I drove up the hill one last time in my tenure with the marketing department of Forest Home, Inc. but I wasn't headed to work. I had to sign my exit paperwork, pack up my desk, and say goodbye to what had been my home away from home for five and a half years, but truly, I was saying goodbye to even more than that. I was saying goodbye to my safety net.
As I turned back down the road in the direction of Highway 38 and ultimately Redlands, CA, I was stepping out from a full-time, benefited job, with co-workers and staff lunches, into the unknown world of freelancing, self-employment and functioning as a lone island.
I didn't know then that 5 years later, by the Lord's sovereign hand of mercy and provision, I would not only be surviving, but in many ways thriving. I didn't know that the jump away from the safety net would lead me to adoption of a child with special needs. I didn't know it would lead to a 4th child after that. I didn't know it would lead me to return to India after a 10 year absence and longing to return. I didn't know it would allow me time to care more for my grandma before she passed away. I didn't know it would ultimately be the best thing to happen to my family.
I don't want to sugarcoat it too much because I also didn't know the extent of loneliness and isolation I would feel at times. The irrelevance and the depression. The downs that were often felt more than the ups. But the Lord, again and always, in His mercy allows us hindsight, to see where He was at work all along.
I can stand here (well sit really) and be grateful that He has been my provider. He has shown His sovereignty and grace. In the early years, when I wasn't sure how certain bills would get paid or how I would find strength to hustle one more day or felt like I was failing at everything, God provided exactly what I needed, at the time it was actually needed. He has been my Rock and my Salvation and my ever present Help. He surrounded me with a community of friends and family that could support me and my wife and my kids. He had already planted me in a church where I could be filled with the Truth and Grace of the Gospel and pour out the talents He had given me. He heals my wounds and continues to refine me.
November 28th will forever have striking significance for me. It is my Ebenezer—my reminder of the One who calms the storm and dresses the flowers of the field and feeds the sparrow. The One who watches over me and calls me His own.