Have you ever experienced that momentary calm on a roller coaster when you’ve reached the end of a big drop and the train has leveled out, only to lurch towards the ground again unexpectedly and feel yourself jolted into another fall? That has been my experience over the past month after returning from Europe to Chicago. Here’s the story.
My last post in August expressed the circumstances surrounding my return. My last stop before I flew back to the States was England to visit a postgraduate program in which I had considered enrolling. The draw was not just obtaining a master’s degree but becoming part of a robust women’s basketball program for which I would have played, coached, and contributed. However, to enroll in school there would cost a dollar amount I didn’t think I could justify. On the other hand was the reopened opportunity to return to Moody for another season and coach. For many reasons, I chose to remain at Moody. God opened up an opportunity to rent a condo just a few blocks from Moody from a benevolent friend, and I moved in with Theresa around September 1st. The condo was in the process of being listed on the real estate market, but we hoped that since my involvement at Moody was only going to be through March, we would have time to find a next step during those few months and then make a transition to something more permanent for both of us as we determined our next moves. I applied for part-time jobs that could augment my part-time coaching role at Moody and several opportunities seemed to bubble up from nowhere during my first couple weeks back in the States that looked extremely promising. The next six months (at least through the end of the season in March) seemed straightforward and I welcomed the chance at a spell of relative routine and stability.
Over the course of September, the part-time job opportunities came and went and nothing opened up. Perplexed but not worried, I continued to search and network, assuming that something would surely open.
Towards the end of September, murmurs of difficulties with the condo’s marketability became a bit more pronounced and our living arrangement began to show signs of duress. The first week of practice (the last week of September) rolled around and though my players were exuberant and excited to start the season, several anticipated names were crossed off the roster list as previously expressed interest was apologetically withdrawn. In addition, one of our captains experienced an ankle sprain that, while certainly not a major injury, would require a couple weeks on the injured list. Still, the circumstances, though quaking, were not yet unmanageable.
The first two weeks of practice brought with them another sprain injury, another few interested recruits determining the impossibility of their involvement with the team, and an illness that removed a third player from our single-digit roster for perhaps multiple weeks. Our daily practices usually looked like 2-3 healthy bodies and we did everything we could to mimmic the conditioning and 5-on-5 basketball skills we would need later in the season, often with less people total than it took to field an offense in the game. Still no part-time job could be found to augment my income.
Then three more things happened in quick succession over the past week:
- My car, which I took into the shop for maintenance, was deemed rusting out from the bottom and not worth investing the $1,000 in to fix.
- Our housing situation fell through on Sunday and we will need to leave by November 1st.
- On Tuesday of this week, after a few frank, honest, and heart-wrenching conversations over the period of the week previous, our season was officially suspended due to low participation numbers. I am no longer a coach for Moody Bible Institute as there is no longer a women’s team this year.
Over the past few weeks, watching God open and then very clearly close doors has been obvious. In fact, I’ve never had a time period in my life that was so brief and that was so decisively opened and then closed.
This is new and raw and real. I’m not sure what will come next. My next couple weeks will look like chasing down leads, exploring opportunities, packing, and putting the closing touches on such a short but sweet season of time. I’d love your prayers for inspiration as I seek out what God has next for me.
More soon I hope,