Wednesday, August 29, 2018

So, good news...

Unbeknownst to us, the department chair at the Romney Institute has continued to push for the creation (or rather the continuation) of a visiting assistant professorship for Andrew or the coming school year. The first inkling he got was when he was asking about how and when the termination of our benefits will happen. We know our benefits end before September and I'm, uh, taking the kids to the dentist tomorrow because there's nothing quite like the midnight hour.

Anyway, he was told to call his department chair from Boston (he's at APSA right now, on his last "supported" conference, which he had to get special permission to attend because the conference breaches August and runs into September so the travel department was originally like, "You'll have to pay for your return flight..." but in the end they allowed him to use the very last of his research funds on a roundtrip ticket to Boston because it's kind of weird to pay for half a round trip ticket (and since it was purchased before the end of August it was kind of a grey area anyway))* before he did anything like purchase an insurance plan for our family from the ACA marketplace.

Instead she called him this evening to tell him to forego looking at new health insurance plans at all because *drum roll* he'd simply be continuing on as a visiting assistant professor.

We are shocked, relieved, and so, so happy.

Elated even.

We're elated.

The past few months I've been wondering how John Henry Newman could pen the words Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see / The distant scene--one step enough for me, because one step has not seemed like enough for me lately. It's been clear, however, that one step was all I was going to get, so I've been doing my best to be content with that. Things aren't ever as bad as they seem, after all, once you get past the initial disappointment or whatever. In fact, most things are quite live-with-able. Most things really do (eventually) work together for your good, as long as you're letting the Lord take charge of your life.

I don't know what our life would look like if I was solely in charge of "choosing and seeing" my path, as it were, but I am grateful that I know that the Lord's "pow'r hath blest me" and "sure it still
will lead me on" because it's given me the faith to take a deep breath and settle down a little.

We have a pattern of minutes-before-the-buzzer events in our life. Deciding to go to AUC, then deciding to go to BYU, then coming back to BYU after Duke, and now staying at BYU for another year (the semester starts next week, y'all (and I know we knew we'd be here still (because what options did we have, Earl? None!) but we didn't know it would be in this capacity)).

It seems like we have to pick up our foot and start moving forward before the Lord finally shines the flashlight so we can find our footing. It's a painstaking way to travel through life but I suppose it will do.

At church a few weeks ago we sang How Gentle God's Commands and I was so struck by the last few words of the last verse that I couldn't even sing them: I'll drop my burden at his feet / And bear a song away. And, boy, did I ever want that song so I'd really been working on dropping my burden.

My burden wasn't so much the fact that Andrew was "only" going to be doing adjunct work the next year because I could see how any employment was a blessing and we'd already begun to piece together how to make all the changes we'd need to make (aside from trying to figure out insurance, we moved my desk into the living room so that he could have our little alcove office to himself (because it has a door, which means he could shut it for some peace and quiet while working at home, which he'd be doing a lot more of because adjuncts don't get dedicated office space) and other things like that). My burden was more of an attitude adjustment. I needed to let go of my resentment and frustration and trust that this was really what was best for us.

And that was hard to do, but I really felt like I was making headway toward accepting our circumstances for the coming year. I no longer felt panicked, like we were hurtling toward the edge of the cliff. We reached the edge of the cliff and nothing terrible had happened. Things were working themselves out and I knew we were going to be fine. I thought that comfortable feeling that had taken hold of me was my answer. You know, the very fact that I was able to lie through my teeth to our friends and neighbours that we were super-dee-duper excited to be here for another year without ranting and raving and shaking my fists in the air. Yeah, I thought that was my going to be our blessing (because it's totally a blessing to behave like an adult instead of a three-year-old, right?).

But this? This is immeasurably better.

We're so very grateful and will just keep moving forward one trepidatious (but faith-filled) step at a time.

* Do you see how complicated life was getting with our upcoming change of status?! It's been a little stressful.


  1. Yeah for a little more stability!

  2. I am so happy for you, for Andrew, and for your family! Your grandpa had many pity sayings, one of them being, "it's all in your attitude." Your faith (and maturity!) is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing

  3. Yay! So thrilled you're sticking around!

  4. Hooray! What a great surprise. You both deserve every bit of this.