I didn't pack enough food to take to work with me the other day. The morning was hectic and it was more important to get Judah's shoes on than to pack an afternoon snack.
I had just enough time after work to drive straight to the gym for bootcamp. So I texted a friend who works out with me and asked her if she had any snacks she could bring with her to tide me over.
She showed up at the warehouse that afternoon with two mini Reese cups.
Protein, we joked. Perfect.
For the last three months, I have been working at a job on which I had piled exceedingly high expectations. This job was my ticket out. It was my saving grace. It was my heroic opportunity to escape the tyranny I was experiencing in Winchester. It was a chance to send Judah to school. To do work that mattered. To be proud of what I did.
I have this really detrimental habit, though, of ignoring important things. Postponing doctor's appointments, avoiding the online banking app, not looking at the syllabus at the beginning of a semester. I am not irresponsible, I just do not front-load well. I cannot handle a barrage of information. And I didn't budget well this time. I guessed at some numbers, in my desperation to just "get out" and I reasoned that I would handle it like I've handled everything else so far. I knew I was supposed to leave Clark. To me, this seemed the only viable option.
It was a bad choice.
Judah has thrived at school. Absolutely flourished in a way I could have never anticipated, but at the same time doesn't surprise me at all. If all continues to go to hell, I will know I made the right decision for this season because my son has been poured into and taught and loved in a way that has truly nurtured his whole being.
But it was a bad choice financially. It was a bad choice for my heart.
And I'm still processing the deep deep feelings of failure I have for making this decision.
To make ends meet I watched people's houses and dogs over the summer. I have been cleaning people's houses as well, having to check my pride and do something I never thought I'd have to do. Clean someone else's toilet. This has helped curb the edge of the financial disaster that we've been perched on for the last three months.
Today, the severity and the harshness of the situation just settled in my belly.
I've been applying for new jobs, as much as I don't want a short stint of employment on my resume. I've been looking outside my field of education, trying to find anything that will pay the bills. Pay all the bills. I started looking for work outside of Lexington. Branching out, expanding my search, to Louisville and Cincinnati. Every day I get jobs sent to my email. And every day I find a job to apply to, and just keep my fingers crossed.
I have been dealing with a certain degree of depression. Between not being able to provide the way I've wanted to, working on a hospital unit which feels like a dungeon, doing work I am not nearly as passionate about as I dreamed I would be... recovering still from hurt and trauma.
Today I needed help from a manager at work. He's a tall, friendly man who is always incredibly helpful. And he showed up in my office today, walking in through the door into the tiny space, and leaned over and dropped two mini Reese cups onto my desk.
And this is what I believe. In the middle of my worry and in the middle of the difficulty, I felt this was God's way of saying, "this job is not permanent. This job is not meant to fulfill you. But it will get you through until the better thing comes. Until the real meal comes."
This was the greatest encouragement I could have received.
It's been a year now.
About two months after Brian laid two Reese cups on my desk, a job opportunity came up for a promotion in my field. A job as a director at a local nursing facility.
I was interviewed. And called a few days later and offered the position.
I went into the facility that day to ask for particulars and tie up any loose ends.
This time, on my new boss's desk, was a whole jar full of mini Reese cups.
A whole jar.
I accepted the job. Feeling like this was a sign.
That this was my green light to move forward with the promotion because I had felt before that God had promised his provision with two little Reese cups.
In November I started the new job and things didn't go quite as I had expected.
I don't even know how to tell part of the story. I don't know how to explain how hard this was, without telling everything.
I don't know how.
So I won't.
Six months after starting a director's job, I turned in a letter.
Thanks for the opportunity, it's time for me to go.
They asked me to stay, to help when I could.
So I started grad school, stepped down from a director's position, and helped out PRN all summer.
They asked me to stay in the fall. So I stayed. Helped every spare hour between classes and practicum.
On Thursday they told me they didn't need me anymore. I'd helped keep a department afloat, amid all the changes, they were fully staffed now. The money wasn't there, and Thursday needed to be my last day.
If you can't imagine the disappointment and frustration and fear I felt over the next few days, I won't bother you with describing it.
Tuesday came around and I had gnashed my teeth and crunched the numbers enough and I did the bravest thing I knew to do. In order to save my self.
In order to, for once, put myself first.
To slow the toll that was being taken on my brain and body.
To finish well.
I did the hard thing on Tuesday morning.
At the encouragement of my family and colleagues and clinical supervisor -- who encouraged me to me to be kind to myself.
Tuesday night I came home and found an empty mini, Reese's cup wrapper on my bedside table.