I used to be a big believer of Que Sera Sera, "Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see." I'm not so sure I buy it anymore. I think the future might just be exactly what I choose to create.
My husband, Mat, and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary of leaving church and ministry. I say celebrated because it makes the process sound like a party. This past Sunday, August 14, we celebrated an entire year being back in Washington; in Olympia, living in the very first house we ever bought. It's been bitter and it's been sweet, but mostly it's been our way station. It's been the place we've felt stuck and the place we've felt allowed to rest. From last summer to now, we have lived a solid year of waiting; of learning new things, exploring never before considered ideas, shedding old beliefs, and sitting - and waiting.
So we have been practicing things that used to seem too magical, too "out there". Because, why not?
I've been learning what it means to manifest the life I want. And I'm beginning to understand the reality of language. People think I'm crazy when I talk about manifestation; some think I am venturing into "iffy territory". Some say it's not spiritual, it's not of God, that my "plans" are not greater than his so I must be wrong in my thinking. How could I possibly trust my human motives? What if what I want is wrong? All great concerns and questions that I'm sitting with over coffee or cocktails on most days.
I don't take changing my beliefs lightly.
I'm sure I'm being prayed for incessantly by some, and written off by others. And I'm okay with it. Pray for me, please. Write me off, it's okay. What I'm doing is working for me, and God has been right alongside me every step of the way. You know why? Because I believe it.
Lately, Mat and I have been practicing manifesting together: we live in the emotions we'd experience when we do have the life we want, and we practice the life we want. When we moved back to Washington a year ago, we began applying for jobs aimlessly. We didn't know what we wanted, we just knew what we didn't want. I found an office job with a supervisor I liked and Mat focused on starting a business and freelancing design on the side.
When you start a business, you have to spend money to make money - and we did. We invested, and Mat opted out of a salary to build the business. My salary didn't cover our bills. And yet, we've managed to exist an entire year on a meager income... because we are creators. We began to understand how practicing the life we wanted, created the reality.
I work in an office with one other person. I didn't necessarily want to enter the corporate world again, but when I interviewed I couldn't shake the feeling that this woman who I would be working with needed me. And I needed the job more than I realized - for her, and for her replacement.
Soon after starting my position, my boss began entertaining a burden of guilt, as we all succumb to - sometimes daily. Guilt is a home-wrecker and a heartbreaker; it can stop us from recognizing we can move forward, we have options. Hers loomed: Career versus Mom. Even though I'm not a mom myself, I know Mom Guilt far outweighs Career Guilt. My mom stayed home with my brother and me for 10 years, and I'm grateful she did. Any mother who has the means to be a SAHM is a blessing, and a superwoman in my book.
But I finally understood my purpose in my role at this job: I was to be the support through my boss's transition from career woman to stay-at-home mom, however long it took.
If there's one thing I am intimately familiar with, it's how hard it is to take the next brave step but not know how to do it - much less keep your emotions in tact as you engage in the internal war against yourself. Living in transition is difficult enough when it's forced upon you, but when you choose it for yourself, it holds onto you differently because you feel directly responsible for the outcome. But my boss took it in great strides; she was methodical, cautious, thoughtful; and I supported her by giving her the mental space, and physical time, to process her decision.
Guilt loosened its grip.
The number 22.
Mat and I have a number. I don't know much about numerology but our number is multiples of two: 22 or 222. There used to be a time I couldn't look at the clock without seeing 12:22 or 2:22 daily. When we hit the road last summer, 22 was prominent on our travels. We began to see it as a sign, a guide almost, that seemed to say, "You're on the good path. This is exactly what you're supposed to be doing."
We recognize God even when he's playing hide 'n' seek in a number. But living in Olympia, we'd all but forgotten about our number because we don't see it anywhere. So we've waited.
Stating our intentions.
In June, celebrating our year without church, we decided we needed to manifest change in our lives. It was time. Mat and I separately made a list of the kind of life we wanted to live and compared them one evening. They were eerily similar.
The main thing was clear: We wanted to live in a bigger city. So we got to work manifesting. We visited bigger cities, wandered the streets and through apartments; we imagined scaling back yet again and opting for a smaller space with the city as our playground, our canvas. We didn't say 'one day' or 'if' or 'we don't have the money'.
Mat resigned his position from the business he started and shifted his focus to his design, freelancing and searching for full-time work. I shifted myself to create a means of income from what I do well in preparation.
And we waited.
For the past few weeks, Mat and I have been collecting every single penny we find. We pick it up, celebrate with a grateful heart and a nod to the universe for providing, "We're a penny richer!" On one occasion we picked up $1.02 on a walk to and from the Starbucks up the street where we have breakfast some Sunday mornings.
While we've waited, we live in a posture of thankfulness. I honestly don't know why we get so surprised anymore when things line up the way they do. For every new adventure we embark on, we have these kinds of stories.
After months of applying to all the jobs everywhere, a single day instantly changed the course of our lives.
Monday, August 15
- My lovely boss woman officially resigns her position to be a SAHM and I do believe she was literally glowing when she walked away from the office.
- My new boss man assumes her role. Without going into too much detail, my new boss man and I have a ridiculous amount of connections and similarities and mutual friends. We have the same birthday for crying out loud, and I worked alongside his dad in Alaska for my first after school job.
- I come home tired from a busy day and am greeted by my husband with a piece of paper in his hand and a smile on his face, "Mat, we would like to offer you the position of..." I jump into his arms and scream into his ear. And then I pause with wide eyes, "We're moving."
- I inform my new boss man of the big changes in my personal life. He is calm and takes it really well before asking, "So, you need renters for your house?"
- Mat travels to Seattle for the day to wander the neighborhoods around his new workplace and after driving by and avoiding or venturing into multiple apartment complexes, he found one he liked.
- In the evening, my new boss man and his wife come by our house and decide to rent it beginning the second we are moved out. I wasn't only at my job for my previous supervisor. I was at my job waiting for the perfect renters.
- Mat is given a start date of August 29 for his job. He applies to rent the apartment he liked. We are approved in less than 3 hours and can move in on August 22 - into apartment number 322.
And there it is, the 22s we've been waiting for.
- I can't remember to eat and I'm up too late but I'm sleeping really well and waking up early to have quiet time before my brain is overloaded. But it feels so good.
- Pictures are being removed from our walls, holes filled and paint brushed; furniture is being photographed and priced to sell. To-Do lists clutter the counter and are checked off and re-written.
This is where Mat and I thrive: in the chaos of quick decisions and relocation. This is the adventure we have been waiting for. This is the adventure we created by stating our intentions, celebrating the small abundance to prepare for the greater abundance, and living in the emotions of having the life we wanted. In my eyes, manifestation is nothing more than active prayer and living as if the prayer has already been answered.
We are moving to Seattle! Cheers to city life! I cannot wait to see what happens next - and I don't have to because I can create it.