When Life Throws You Lemons

April 9th - putting the finishing touches on the extra rooms in our house. Hanging a picture, painting some furniture, and unpacking the last couple of boxes from the move 6 months prior.

Fast forward to one week later.

April 16th - at the gym wrapping up another training session with Elevation Fitness Training as I prepare for my upcoming Train to Hunt event. Then my phone rings - it’s Braxton.

“They let me go. About 10 of us.”

I thought I was going to puke. It was everything I could do to just sit down and breathe, and I’m embarrassed to admit that the tears couldn’t wait until I left the gym. I had a full blown meltdown right there. I don’t want to make this about me, but if I can give my audience a slight look into what I’ve felt since that day, you can imagine how magnified that feeling must be for a 29 year old man with a family that just lost his dream job.

I wrote about this exciting time in our life and the leap of faith that we took by leaving the construction world, and I refuse to go back to that. All the fears and emotions we felt by taking a pay-cut and moving our entire life to a new place quickly dissolved once we got there. It was perfect for us, or so we thought. For just 6 months we lived in a beautiful home on the prettiest piece of property I’ve ever seen in Texas.

The first reaction from everybody that's heard is always, “Why? What happened?” and I honestly can't give anybody the real answer because we don't even know the real answer. I could play the guessing game all day, but for legal reasons (and my sanity, ha!) it's not worth sharing those thoughts. It was a blessing in disguise, which is funny when I described it as a “dream” in a previous blog. Regardless of what it “was or wasn’t,” I’m not about to stop chasing the life we desire. That would be giving up and I simply don’t do that.

I’ll continue the timeline to give you an idea of how quickly life can change.

April 23rd - interview in Portland, TX

April 24th - pack up entire house

April 25th - haul everything to storage units

April 26th - get a tour of a property in South Texas

April 29th - negotiating a job offer (Note: 2 days before leaving the country for a month)

Sometimes things happen in our lives that we don’t understand because God has a greater plan. We still don’t know for sure what’s next, in regards to his career or a home, but we have had an overwhelming amount of support with this news. It’s encouraging to see our loved ones initially shocked just as we were, then seconds later feeling excited at the thought of what could possibly be next for us.

I’m certain that every obstacle is meant to be seen from a few steps back and to be absorbed as a bigger picture. Here are my thoughts as we take the next steps:

  1. I’m married to a strong, confident individual. Marriage is a constant learning experience and I’m inspired by the way Braxton has accepted the news. I’ve seen these times sink grown men into depression and struggle to ever recover. The truth is that he’s never had to worry about a job. Ever. He’s never been laid off, fired, or questioned if he was expendable because he wasn’t. I'm thankful that HE knows his worth as we move forward.
  2. I'm certain that this was and continues to be a test of my faith. It's scary and I'm not going to sugarcoat that, but we wouldn't be put through something that we couldn't handle. I often feel excited, angry, relieved, betrayed, sad, and hopeful in a matter of minutes as I'm trying to digest the last couple of weeks, and it makes me feel crazy! I've prayed for strength and guidance through these emotions and I know that it'll all make sense in time. Until then, I will keep this verse close to me: Isaiah 26:3-4 says "You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever; he will always protect us." Thank you Nicole Oliver for sharing this with me!
  3. You may never remember what someone said or did, but you will always remember how they made you feel. You don't have to be close to someone to be affected by how they treat you. I was bothered by many things while being there and never spoke up, and I was touched by many since leaving - all of which I felt due to the actions of individuals I barely knew. This gives me a different perspective of how my actions can impact others both positively and negatively, whether they're an acquaintance, best friend, or stranger. I wouldn't say I'm a people pleaser, but I want people to genuinely feel good around me. That's important to me.
  4. Successful people don't have a perfect story. Think about it. There's always history when you ask someone how they got to where they are today, and it's the ones that overcome the gut-wrenching obstacles that inspire us the most. The reason is simple: they didn't stop chasing that dream, no matter what was thrown their way. This will be part of our success story - I guarantee that.
  5. Adventure feeds my soul. I was born to run. I was born for adventure and the unknown. I was born to take risks and never slow down. I've always desired a spontaneous life that would challenge me in every area, and if I'm being completely honest, that's exactly what I'm getting. To that I'd like to say, "Bring it!"

I can't think too far ahead, but I can think about the month ahead because, well, I'll be in Australia and New Zealand the entire time. Literally. I'll be gone from May 1 - June 1 hunting stag, fallow, tahr, chamois, with several possibilities in between. I'm very grateful Braxton will get to experience the first half in Australia with me! We are temporarily checking out of this chaos and giving it to God. Thank you all for the constant positivity and encouraging words - I've read every message, comment, email, etc and we are definitely feeling the love. I will update when I have more answers, but for now....PEACE OUT!