As I looked ahead to 2013, front and center in my mind was that after having our two daughters out of diapers and daycare for over a year, we were going to be starting over again with our third baby girl in April. I also knew that we might have another major life transition layered in as I had just barely applied to a position in teacher education, which would mean relocating our family back to the community where we lived when we got married and began our family.
I had mixed emotions. 2012 had been a whirlwind – completing my doctoral degree while filling in as a sabbatical replacement in a teacher education position before switching back to my teaching position. I had already had multiple years of heavy discerning – whether or not to request and follow through with taking a leave of absence in order to do the sabbatical replacement and then whether to return to my teaching position or pursue a teacher education position. The real estate market and our finances had impacted our decision, but my intent was that if I went back to my classroom, I would stay for a minimum of a certain number of years. I wanted to feel settled and to offer a sense of stability to my colleagues and students. It was hard living in an on-going state of contemplating options, trying to decide what to hold onto and what to let go of, and there was so much to love about the school and community where I taught.
And yet, after finalizing a decision to return, with just a few months back, my previous concerns were affirmed. Following through with my intended minimum number of years back at my school would be counter-productive to my goals of focusing more on family, and I had already sacrificed so much time for my career that should have been oriented toward my family. However, the real estate situation was much the same – the financial obstacle to moving was still there.
I wanted to enter 2013 with a mindset of focusing on nurture in the midst of transitions and uncertainties. At the start of the year, I wanted to nurture spirituality by establishing a morning prayer routine. I wanted to nurture patience and anticipation as my due date approached and I waited to see how things would unfold with my career and whether or not we would transition to a new community. In midst of it all, I wanted to nurture kindness and connections, in order to strengthen relationships. I also wanted to nurture possibilities – considering my own dreams and those of my girls.
One of the biggest themes of the year was trust. I was offered and accepted a position in teacher education, which meant maternity leave was coupled with the stress of having our house on the market and preparing for a transition without knowing for sure how it would all work out financially. A kids song from my girls’ Vacation Bible School CD ended up being one of my anchors, with the lyrics, “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.” That summer ended up marking an intentional start of my journey to move from worry to trust, a pivotal moment in my personal and spiritual growth that has continued to unfold and deepen over the years. It has also laid the foundation for maintaining peace independent of how layers of life unfold.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Copyright 2021 Amanda Villagómez // Photo by Matthew Ronder-Seid on Unsplash