Monday, May 12, 2008

Defining Moment #7 - Moving to Albuquerque

Dan and I have made a number of big moves in our married life -- from Texas to Alaska; from Alaska to Oregon; from Oregon to Alaska; and from Alaska to New Mexico. But it was that last one, to Albuquerque, that I consider a defining moment in my life. For every other move, we had employment all lined up, as well as a place to live. In coming to Albuquerque, we stepped out on faith.

Not that we stepped out foolishly or without preparation. We had saved up the money to make the move and to be able to live, frugally, for three or four months if it took that long to find employment. But, even so, it took a measure of faith that I had seldom had to exercise. Our son, Tim, left Juneau and moved with us, as well. So we were three unemployed, "homeless" folks when we arrived in Albuquerque around the first of May, 2003.

Once we arrived, we rented a furnished and equipped apartment that the three of us could use as home-base. We had only one vehicle, so we were very tied to the hip, so to speak. Tim, rather quickly, got a part-time, evening job at the theater, which was walking distance from our apartment. Of course, he knew this wasn't the job he wanted or needed in the long term, but it did bring in a little immediate money. The three of us spent two or three hours of every day at the employment office, where we searched for jobs, faxed off resumes and applications, and took tests.

We also began looking for a house, since the apartment was very expensive, and getting into a house would greatly reduce our monthly expenses. Within the first two or three days in Albuquerque, we found the house we wanted, and began the process of purchasing it -- even though we didn't have employment! Our realtor said the loan would be no problem, and it wasn't. A month later, we were moving into our house on Rio Los Pinos Drive NW . . . still unemployed! And still without any furniture. We did buy some patio chairs, which we used inside until we could afford to purchase "real" furniture.

Tim started working at a call center, and decided he would also go back to school. He enrolled at ITT Technical Institute, and began what would be two years of a full-time work/full-time student routine. (And he graduated with "High Honors" - way to go, Tim!) Not long after getting his first full pay check, Tim moved into his own apartment, across town from us.

I was the next one to get a full-time job, at SWCA Environmental Consultants. It wasn't a job I loved, but it paid well, and I considered it a true blessing. Dan was next to find work. He had thought he might like to do contract work, hoping for something like 6 months on/6 weeks off. But the contract work he found turned out to be more like 6 weeks on/6 months off! That wasn't going to work. So he eventually took a regular position -- the one he still has, at the air base.

Through all of this adventure, we never lacked for a roof over our heads, a vehicle to get us to appointments and interviews, or food to eat. By God's grace, we met every financial obligation, without fail.

Our preacher, tonight, talked about faith. He told us about the African impala, a beautiful animal that can jump as high as ten feet and leap as far as thirty feet. Yet, when enclosed behind a three foot wall, it won’t leap over it because it refuses to leap if it can’t see where it will land.

For much of my life, I've been like that impala, scared to jump if I can't see where I'll land. The move to Albuquerque was a faith-builder for me. My prayer for "daily bread" was more meaningful than ever before, and so faithfully answered. Because of this, I consider our move to New Mexico another defining moment in my life. I'm more willing to leap, even when I can't see where my feet will land.

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