Last night, we picked up our friends Geoff Moore, Dana Weaver, and Katie Godfrey at the airport in Dallas,Texas, and enjoyed some good Tex-Mex cuisine to welcome them to town. Their arrival marks the beginning of an amazing week for me – a bittersweet week of beginnings and endings.
It’s Saturday. My 49th birthday. And originally this day was to be celebrated by working at Soled Out, a free concert benefiting Shoes for Orphan Souls – and then gathering a group of friends together for a good dinner somewhere. But things changed last Tuesday, and my birthday would now be celebrated a bit differently.
We awoke and headed to my office at Buckner International. My husband Brad (a prince of a man), and my dear friends Courtney and Ryan Nowakowski, joined me as we packed up books and pictures and awards and knick-knacks. You see, on Tuesday afternoon the marketing function of Buckner was eliminated. And that meant my job was dissolved. Just a week prior, my boss had talked of enlarging the department, with more staff and a full-time assistant. But talk doesn’t count for much when budgets are being reviewed and new visions are being cast. So, with bowed head and cracking voice, he shared the news. And I smiled through the tears.
Yes, smiled. Because the Lord has so carefully prepared me for this moment. As the “growing and enlarging” discussions were happening, He whispered a different kind of change to me. I even dreamt of a “leaving” kind of change in early August (and have the “nail in the wall” photo from my office to commemorate that dream). And last Sunday, I asked my closest friends to pray specifically that the Lord would crystallize my future with Buckner this week. When asked what I thought it would be, I answered, “I believe I am going to be laid off.” So when the news was shared with me, I smiled through the tears.
After the purging of my office (boy, I had moved a LOT of stuff in there), my friend Debbie treated me to lunch at the Greek Food Festival (nothing says loving like a bowl of loukoumades). Then Brad, Courtney and Ryan joined me as we ventured to Soled Out – we had shoes to deliver (Court’s ATA school had collected bunches for the kids), great music to listen to (yes, Geoff was playing), and some Buckner folks to see one last time.
After Geoff finished his set, we wrangled his band and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. What a wonderful dinner it was, with friends new and old joining us. Charmaine Poteet (my best lil’ buddy), Arnie Adkison and his wife Sandra, Geoff, Dana, Katie, Matthew Tobias, Marc Frieden, and Glen Kimberlin, met Brad, Courtney, Ryan and me for steaks at Kirby’s. So much laughter. So much food. Cherished memories. I’m so blessed!