February 22, 2010

Change Has Found Me

Ten years ago when we moved back to Houghton, NY I thought we would be here forever. I would have never guessed in college that I would return to Houghton. I always wanted to live near the beach. It took me awhile to come to terms with the fact that I would live in the country, 45 minutes from major restaurants, an hour and a half from a mall, no stoplights, one grocery store, no (besides Subway in recent years) chain restaurants. I never imagined that I would have goats as pets or raise chickens. I never imagined living in a place where you could leave your keys in the car and house unlocked. Where Dan the UPS man and Matt the mailman actually come inside your house to leave your mail/packages on your table.
In the last several years I began to accept that we would be in Houghton for the long haul. I felt that if Ben was content in his job, we would stay here. When my grant funded program ran out, I would simply find another job. I began to limit my faith in my abilities and settle. I also began to limit my Faith. In doing this, I lost part of me.
Then one day Ben came home and told me that when I look for my next job to look at what I want, where I want. He was willing to move for my job. This was something I never imagined him saying and (I am not sure why) I never suggested. (All of that is another story for some other time.)
Fast forward to the now. We are headed back to Savannah, GA in a few weeks where I will be vice president of Union Mission's Employment and Training Center. Union Mission provides shelter for homeless men, women, and families, short and long term housing assistance, health and dental care, behavioral counseling, substance abuse programs, lifeskills training, job training; and employment assistance. I worked at UMI in 99-00 and have always yearned to return.
I have worked with some great people in the last 10 years, but none compare to my boss at Union Mission- and I don't just say this now, I have said it throughout the years. I have never worked with someone as passionate, bold, fair, honest, visionary, and unique as Mike. I cannot think of any other president/CEO I would say this to outright or about, but I love the man. He inspires others simply by being himself.
This move is more than just a change in geographic location for me. I have regained my zest for life. I feel more alive, bold, confident, and exhilarated than I have in a long time. I have trusted more in God and explored my Faith on much deeper levels than before. I have dared to dream and have found a greater reality than in my dreams.
I cannot discredit the 10 years we spent in Houghton. I believe that for that time we were suppose to be here. I am just glad that we both knew when it was time to explore what's next. I think fear often hinders us in even thinking "what if?"
But when we let go of fear and embrace the possibilities, we may find something even greater-- I was able to find me again. And it feels great, really great, to be so alive.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

This is great stuff Sarah. Your 10 years in Houghton were my 11 years in Arkansas...how I wanted to get out, but felt that we were supposed to stay for some reason. I chaffed and wrestled and resisted but finally came to a sort of peace about staying there for the long haul. THen we finally got to get OUT. Coming back here has been revitalizing for me--I recognize myself two years ago in your excitement. I am so so happy for you--I totally get it.