Thursday, June 19, 2014

ch-ch-changes

Several weeks ago Brad had a job interview. It was for an assistant principal position in a good school district in our area, and it was his first job interview since his first job out of college, where he spent ten years.

He left the interview feeling pretty good about it, although he didn't know if he would get the job. Later that day, he talked to a few people who "know people." They seemed to think Brad had good chances and was at least in the top two choices. In fact, from what people were telling Brad that evening, the administration and interview committee really liked Brad, and his chances were good.

The last conversation of Brad's night led him to believe he would get a phone call with a job offer the next day. We laid our heads to pillows believing he would the great phone call early next morning. The job was good, and the pay was even better, thus alleviating some of the financial stress I had been feeling about being without gainful employment the next year.

The next morning dragged on and on, until eventually it was noon and I hadn't heard anything. I resisted the urge to text Brad and ask if he'd heard anything for a while, but by early afternoon I couldn't wait any longer. Of course he hadn't heard anything; if he had, I would have heard from him right after. Why would he not have heard anything by now? He was the man! At least, that's what we were told.

Eventually, he got a phone call and a message from the school administrator. He didn't get the job.

Disappointment and fear crept into my little faithless heart. How could he have come so close, yet come out with no offer? We would later find out.

That same day Brad was supposed to get "the phone call that changed everything," a pastor had stepped down from our church to pursue a different opportunity in another state. His resignation led to an amicable departure from our church; he just had an opportunity that came up--almost out of nowhere--and he felt called to take it. (Side note: The pastor who left has been tremendously encouraging to Brad and I. TREMENDOUS.)

Over the next few days and weeks, Brad's name began being thrown around in the mix of people who might join our church's staff. This was never something Brad pursued with his own volition; however, he has enjoyed working with the college ministry at our church for over five years, and I believe people saw the "product" of his work there and his leadership capabilities.

As the weeks went by, the possibility of Brad joining the church staff became more and more promising. Noticed that I said WEEKS, and really, maybe I should say months. I believe this all started in April. This is a slow process--as any big decision should be--and at times it looked like an absolute impossibility. However, Brad had some very important and wise people urging church leadership to take a serious look into hiring him, and he had some very long and important conversations with friends, mentors and himself about whether or not this was something he felt called to do. 

I will spare you the play-by-play. Last Sunday, our church voted to have him join the staff as the "Discipleship Minister" and promoted our friend Daniel to "Leadership Pastor."

I am absolutely thrilled for my husband and our little family. When Brad was looking into jobs in administration and even looking into getting back into coaching baseball, he knew he would have to give up the time and energy he has been putting into discipleship and meeting with young adults to focus on his job. He has been meeting with people several nights a week already, and a job as an administrator or head coach would have taken up even more after-school time. He wasn't looking forward to giving up time in ministry, but he understood the time commitments of a new role in leadership. I worried he would try to continue taking on a ton of commitments in addition to ministry work because he loves it so much. I wasn't a huge fan

When it looked as though he was going to get a job in administration, I had mixed emotions. First of all, I was a bit relieved because of the decrease in stress that a bigger paycheck would allow us. (Administrator pay compared to teacher pay sometimes has a pretty huge differential.) I was happy for Brad because he was born to lead. I believe that from the bottom of my heart. However, I was worried I wouldn't see my husband very often, and I was sad for the boys because they adore their dad and would have missed him terribly. If I'm completely honest, I may have even been a little worried that I'd go a little bit bonkers with children by myself for 18-20 hours a day.

This new job is a completely and perfectly answered prayer, but it came about in an absolutely unexpected way, a way that far exceeded our prayers about it. Brad is a leader of leaders and passionate about reproducing and training up spiritual believers (as I mentioned here), and this position will allow him to do everything possible to do just that. He will work with a friend and under the wise counsel of great leaders, and he will have a flexible schedule that will allow him to be with his family when needed. In addition, it will allow him to pursue that passion without being gone every night, and it will even pay him to do it. In fact, he will earn almost as much as what he would have gotten as a result of the congratulatory phone call we expected but never got. (And I plan to help as much as possible with my limited talents but recently-increased amount of flexible time.)

So today I am thanking God for answering prayers we weren't even bold enough to pray.