July 23, 2013

Epilogue

This is a long post, and it is a boring post, and it is all about my job.  And, if reading the ruminations of a sentimental fool isn't your jam, stop now.  Otherwise, read on.

I keep this blog for a number of reasons. The primary two reasons are to keep family up to date on the super thrilling goings-on of the Boboth family and to keep a running record for ourselves of our lives and God’s faithfulness therein.  It’s always interesting reading through old posts and tracing God’s hand in all of it.

I recently realized that the days surrounding our Oregon departure were such a whirlwind that I never had time to jot down what those last few days of work were like.  So many sweet memories were made and I would hate to forget any of it.

One week before my last day of work, my coworkers threw the sweetest going away luncheon for me – complete with incredible food, heartfelt memories, toasts, gifts, and a very special dessert. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. I felt so blessed to have been a part of that community for the last three years and began to feel the “bitter” in my imminent bittersweet departure.  After three years in the proverbial trenches with these people, I suddenly realized how much I would miss them. 

 The final week of work was a surreal one. Tying up loose ends, saying last goodbyes, going to a lot of “we’ve-been-meaning-to-do-this” lunch dates…  And my last day of work could not have been more perfect.  We had one final ‘going-away’ lunch with most of the staff, and –for one reason or another- most of my coworkers left at different times throughout the day, giving me an opportunity to say goodbye to each one individually.  At 4pm, one coworker called all those remaining into his office for a special toast.  We sat around for an hour laughing, telling stories, and toasting to our next exciting season.  As I looked around the room, my breath caught in my throat thinking that I was about to leave this team, this somewhat dysfunctional family, that I had grown to love.

As the day came to a close, I said my last goodbyes, hugged each person extra tight, and retreated to my car and cried – partially because I was going to miss these people, but also recognizing the end of a very significant chapter in my life.  It felt like turning in my keys that Friday finished the last sentence in that chapter of my life.  You know that feeling when you’re reading a book and you look forward to the satisfaction of its completion; yet, once you have finished the book, you feel a loss somehow, almost a “now what?” feeling?  Yeah, that is what it felt like.  And, because I am super awesome at not being overly sentimental, I cried.

Three weeks and one transoceanic move later found me employed – again – by the same university. Yes, you read that right.  In a stroke of God’s incredible provision and faithfulness (and a little bit of extra work on my boss’ part), I had a job waiting for me in Hawai’i.  For the last two months, I have been working at a satellite office playing a tiny role in helping the staff get the office up and running.  It has been great.  And, in a large way, it has kept some homesickness at bay because I have still been somewhat connected to my former job and some of my coworkers. 

Well, all this to say, today I turned in my keys again.  If my last key-turning-in was the end of that chapter, this has completed the epilogue. The impact that this institution has had on my life is inestimable.  Even with all the stress, late nights, long business trips, and frustration over the last three years, the personal and professional growth and the lifelong friendships have made it more than worth it.  I could not be more thankful to the people with whom I’ve been so honored to work for their patience, faith in me, and good humor – I’ve learned so very much from them.  But even more, I sit here astounded at and incredibly grateful for God’s outrageous provision for us through this job.   From Oregon to Hawai’i, He has provided again and again and then some.

I do not know why I can never seem to remember that - time after time - God is faithful. He is faithful! And, even if things do not turn out as I had hoped, I can be confident that He is always, at all times and in all ways, at work for His glory and my eternal good.  I still cannot quite believe that this season has ended - I think I'm in denial, yet so thankful for these three years. I am excited to see what the next seasons and chapters of our lives hold - and I am anxious to document His Grace in it all.

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We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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