I know it’s a little early for a New-Year’s-Eve type post, but I can’t help being reflective already. When I look back at all the changes in our life over the past 12 months, it’s amazing where God has taken us. My husband entered the year being a part of his original film company with two partners, but also knowing that he had been offered a management position at one of the largest wedding video companies in the city. We spent the first part of the year wrestling with that. Should he leave the company that he had built from the ground up over the past few years? Should we take on something so big? The idea of both of us working together as a husband/wife team at the new wedding video company is what won us over in the end, among other things. We have always wanted to work together at something, and the fact that it was a husband/wife team asking us to come on as husband and wife sealed the deal.
That threw our lives into a flurry of activity. We have never been busier. Ever. In. Our. Entire. Lives. March – September was filled with literally sometimes 100-hour work weeks (70 hours would be considered taking it easy). (Save for a day 10 trip in April where we went to Mexico and literally laid around and just slept for days on end because we were so exhausted). Nick would do back-to-back weddings. He would leave on Friday morning and I would see him Monday night. Sometimes he would come home and leave again in the dark hours of the morning, and sometimes he didn’t come home at night at all. He had to miss the entirely of Easter as he spent the entire weekend working (literally, he slept one hour per night on the couch at the office while projects rendered out). I wanted to punch anyone I heard complain about long work hours during this time. There were no days off – at least not for Nick. He says he got days off, and I have to remind him that working 5-6 hours from home a couple times a month does not count as a day off.
There wasn’t room for me to come on full time this year, so I kept both of my day jobs (working full time at the hospital, and teaching piano at night). However, every spare lunch break, evening and weekend my mind had to shift gears to the company. I would find myself walking to the skytrain from the hospital, with a backpack full of piano books heading to lessons, while I texted video clients. Fridays were the worst. 8am – 4pm at the hospital followed by 4:30pm-12:30am at the company. We made it all the way to almost the end of June before we hit a wall. There was just so much work. So many clients. We turned and looked at each other and said, “This is not the life we believe God would call us to”. There has to be room outside of work for community, for friends, for family, for helping others, for seeing each other. Those aren’t “fillers” you cram in once a year when you have time. Those are what life is about. We looked at our budget and realized we really couldn’t afford to quit. And then we did it anyways.
We helped finish out the Summer and found ourselves completely on our own in October. We braced ourselves for it to get hard. It had been too long. Nick had said “no” to too many opportunities and to too many people over the last year for him to have any leads. We trimmed way back and prepared to live on my income alone and send Nick out to scrounge for a few hundred a month (since even with my having a government job AND a well-paid, part-time gig, you still can’t have a mortgage here on that alone, which is sad when you consider our mortgage is less than almost all our friends’ rent…). Nick went out and connected like crazy. He tried to re-establish relationships at church, and with friends, and with work contacts. We even had a potential dream gig turn up for him, and thought he would get the job for sure. Part time. Not a great, but not a terrible salary either. Close to home. In the industry. And God said… “no”. That’s it. Not, “No, because I want you to do this instead”. Just, “no.” And we said, “Okay, we’re sad, but we’ll trust you.”
And then the miraculous happened. We were only three or four weeks into “we have no idea what we’re doing, but we know we’re following God to… somewhere… eventually… we hope!” Suddenly, all these jobs started to come in. Nick was getting to do his favourite kind of work (Assistant Directing), with some of his favourite people, and unlike previous years, it wasn’t for free this time! I started to get some photography gigs. We even decided to start our own little company – Paraphrase Productions – working together! (Granted, I still have my other two jobs). Nick ended up making more in his first month solo than he made with the large video company. God just poured blessings into our lives. Nick had satisfying and fulfilling work. We had our own tiny company together. We were both back on the worship team at church and volunteering. We saw each other in the evenings. We even had most weekends together. We couldn’t believe it. I still get teary-eyed when I think of how gracious God was to us in our blind faith. And then it happened.
Nick got a phone call. The dream job we had originally wanted as we stepped out alone and God said no? Three months later they were asking Nick to please come in because they wanted him. It didn’t work out with the previous hire, and they really wanted Nick. You’ld think we would have jumped all over it immediately. But we were cautious and took some time. Because, you know, after a year like this, we had learned that what we actually wanted was whatever the heck God wanted because He obviously has a bigger plan. Nick accepted the job this week. And here we are. Together. With TIME. Not as much as some people as we both still have 2-3 jobs each, but with what feels like oodles of it compared to the past months. I’m still full time at the hospital and part time with piano. I also do a very little bit of photography on the side with our new company. Nick is half time at his new job and half time with our company. We are in awe of God’s provision, and so happy right now. We have evenings (albeit LATE evenings) together. We have most weekends. We have time for holidays. We have time for friends, and church, and family and community. And most importantly, we have faith. Faith that whatever could possibly be around the bend, as long as we’re following God, we’re right where we’re supposed to be. And we don’t regret any of it. Not even the hard stuff.
Yes, I realize I could have easily ended with the sentence above, but I had to add one thing. The journey we just walked is NOT just work-related. It can apply to anything in life. God often takes us places we don’t want to go. He says, “Don’t do that or don’t go there”, and we say, “Why not!? That doesn’t even make sense, God. I’m just going to ignore that part of You, and follow the rest of You.” We actually think we know better than Him, and that our plan is better than His. What I want to say is God does not need to explain Himself. He loves you, so just TRUST Him. Obey Him. Even if Nick didn’t get any work. Even if he never got that phone call. That’s not what matters. What matters is that REGARDLESS of the outcome, God has a plan, and it’s a really good idea to just go with it. He’s read the entire book. So just follow Him to the next chapter.