that had defined me for as long as I could remember. I realized I had been in some form of formal education for well over 20 years and all of the sudden it was just done. No more papers to write, no more required readings, no more tests to cram for, and no more lectures to sit in on. I was no longer defined as a student. So I was really struggling to figure out what it was that made me…well…me.

This meant that I was stepping out on faith that I was more than the grades I received. I am one of those people who care a whole awful lot about what that grade and the GPA that goes with it has to say about me. I know I shouldn’t be that way but if I’m not going to be giving my very best then what is the point in trying anything. Now I was embarking on a new journey. At the time I chose the word to focus on my goal was to be the very best admin assistant I could be as I began working full time at the children’s center on the seminary campus. I was also stepping out on faith that the individuals who had taken over leadership of that department were going to do what was best for all involved and not simply do what they thought was going to boost their own agenda and ego.

It wasn’t long before the messages began to become very clear. The door to the place we had called home for the last 7 years was quickly closing, which meant I was living on faith that God was going to show us the place we needed to be. I was also having faith that God was going to move the people I had grown to love and respect to the places they needed to be so as to escape the less than welcoming new environment we all found ourselves in. And let me tell you, God provided in ways none of us ever could have imagined.

By the end of June we were yet again stepping out on faith as we loaded up all our belongings and traveled back to where we (or at least I) had called home for all of my formative years. We were placing our family in a situation that again was riddled with uncertainty and confusion. Again, we were called to have faith in the goodness of the Lord, faith in each other, and faith in the people God has placed in our lives.

The Tale of Fort Worth (Jan-June)

As I have already touched on, the beginning of the year started off…rocky. I was out of school and into the work force full time. I was blessed with the ability to continue with the conviction to home-school our kids through the help of Dusty as well as good friends and neighbors. While I loved my job and I enjoyed working so closely with a wonderful group of people (some who would become forever friends), the uncertainty that was hanging over the campus was tangible. However, in March all of that would change.

It was in March when the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Board of Trustees made the decision to hire Dr. Adam Greenway to be the 9th president of the seminary. And it was in April that all the shoes began to drop. Good men saw the end of their employment at the seminary, some of whom had been there over a decade. Lives were upturned and there were more questions than answers.

In April my boss shared that she had turned in her resignation due to the fact that her husband had been called to pastor a church that would require them to move away from the campus. This also meant I had some thinking to do. By the end of April the decision had been made that I too would be leaving my position as administrative assistant. However, at that time my goal was to look toward in home childcare.

It wasn’t until the middle of May that we made the decision to move back to New Mexico. With more jobs lost and more changes we just didn’t feel we could support happening at the seminary the decision to remove ourselves from an ever growing toxic environment was abundantly clear. Doors were open to allow us the means and opportunity to relocate and for Dusty to transfer to another seminary with a vision we could align ourselves with.

June meant the end of my job on campus, rapid fire packing, and leaving Texas. While it was, and still is in a lot of ways, very bittersweet it truly was the best thing for our family at the time.

A Tale of Alamogordo, New Mexico (July-December)

Settling in to life back in Alamogordo hasn’t necessarily been the smoothest of transitions but I don’t think anyone really expected it to be. Goals and plans and ideas have taken a bit longer to execute than some of us would have liked. However, where some things have been lacking other things have been moving along full steam ahead.

July was a month of adjustment. We spent time getting our feet back under us. We began attending a local church and we worked on getting Dusty’s business transitioned and functional. The end of the month marked the beginning of a busy travel season for Dusty and his business.

August brought a new opportunity for me as I worked my way through the hiring process and became an online ESL teacher for VIPKid. This opportunity has allowed me to work from home during hours that my kids are asleep so I am not having to sacrifice any of my time (other than sleep but hey who needs to do that anyway?) Dusty was also given the opportunity to preach in a local church as well in the chapel services of a local school.

The rest of the fall has passed by in somewhat of a blur. Between waking up at 3:00 in the morning to teach ESL classes and staying up way to late at night to just get a bit of breathing room I have come to accept my permanent state of exhaustion. Dusty has managed to preserver and push through his first semester at a new school and we are looking toward options for future semesters.

And now here we are in December. This month has brought with it doors opening for ministry opprortunities I discussed in detail in yesterday’s post. You can find more on that here: Starting A New (Not So New) Journey 

2019 did not go at all the way I had envisioned it to go as I sat down with my shiny new planner at the end of 2018. The year brought heartache, tears, confusion, and pain. But it also solidified friendships, witnessed triumphs, and allowed me and my family to grow in ways I never would have imagined possible. I am happy to see the year in my rear view mirror and excited to see what the road ahead brings in 2020!

Thank you for coming on this crazy journey with me. I hope to continue to write and share in the next year so stay tuned!

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