Adventures in… Starting Over

Sometimes you just have to take a step of faith. And sometimes, you have to leap.

And sometimes, you just have to plunge. Totally submersed. Eyes-closed-cheeks-flapping-in-the-wind-heart-racing plunge.

About a month ago, I was working as the Production Coordinator for Focus on the Family’s TV show called Your Family Live. I’d been working on the show a little over a year, and I was seemingly days (maybe weeks) away from being promoted to being a Producer. And our show was literally days or weeks away from being picked up by a national cable company that wanted to run our shows live–every day (instead of once a week).

Very suddenly, several of our team members were laid off due to budget constraints. And then our show got cancelled. And then I worked for almost three weeks not knowing if I would have a job when I got to work that day. After weeks of uncertainty and frustration, I gave my two week’s notice. And today was my last day at Focus.

Life has moved very quickly, and extremely unexpectedly.

Luckily, I was very blessed and already have a new job. Starting sometime in early November, I’ll be the new Web Marketing Manager for Sterling College in Kansas (my alma mater). I’ll oversee their website, maintain their social networking channels, help with admissions, and possibly even teach a class next fall once I have my Masters. The job really sounds great, and it will be awesome to be back on a college campus with friends and the natural energy that comes with working alongside college kids–instead of being trapped in a cubicle. Seriously, I feel so lucky.

But above all that, one of the main reasons why I made this move was to be closer to Tillie. We’ve been together for almost two years now and I absolutely love her. We’ve spent the vast majority of our relationship in different states, and that can really strain a relationship after a while. After seemingly hundreds of trips down I-70 to be together, it seems almost unreal that we’ll get to live in the same town again. I have a brand new, deeper understanding of why it is not good for man to be alone. I can’t wait to be with her again.

Times like these really test what you believe. I’ve been in Colorado less than a year and a half, and it seems like I just finished all the paperwork for insurance, retirement planning, apartment lease, Colorado license plates, etc. etc. etc. It doesn’t make logical sense to move now, right when I was developing a solid group of friends that I really loved being with. Along the logistics of finding someone to sublet my apartment. And finding a new place to live. And starting what seems like almost a completely different career path.

I wish I could say that I’ve felt a deep sense of peace and reassurance that this was the right move, and that I was confident that this was God’s will for me.

But I can’t.

This month has been draining, and I’ve had to make some of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made very quickly. I’ve prayed with seemingly no response, and received advice from others that literally ranged the spectrum of answers.

I truly am so excited, and I recognize that having such a great job at this point in our culture is nothing short of a blessing. It just amazes me how quickly life can change. Just a handful of decisions made by other people shifted my world–in good ways and bad.

I loved my time at Focus, and I truly met some incredible people. It was an honor to work there. But it’s been hard to be away from Tillie. Ironically, one of the main reasons why I left Focus on the Family was to… focus on my family. I’m excited about where Tillie and I are headed, and this will be a great, encouraging step.

Or plunge.

So, Colorado peeps? It’s been real. You will be missed, and I will jealously remember you when Sterling gets to be 110 degrees in just a few short months.

And Kansas friends, I can’t wait to be with you again. Many nights of KU basketball, Hunt Brothers Pizza and walks around campus are just around the corner, and I’m excited to be back. I love Sterling College.

Life changes quickly, so don’t hold on too tightly to what you have today. Be responsible, but remember that your plans are feeble. It’s hard to accept for “type A” people like me, but I do have a deep trust that this will work. Instead of my natural instinct of trying to work things out for myself, I’m doing my best to embrace a new approach:

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

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3 thoughts on “Adventures in… Starting Over

  1. Matt,
    As usual you have been very articulate in communicating where you are at. I can literally feel the range of emotions you are describing. Life often those these kind of curve balls at us, and we look back at them as very significant milestones in our journey to who we are becoming.
    I have really enjoyed watching your experiences at Focus on the Family and know the experiences will be invaluable – certainly not wasted. I wish we had been better at physically seeing you since we were relatively so close. We think you are a truly awesome man with a bright future. We are also glad you found Tillie and your relationship is withstanding the test of time and distance. We’ll see now if it can survive being in the same local. [big cheesy grin].
    Wishing you all the best… Know that as you look back to this time, you will see things much more clearly.

  2. I understand completely where you’re at! I’ve made that plunge, by emmigrating TWICE in my life; both times, I knew it was the right decision with God, even though all the variables were up in the air and uncertain. There’s no safer place to be than in the centre of God’s will. And I’ve learned through that process that when God’s “fingerprints” are in the design, things will go smoothly; it’s when we’re pushing, shoving and dragging doors open that we should take a step back and ask again…

    Blessings to you in your move back to the Land of Oz.

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