I finished my job at Saint Ambrose on December 30. I am now unemployed, which was never my plan. I am, however, confident now that this is part of God’s plan for me. I will be starting at St. Kate’s in February, working toward a second Bachelor’s degree. I’ll be attending the Evening/Weekend/Online program and studying Accounting. I’m actively pursuing employment, and I am blessed that there are real opportunities before me. No guarantees, but there is much hope. Oh, and I’m also doing some freelance writing. I can’t talk about it yet, but when it becomes “public knowledge”, I’ll definitely let you know!!!
The Detailed Version:
Initially, my plan was to begin school next fall. I would take the time to research schools and choose the right one. After the first of the year (so, this week), I would begin job hunting. I figured that it typically takes several months, so a new position might work out toward end of the school year, ideal timing for my position at Saint Ambrose.
However, shortly after I began to research schools and programs, my excitement to return to school increased. (After grad school, I swore that was my last time. Obviously, the academic in me won out!) It also just seemed practical not to delay another semester, since there was nothing standing in my way, and tuition is likely to increase each year. So, I began to make plans to return for the 2014 Spring Semester. After researching programs and visiting colleges, I decided that Saint Kate’s Evening/Weekend/Online program was the right fit.
I also figured that I could make a part-time program fit around the craziness of my work schedule for a little while, but it wouldn’t last forever. So, I began to put some intentional time and effort in to finding a new job. I did not begin initially with a full-scale effort, but it was no longer a passive hope.
All of this “action” happened over the first few months of the fall, but I’ve spent almost two years praying and discerning about my career path. At Saint Ambrose, as in any parish Faith Formation & Sacramental Preparation program, the fall is very, very busy. This particular fall, that intensity provided much clarity for me. Two distinct experiences at work during recent months were key decision points for me. As a result, I moved from making the plans to find a job to putting those plans into action, and doing so several months earlier than intended.
Of course, I'm very scared. But, I know that God will provide. I will simply need to strive to be Ignatian: "Pray like everything depends on God, work like everything depends on you."
Anyway, I pitched slow-pitch softball for years, and the Twins could really use one more starter. Maybe I'll give Terry Ryan a call.
Advent is a season of hope, and this Advent was a supremely deep experience for me. The week before I announced I was leaving, but when my decision had already been set in motion, one of my Jr. High kids asked why Jesus' birthday is on December 25. I explained that there are several reasons, and one beautiful symbolism we see this time of year is related to the winter solstice. Humanity has always felt fear of the dark. It is an act of courage and an act of faith that we celebrate the Incarnation - God becoming man and entering into history - literally on the darkest day of the year (well, give or take four days...). Advent finally ushers in Christmas. At the time when we are most tempted to despair because everything is so dark, we celebrate the Light of the World.
I know the Feast of the Epiphany (Three Kings/Magi) was yesterday, but it seems appropriate to hold on to the Christmas season a little longer this year.
Thank you for those who have been praying for me – it means so much! As anxious as I am, I am striving to be hopeful and to trust that God has a plan for me. He’s never let me down before!
So, stay tuned…