Tonight I have a date with my bride. Tonight we celebrate that I finally landed a freelance project that pays the bills for the next few months and enables me to stop my early-morning labors at FedEx. We are able to make ends meet. We are able to pray together in the mornings again. I am able to see my children at the beginning of the day and stay up past eight o’clock.
God’s timing is impeccable. For the past couple months, I’ve been losing weight and getting in progressively better shape. I’m holding steady at around 218 pounds right now—a weight I haven’t seen in close to two decades, I would guess. I am stronger, more flexible, and in better condition as well.
At least, I was until a week ago.
Two Tuesdays ago I woke with pain and burning in my neck and shoulders, so much so that I could barely turn over in bed. This happens from time to time these days; I was annoyed, but not alarmed, and called in that morning. I rested and stretched throughout the day and returned to work the next day. Throughout the following week, however, I noticed more stiffness and soreness at the end of each shift at FedEx—like the first couple of weeks I worked there—and could hear and feel my joints creaking and popping through the day. I finished work last Saturday grateful for a couple days off, but got stiffer and sorer as the weekend went on. I was in no shape to load trucks when last Tuesday morning rolled around.
Thankfully, that afternoon I met with a parish near and dear to my heart, who hired me to rebuild their websites: three months of work in addition to my half-time job at Saint Andrew. I spoke with FedEx about how I was feeling and the fact that I had enough work lined up to last through the holidays, and we parted ways.
When one door closes, another opens.
In addition, last week I emailed a local radio station with an idea for an hour-long Catholic radio show. Yesterday I met with the station owner, who is excited about the possibility and told me how to proceed. I don’t know how quickly I can bring it together, and it will probably mean more visibility than income, but it’s exciting nonetheless.
And next week I have a meeting in St. Paul about a longer-term project.
I have been unemployed or underemployed for three and a half months, yet as I’ve said before, the bills are paid and the family is fed. I have learned more in that time about patience and providence, trust and humility; about Jodi’s love and support for me; and about the strength of friendships and the power of prayer than in any previous time in my life. I learned my limits, then how to exceed them. And in terms of my 42-year-old body, I have apparently found new limits. I had my first chiropractor appointment today, and certainly not my last.
All told, it’s been a good week. We have a gift card to Main Street Farmer from a dear Confirmation family from this past year. Tonight, we feast!
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Blogger’s Note: More details to come when the time is right…especially on the radio show!