Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Life Lessons

Well... needless to say, our lives have been upside-down for the past few weeks. I haven't posted since the end of February because our family has been through some pretty tough days and we are finally emerging stronger on the other end.

Lance's Dad, Bill, was rushed to the emergency room on the night of March 2nd with severe chest pains and breathing problems. It was quickly discovered that he had had a heart attack - the doctors believe it was February 27th (Lance and Reed's birthday) - and needed to have bypass surgery. Of course Lance and I were at the hospital as soon as we heard the news, and sat with Martha (Lance's Mom) and his brother Reed from Friday morning til Monday morning, the day of the surgery. It was a rough week - after the bypass, Bill was in ICU and we could only visit 4 times a day. We were up at the hospital whenever we could be, so Martha wouldn't be alone and so that we could see Bill as soon as we were allowed to. Bill went back home last week and has been trying to rest and build his strength up.

The doctors say Bill was extremely lucky - the next heart attack could've killed him. In addition to the attack they told him he'd had that week, there was also evidence of a previous one months prior.

This has motivated all of us to really change our lifestyles and work on keeping ourselves healthy. Bill has never really taken care of himself - he's diabetic and has never been routine about checking his blood sugar or taking his insulin - so hopefully this will motivate him to rethink the way he lives his life.

Throughout these really tough couple of weeks, Lance and I and our entire family realize how truly blessed we are. We have been inundated with concerned emails, phone calls, and visits. We have so many wonderful friends and family and we are so thankful for everything they've showed us throughout these weeks. God has truly surrounded us all during this tough time and has really brought the family closer. I always loved Lance's parents, but honestly didn't know them as well as I'd hoped to. Sitting in a hospital room and a waiting room with someone for hours on end is truly a bonding experience. I've had more conversations with Bill the past three weeks than I'd had the year and a half since we met. And Martha and I have reaffirmed our strong connection that we shared from Day One. It has also really brought Lance and I closer - being able to sit and hold his hand and cry and pray with him throughout everything was really helpful for both of us.

So, now that Bill is on the recovery side of everything, Lance and I are hoping that we can be a part of his new lifestyle. Our plan is to be able to go visit him and take walks with him and eat healthier together. I think this was a wake-up to all of us that each moment is truly a gift from God and that each new day is to be cherished.

In that stream of thought... throughout this struggle within the family, I came to a realization that I didn't want to continue to sacrifice any more of my time and my sanity at my current job. I know that God has given me gifts that I have been unable to use in my career up to this point, and I didn't want to waste a single day where I knew I wasn't using my full potential. I've been unhappy for months and have told myself lately that I would wait until this summer to pursue a career move.

Well, as we all know, God works in mysterious ways! My friend Amy called one day (actually, while we were at the hospital) with wonderful news - somebody that she goes to church with owns a graphic design firm and was looking to fill a position emptied the week before. It was one of those word-of-mouth things - the opening hadn't even been advertised yet - but she mentioned my name to him and passed along his information to me. The most appealing thing to me about the firm was that it was a Christian-based company. That's one of the things I've struggled with the most at my current position. I prayed about it and decided that it was such a God thing, I knew that I had to pursue it.

I gave him a call right away, and within 2 days I had an interview set up. I hurried to get my portfolio updated and ready to show. My interview was early last Wednesday morning, and by noon he had made me a job offer! I was so surprised by how well our meeting went. I know one of my weaknesses is not having enough confidence in myself and my potential - so it was truly humbling to see someone who's been in the design business for 20 years impressed with my work. I am so excited to get started and continue down this path that God has opened for me. I will really miss the people I work with, but I know that this is an experience that I've waited years for. The fact that I'll be in a Christian-based environment is just icing on the cake! I can't wait to begin and see what God has in store for me!

So... over the last few weeks, our family has been through a lot. We just have to keep remembering that God is in control. Everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - are always there to teach us, to humble us, to strengthen us, to empower us.

God is so good!


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