This week has been a whirlwind of emotions. I am nearing my last days at a job that I have loved with people that I have loved at a place that I have loved. Yeah, I know, seems weird that I would leave, I questioned that myself at times. But, I knew it was time to go and so I did the hard thing and went. In that process of wenting (I know that's not a word and I may have a problem with always creating new words) I have gained some insight on life and jobs and people and so I thought what better topic to end AND begin on...so here it goes, 3 things I have learned in this season.
1.Everyone is replaceable. Sometimes we may think that we are not, but in fact we are. In our own minds we create this scenario where everything falls apart when we leave. Everyone sits around crying and production goes in the proverbial toilet. No one knows how to do anything without your advice or suggestions. There is no growth or fun. All meetings might as well be canceled. Yeah, that may be a bit drastic but you get my point. We think we are what makes things great, we add so much that our departure will be devastating. And as much as we will be missed, we also are replaceable. There will be other great ideas and other jokes, other plans that bring about change and other people who make a difference. So, I choose to find rest in that thought. I find rest knowing that it doesn't all sit on my shoulders like a trustful toddler trying to balance their whole weight on your small stature. I find rest knowing that I made a difference while I was there but now it is someone else's turn. I find rest in the fact that now I get to choose a new path and maybe be that replacement in someone else's world. So I guess I am okay with being replaced and in the process becoming a replacement.
2. Life goes on. In the weeks leading up to the decision to leave, I could only think about one thing, to stay or go. All of my conversations, thoughts and prayers consisted of only that weighing that choice. I couldn't carry on a normal conversation because it seemed meaningless. I cried like a baby about everything (which if you know me, you know I only cry about dogs). I was sad and I felt like there was a ten ton weight on my shoulders. I finally made the decision and told my friends at work and some of us cried, some thanked their lucky stars and others hugged and prayed for me. It was an eventful day to say the least, an eventful couple of weeks but then a new normal set in. The tears stopped, the hugs stopped, I could talk about the weather or the Cubs (actually that's not true, I know absolutely nothing about football) (that was a joke inside a joke) (why do I feel the need to explain my jokes). I could think about what I would make for dinner or what show I wanted to watch on TV that night and I could pray for other people and not just be swirling in my own personal prayer tornado. It consumed me for awhile but then it didn't anymore. Life went on. What seemed like the biggest deal on the planet soon became a blip on my life EKG, a change in course, yes, but a blip nonetheless.
3. I am more loved than I ever thought. So first I said that I am replaceable and then that life goes on so how did I jump to this one? Easy, I am. You see, when I was self absorbed and thinking only of my own decisions, I had people praying for me, texting me, calling me, meeting me for lunch on a moments notice. People who had their own 'stuff' going on stopped what they had to deal with only to coddle me during this tough time. My husband, the planner being okay with not having a plan so that I can be who God made me to be. My kids, not worried that things might be tight for awhile but only about my peace of mind. My friends, never tiring of talking about the same things over and over. That my friends is love, submitting your own self for someone else. I don't deserve that but am so thankful for it. And it reminded me that I want to love people like that too. I want to put their needs above mine and never tire of their problems. And being loved more than I ever thought...that's what it's all about.
So whether you are dealing with your own life interuptus or you are walking with someone else who is, if you take nothing else from these three life lessons, if you just skimmed through the points and ended up here...make sure you don't miss this. Yes, you are replaceable and yes life goes on but what really matters, what really stands out is how you love and how you are loved. So make a choice today to submit to one another, put their needs above your own, love without any hope of love in return. Love like your life depends on it. Love those who don't love you back. Love those who are unlovable. Love the beautiful and the ugly. Love when it is difficult and love when it is easy. Be remembered for how you loved. The apostle Paul said it best in First Corinthians "Three things will last forever- faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love." Be the greatest...