A few months ago, I was faced with a big decision. Accept a new job that would require our family to relocate back up north, or remain in my current position here in Florida.
I was excited and flattered by the opportunity but kept getting teary-eyed every time I thought seriously about what it would mean to move.
My pastor once gave a great sermon in which he talked about not being afraid to "pray big." So, my prayer was to know clearly which path was the right one.
I spent a girls' weekend with my step-mother, who listened and encouraged and acknowledged my conflicting feelings. I received regular words of wisdom and support from my friends, Becky and Ed. I was blessed by my family's love and loyalty.
Then, right before I was to receive the official offer from the new employer, I was offered a lateral transfer by my current agency, which would mean being based in an office 10 minutes from home rather than the 60 minute each way commute I'd been doing for the last six and a half years.
Although the new job would be more money and new challenges in the private sector, it would also mean a lot of travel, very cold winters, and the many challenges of moving and adjusting to living in an unfamiliar area.
What I'd really been craving was a change of pace, less travel, and the chance to work and contribute in the community where I live, where my family is happily settled, and where we have developed a home, friends, a church family, and a sense of belonging.
The right path was pretty clear to me at that point, and then the offer came in quite a bit lower than what we had calculated it would have taken to make such a big move financially feasible.
And to top it all off, when I said good-bye to my beloved friends on my last day before beginning my new gig so much closer to home, my friend, Esmerie, presented me with this beautiful hand-carved nativity from her native Belize, saying, "I finally figured out that the reason I couldn't find a place for this in my house is because it belongs to you."
This truly felt like the ultimate blessing and the final word: you have chosen wisely...now go forth and make the most of it...be positive, serve, appreciate.
This big decision temporarily de-railed me in many ways, but it was a gift. A gift of the opportunity to reflect upon and appreciate all of my many blessings. A gift of the opportunity for a fresh start in the new year. And I am truly grateful.