Sunday, April 29, 2012

Remember That Time…?

“Human beings need to tell stories. Historically, it’s the quickest way we have for transmitting useful information to other members of our species. Stories are not simply nice things to have; they are essential survival tools. And yes, the stories we tell ourselves are just as important as the stories we tell other people.”

~Hugh MacLeod
Last year, when I first learned that my husband and I would be losing our jobs due to company closure, I comforted myself with the telling of how I had gotten the job in the first place.

While on maternity leave with my first born I had been wrestling with the idea of going back to work or not, knowing the effect that four ten hour shifts was already having on my family-life, even without a newborn in the equation. Up until Asher's birth it was just my husband, my foster-daughter, and myself, and I knew in my heart that my employer and the kids we served were getting the best part of me and that my people were getting the tired and grumpy left-overs. I did not want to start off on this foot, but I did not know what to do.

While getting ready to take my newborn in with me to pick up some I'm-technically-still-on-maternity-leave hours one day, I half joked to my husband that I wished there was a job out there somewhere where I could work a few weekend overnight shifts that would allow me the chance to sleep a bit too, so that I could come home at least a little rested.

Wouldn't that be nice?

At work that evening I struck up a conversation with a new hire. We small-talked about babies and maternity leave and such, and she began to tell me about a friend of hers who worked in the same field as we did, who had also recently given birth.

Her friend worked nights. I commiserated that nights would be SO difficult to do while pregnant because you already have the exhaustion factor to contend with.

 She dismissed my concern with the magic words:

"Eh… they get to sleep a bit."

From that statement on, I was on a covert mission to ascertain just where in this wide earth this magic land existed.

I returned home to tell my husband that there WAS such a place and that I had the name!

I went out with friends that evening and excitedly blabbered on about the encounter. Upon coming up for air, I noted that one of my friends looked at least a little unimpressed. How could this be?

She repeated the name of the company.

Yes, that's the one.

"The same insert-name-of-company-here that I have been working for the past five years…?"

She gave me a minute for the lightbulb to turn on…


Ah-ha!

She happened to know that they were hiring because...well, someone had just had a baby.

Things are not always this 'just-make-a-wish-ish' for me and sometimes the answer to what I am facing feels evasive, too long coming, or not at all what I had wanted to hear, but it is in these times that the practice of remembering, continuing to tell the stories of God's faithfulness, is most important.

The remembering helps me to experience 'the now' less urgently, and to be more alive in the waiting, because I have seen His goodness before and can trust that He has not changed.

Next time I post, I would like to share with you the story of my new job, but before then, I would love to know what stories you find important to tell, even if the person that needs to hear them most is you.

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