January 8th – December 7th, 2010 … a season of waiting, learning, challenge, fear, growth …

What a year it has been! I thought this would be such an easy post, I kept thinking “I’m going to get to announce to my faithful family and friends that I have a job again” over and over … and it would be another month, another interview, another promise, and nothing delivered. Though, finally, the week before Thanksgiving The Planet called with an offer and I went back to work on December 7th! Thanksgiving – what a great week for it to all work out! My mind is still reeling and processing from the year.

The most common asked question this year: What have you been up to? I am going to blog separately to answer that question – so stay tuned for that. In short – I have been given the gift of time. Time to think, time to be thankful, time to spend with family, time to spend with friends, time to pray, time to study, time to explore, time to discover, time to be still, time to dream, time to question, and ultimately a test of my faith time and time again.

From the very beginning it was my prayer that my life would be used as a witness through this period, however long it would be. Though, I never thought that long! When telling the story that I was laid off, I was always amazed at how “devastating” people would presume that scenario to be. I couldn’t help but think this is such a small setback in the grand scheme. I still have so much to be thankful for.

When meeting people the most often asked question after getting your name is: “so, what do you do”. Depending on who was asking – sometimes I simply answered “I don’t work” and most of the time “I’m looking for a job”. As the months added up of life without a job I began to hate that question. Mainly because what you “do” has no definition to who you really are and secondly because so many people were in the same boat. Bottom line, I think it is really a shallow question, and have tried to train myself not to use that as the 2nd question when getting to know someone.

Throughout this journey I have been reminded to really look for and see God in the details. He orchestrates and works things out to the very nth-detail. The position, the opportunity, the people, the location, the hours and on and on are all turning out to be the very things I was praying for all along. I have been reminded again and again of how my prayers are answered – and to be looking for the answers – and not just for what I think the answer should be.

All in all, I am thankful.

Thankful for my relationship with Christ. For unconditional love, for acceptance, for peace, for provision, for protection, and for HOPE. The things of this world nor the status of a job will never satisfy me like the love of Christ.

Thankful for the Word. So many verses have helped me get through these days … Is 33:6 – Ps 90:14 – Matt 6:34 – Ps 16:5-6 – Ps 73:25-26 – Luke 1:45 – 2 Thes 3:5 -1 Peter 3:15 – Zep 3:17 – Micha 6:8 – Ps 18:1 – Heb 12:11 – Josh 1:8 – Rom 12:12 – Heb 4:16 – Lam 3:22-24 – Ps 34:4-5 – Ps 1:3 – 2 Cor 4:17-18 – Luke 2:10-11. All verses that I am working on memorizing.

Thankful for my parents. Who have loved me, prayed for me, given to me, provided for me, encouraged me, comforted me, been frustrated alongside me, and celebrated with me – through this and every season of my life. Through this particular season I was reminded of when my Dad was laid off while I was in College and how I watched my parents gracefully and faithfully endure that circumstance. I saw their faith in action and also learned how important it is to have Christ as the center of your marriage. They are role models to me and I am blessed with them!

Thankful for my friends. Who have loved me, prayed for me, checked in on me, given to me, encouraged me, been frustrated alongside me, and celebrated with me. The hours I have spent during this year over breakfast and lunch tables, going on walks, out on a boat fishing, taking weekend road trips, laying out by the pool, hanging out with stay-at-home Moms and their babies, going to church, watching sports, going dancing and so many more things are memories that will last a lifetime and time spent that was a gift to me!

Thankful for my church. The body of Christ in action, over and over pouring out themselves to me and for my life.

Thankful for my health. Throughout this year I have been reminded over and over how precious my health is and I thanked God for it. There would be days that I questioned if something catastropic was coming to my own life because nothing seemed to be working out and what if something bad was coming. Thankfully that fear didn’t overcome me and I was healthy because most of the year I didn’t have insurance. Throughout this year I have spent countless hours in a hospital, talking with, and praying for friends dealing with catastrophic health circumstances. Lives that have been turned upside down due to death, cancer diagnosis, or other sickness. Being without a job seemed so trivial compared to what others were dealing with.

Thankful for my nephew and nieces. “Tuesdays with Tole” – while Casey was pregnant with the twins I spent most Tuesdays with Cole (who refers to himself as Tole, c’s are t’s at 2 years old). We went to the park, the zoo, Kemah, to run errands, on picnics, and played toys for hours on end. When Casey went to the hospital to have the baby girls we went to see Mama and Dada at the Dr and to love on those baby sisters. Gracie Ann and Lily Kate arrived June 22nd, about 6 weeks early and stayed several weeks in the NICU. I was able to go by and visit them often, talk to them, hold them, feed them, and love on them. Even further I was able to spend the night with them when they were home for several weeks to give Casey a night or two of sleep in a week. The firsts of what I hope will be many slumber parties! Thank you to my Brother and Sister-in-Law for sharing your family with me! There is nothing like the innocence of the child to remind you of what really matters in life.

Thankful for work. After getting up on Monday mornings for weeks and months on end to start over on the work search, I am thankful to get up on Monday and have a place to go to work. So many friends have been in this same situation and many still are. I began to really be angered by the number of people who have a Facebook Monday morning update of “I hate Mondays”. I pray that I will be sensitive that there is always someone wishing they had work to go to.

There are so many more things, this could go on and on.

For the first time in my life I feel like I have a “5 Year Plan” — which I laugh at just thinking about, we all know what happens when we make a “plan”. He changes it. So, I term that loosely and am fully confident that it will change and I will be more of who I have been called to be and hopefully reflect more of who’s I am as every week, month, and year pass.

“Thank you” doesn’t seem adequate, but if you have been part of this journey – I am truly humbled by your care and compassionate spirit and am thankful that you have walked these days with me and confident that you will continue to do so. May each of your lives be richly blessed because of how you have blessed mine.

Love,
Angie

2 Comments

  1. Amy V on December 17, 2009 at 10:02 am

    It has been an interesting year for us as well! I have thought of you often, wondering if you were frustrated or fearful, praying you were strong and knowing The Lord would provide for you but wondering WHEN! I treasured our Chick Fil A' lunch, but am sorry it was only one and such a hectic one! I am overjoyed that you are working, especially at The Planet, as we know so many people over there. The Lord only knows what the next year holds and there is anything but certainty in our lives, so I will load up on The Lord's roller coaster again. I am so thankful you are thankful – it reminds me to never give up hope even when things drag on. Jehovah Jireh will provide! Love you girl!

  2. Casey Gillikin on December 17, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I love you Ang!

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