My husband and I thought we would just pack as much change into the last year as humanly possible, because who doesn’t love change?! Said no one ever.
May 20, 2016 was a day that forever changed the blueprint of our family. Our daughter Quinn rocked our world in the best way. But for the record, having a baby is a really quick way to change your lifestyle, your body and just about everything else. It’s all worth it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s life-altering to say the very least.
So naturally one week after Quinn was born, just when we had mastered the art of parenting (aka the art of sleepless nights and zero clue as to what we were doing), Ryan started a new job.
Approximately one week after Ryan started said new job, I quit my teaching job of six years and I accepted a part-time job with local agency that employs and trains individual with disabilities, working as their Intervention Specialist (fancy name for a Special Education teacher) for their transition program. After teaching special education for another local district, I had decided that it was time to put my newly earned Master’s Degree in Special Education and Transition to work. I am so passionate about not only helping individuals with disabilities realize and actualize their potential, but also about helping their community to see the potential within these same individuals. This meant that I got to continue to work with individuals with disabilities but would also get to help prepare them for “the real world” through job training, employability skills, social skills, etc. I was fortunate that this job meant that I got to do what I love Monday through Wednesday and then spend Thursdays and Fridays with my baby girl, Quinn. Though not without its own challenges, it was the perfect combination.
Though two new jobs and a new baby might have been a little excessive, we made it work. That’s what you do, right?! You figure it out. You adapt. Well, adapt is exactly what we did five months later when Ryan went into work and was told that his position was being eliminated nationwide due to budget cuts. No warning. Suddenly Ryan and I both had a burning desire to flip one of their little smart cars. Don’t worry, we just played it out in our minds.
So there we were with a new baby, living off of my part time income. Oh and our benefits were through Ryan’s job that he no longer held. Suddenly the part time job that provided the perfect balance didn’t seem so perfect. I was left questioning many of the decisions that we had prayed over just months prior, knowing all the while that this was not news to God and he would provide.
After 4 months of interviews, a lot of prayer, a few other crazy events that I won’t bore you with today, the occasional tear and some supplemental income courtesy of Mary Kay (me) and Uber (Ryan), my sweet husband was given the opportunity to return to his previous employer, where he had worked for over three years before he took his last job. Ya’ll I can’t even fathom the amount of humility it took for him to make that first phone call. I fell in love with Ryan all over again when I watched how he loved and served our family in the thick of it all. Throughout it all, despite how discouraged or frustrated he was, he was my rock while I could most frequently be found attempting to create a plan B, C and D.
I am happy to report that Ryan was just promoted to Assistant Manager and is loving being back at Enterprise. I am equally as thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position with our local school district working in their Academy for Community Transition. I am thrilled to be working with some amazing professionals in the field of Special Education. More to come on getting my classroom set up and prepping for a brand new year!
Change is rarely easy, yet here we are again, a year later, both with new jobs and now with a walking, talking toddler. I am reminded that peace is not circumstantial (See John 14:27). It is in the discomfort, the struggle and the waiting that we are refined. Of course we wouldn’t have chosen the craziness of this last year but I have no doubt that one day we will look back on these days and know that these are the days that shaped us.