Two weeks ago I quit my job. I handed in my notice, that is. My final day in the office is June 29th. It’s taken me these past two weeks to come to grips with it, but there it is. I’ve had lots of people ask me why, and I figured you guys would too. Do you want the happy answer or the honest one?
The happy answer is this- after much consideration, Tim and I have chosen to homeschool our kids. We have wanted to for ages, and we decided we’d better do it soon, so we’ve been prepping for the past year to make it happen. On top of that, Tim has a really rough commute and he has been doing it for years, so it’s time to simplify. By me quitting my job, we will have more time as a family and our kids will get the education we want for them.
That’s the easy, go-to answer. The honest answer is a little more complicated and uncomfortable.
In the weeks and months that led up to the fall of 2016, I began to feel a shifting beneath me, an acknowledgement that while I loved the individual aspects of my life, (my family, my job, my church, my hobbies, etc.) they weren’t working well together. Because of his commute, Tim and I weren’t seeing each other very much, and the kids were missing out as well. I wasn’t in any hurry to change anything though, after all we had been juggling our lifestyle for awhile and we were getting by.
But then on October 29, 2016 I suffered from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and everything changed. I remember coming home from the hospital and seeing my children. They had no idea what had just happened, no concept they had just lost a sibling. But the loss was real and it was devastating. When you lose a pregnancy you lose so much more than a clump of cells- you lose an entire future. You lose the first smile, the first steps, the first ‘I love you, Mommy.’ There is no kindergarten, no wrestling on the ground, no tickle parties, no snuggles, nothing. There is nothing, only a void where your child should be. Your existence becomes merely that, existence. You are there, but you are not present. Life continues and you flow along with it, vacillating between feeling everything and feeling nothing.
Thankfully we had an army of people surround us as we navigated the dicey waters that followed that experience. People came out of the woodworks to encourage and love on us. We cried. We prayed. We mourned. We resumed our routine.
But we had changed.
The following months were filled with constant sicknesses, an unending clobbering of illnesses that pushed me past my limit. Between recovering from the miscarriage, all the illnesses, working full time, commuting long distances, and raising three children we were spent.
One weekend we got away and visited my parents and sister. They sat us down to tell us they had an idea. What if we all pulled our resources and went in on a house together? It would mean a move to a different state, I would quit my job, and I would homeschool our children. It would put Tim over an hour closer to work, and I would have the help of family and the opportunity to watch my kids grow.
Normally I hate change, even minor change, and the idea set before us was drastic. It was a complete overhaul of our lives. And in that moment I needed an overhaul. I had spent the better part of 3 months praying for a change, but this certainly wasn’t what I had imagined. This was huge. This was scary. It would have been easy to say ‘no’ and keep going on our path, existing while life slipped by, after all I was in a job I could retire from, my kids were in a good school system, and we were surrounded by Tim’s family and a church family we had known for most of our lives. But in doing so we would be sacrificing our own family. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and my kids say, “Mom worked a lot. I wish we had seen her more.”
So we prayed about it. We sought counsel. And we said ‘yes.’ The plan was set into motion. By November we had sold our townhouse and my parents had sold their own house. Tim, the kids, and I moved into the basement of his parents’ house. The kids stayed in their same school and Tim continued his commute. In December, we bought our new house, an hour and 40 minutes away from home. We decided to keep the kids in their school until the end of the school year and move to the new house after that. We hoped that would minimize the chaos for the kids during our transition. We didn’t anticipate that Tim would be practically living at the new house, though, which left me to raise the kids on my own during the week, but we’ve made it work. We go to the new house most weekends. We have found a new church family and we have started to settle in.
Over the past year, I can’t tell you the number of times I prayed that God would stop the forward momentum; that if we were making a mistake, he would let us know. But the opposite happened. Every obstacle was removed, every hurdle was taken out of our path.
So on April 30th, I put in my resignation. It was hard. If I hated my job, it would have been easier, but I like my job and I like the people I work with. In just under 7 weeks, I’ll be unemployed and moving to a new state, and while I am nervous, I am also incredibly excited.
I know our new life will come with its challenges, but at least now we will face them together, we can invest in our children and our marriage. The next few months will be bumpy as we make our transition, but I’m looking forward to it with optimism.
It’s been amazing to see how God has taken the worst tragedy we have ever experienced, and turned it around for good and used it for His glory. We are stepping out in faith that God will continue the plan He has for our lives, and we pray that we will be obedient to His will, no matter where that takes us.
After all, God is good all the time!