Last night I reached into the cabinet to grab a plate to catch the hot fudgy brownie being lifted from the pan while a group of precious, adorable, chatty ladies sat in my living room.
Zach and I decided on this cozy townhouse one year ago because we were about to get married. We chose Augusta because we sensed the Lord calling us here. It's about 2 hours from both families and we thought there was a great job opportunity for Zach here, but needed to make a house decision before there was any final news on the job.
Well. He didn't get the job.
So here I am, 1 month married with a small business and a husband fresh out of grad school with...a less than exciting year ahead of him, career-wise.
I griped, I cried, I scratched my head. If teaching wasn't in the cards this year, I would have to haul some serious business freight. PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME PUT ON BIG GIRL PANTIES, I said to the Lord.
The one-sentence version of this year: God provided every growth opportunity Laurel Ave needed through precious clients and fantastic community here in Augusta, and Zach faithfully sold tea, sorted towels, and scrubbed toilets to help get us through.
As we started to see God providing financially, I found other things to be afraid over and complain about. As usual.
"I don't know why, but I just can't seem to make friends," I told my mom our second month here.
It was a very vulnerable year for us, no "steady" job and no connections to begin with. I found myself feeling very unsure of WHY a lot of days. God taught us to ask "what" instead of "why", and that helped us keep on putting one foot in front of the other, and like a kid that gets dropped off at childcare, I slowly started to warm up to the things available to us here, and then I started to actually LIKE it.
Then we found Stevens Creek Church. Then we found Tuesdays Together. Then we found small groups. Then we found Tyler and Leah's weekly dinners.
Then teacher application season came back around.
I put on a brave face around Zach, but surely he knows those mornings in my office (the spare bedroom) I was griping and pleading and praying and scratching my head and googling teaching openings. Where are the jobs? Where do I even want to live? Where can my business grow? Where can Zach have a fulfilling job with a good salary??
Yesterday was June 7th.
Still no news on a job.
Lease ends in 23 days.
I have asked the Lord plenty of times what this year in Augusta was about. I've sat quietly (and not so quietly) waiting for answers about when Zach will have work.
I'm at Target getting brownie mix and my phone rings: it's Zach.
Later that night I told my small group: HE GOT THE JOB!!! But...it's in Milledgeville. So much encouragement and a few tears for leaving friends behind.
After the small group left, I reached into the cabinet to get one more plate for a late night snack for myself. I jumped when I saw which plate I was reaching for because it's a plate I haven't seen since we moved in. It's our one-of-a-kind fancy plate, and when I put it in the cabinet last June I thought to myself,
"I am never going to get through this giant stack of plates all the way down to this one. We would have to have a ton of people over, or at least 15 dirty plates (which would be a lot in a household of 2). Neither of those things are going to happen. Why do we even HAVE so many plates?!"
I did that thing - that only girls do - where you stand in your kitchen and cry over the sentiment of a plate.
We have been abundantly, ridiculously blessed and cared for here in this weird town where we had no work and no friends at first.
The Lord carried us to groups, communities, clients, part time jobs, friends, late night laughs, long walks and a whole city full of affectionate memories.
As we make the move BACK to middle Georgia where we both spent 5+ years in school, it feels a little like we had a Boomerang year where the Lord said, "let me teach you a few things and then I'll lead you back".
Worth it? I mean, I ate off my last plate...
What will he be teaching? 9th Grade Civics and 10th Grade History
What will happen to Laurel Ave? Nothing. Augusta/Athens/Atlanta...etc... clients will have my full heart and attention and presence. Augusta vendors have my heart and I will still travel to be friends with the amazing community there. And Central Georgia will get a little extra LA presence (Macon's Tuesday's Together, I'm comin' for ya).
How are you going to live in a town without a Target and a Costco and a Panera? Valid. But Zach refers to Milledgeville as "the town where we fell in love" so I guess we'll get by.