Back to this story... I simply didn't "get" his aversion to turning another year older.
Me, I love birthday's... I love everything about them --- family and friends, the food, cakes and music, laughing... and laughing some more... some birthdays have lasted weeks and a few great ones have been celebrated for a month. Celebrating birthdays, at least to me, signifies breath in my lungs, days I am able to be on this earth and in "mission purpose" for God.
I love birthday's... except this one... this one that I am just turning... this number 37 -- ugh... I said it... shared my age... 37, 3-7.... on my way to 40... and i hate saying that. I know birthday's are a gift, I do. This one is just different, it's hard for me and I have been putting a lot of thought into why and thanks to my now 9 year old son, I get it.
I can honestly say, I have accomplished all my childhood goals... I wanted to be a wife and mother. I wanted to have two children, one boy and one girl... oh yes, and he must be like his daddy and she must look like me. I wanted to have a good job, a job which had meaning, which improved peoples lives. where I could travel-but not too much... just enough to "see places" but not be away too much. I wanted to be successful, the kind of successful which gave my family stability to afford nice things and take trips that I couldn't take when I was growing up.
These goals... each one checked off one by one did not come without struggles... like... a infertility battle longer than I cared to endure, arguments with my husband that had us calling it quits at least three "serious" times... a job that I loved which increased in instability year by year, oh, and a miscarriage of our miracle baby.
Almost 19 years with my husband and lots of life lived, loved, yelled and argued through. Lots of heart-ache and heart-break yet here we stand. 19 years -
If you pay attention God speaks, He works on you and in you... Life changes...
Like with any work place environment there are good days and there are bad days. As culture changes so do organizations like ours. Some of the changes were not good... Some had been a long time coming. Leadership changed drastically, also not necessarily good. All along the changing tide I was preparing for year number 15, I never knew why - I just sensed something coming. Year number 15 was the year I was called away, called to put down that job and move on.
Some say it's really hard to leave a place you love whether by choice or because the choice was made for you; they say there is a grieving process... And let me tell you, that is the absolute truth. I mourned and grieved it like something had died. I would look back frequently on my time there and miss my colleagues, missed the mission and missed the job itself.
I Missed event planning, missed hotels, I missed flying… flying high and doing great things for great people. I missed for a moment, many moments - if I am honest - the person I used to be.
I hadn't realized that I replaced what God said my significance as a human being was with who "they" said I was. My identity was not mine but of this person I was while I was there.
I moved on, mourning and that was not a great place to be.
I found a temporary home someplace else... This new place was not my place either but a stepping stone. I know that now, in hindsight... This new place stripped from me pride and made me humble, it stripped my identity so a new one could be found, it made me stand firm in my faith and reject the world... I had many dark conversations with God... so many rejected days. I was mad. I didn't understand. I thought it one way, but He was showing me another. 1 year and 8 months later... I get it now.
I finally turned in my laptop, building access card and parking pass... I said some permanent good-byes while solidifying others deep in my heart. I walked alone to my car... a weight was gone... my lesson learned, or so I thought...
Quite literally I smiled internally and externally as I lifted my IPhone and deleted my work email out of my inbox. I should have been elated, but I knew - almost instantly that something wasn't right... in deleting my inbox I came to realize I had deleted 16 years of personal and professional contacts... with it died, the last remaining reminder of self I had. I know this sounds silly... but for a moment, consider losing every.single.contact you have ever made... especially in business when "we lean" on past favors and friendships. GONE...
The quite whisper came... "You don't need them, I have given you every single tool for the tasks ahead. You have been equipped with your past experience for this next chapter."
I drowned out that quite voice... never... I did have a panic attack... I did try and reinstate from "the cloud"... I called, I tried... I did... and when I couldn't, I called an IT expert... my brother and he couldn't either. Ya'all, it's bad when my brother can't fix it.
Then... with fear and trembling, my brother quietly said, "Maybe you need to move on with out all that." I literally responded with, "Shut your mouth..." Folks, that was affirmation...