Financial buffers and the security of permanent full time employment is exactly what God is calling me out from. He wants me to get out of that boat and walk on the water with my eyes on Jesus. Clearly, another watershed moment in my life, losing my job has given me a chance to do something new. To stretch my faith and change direction.
Since I was gifted that old 486 computer in 1998 and I wrote the manuscript for the never published What's Your Problem?, I have dreamed of earning a living by writing. I've never had the time to go hard at that dream. I was never willing to leave my wife and children struggling with the consequences of my artistic pursuits. I had to be an ox, not a unicorn.
Over the years, I've had six novels published, as well as a collection of short stories and scores of short stories published online and in print. I've made some pocket money and received a huge amount of satisfaction, but always lurking, ever present, was the dream to work full time as a writer. I've decided to take this opportunity to do that, to chase it like I've never chased it before.
We didn't decide to leave Darwin immediately. We chose to wait a few weeks to let the dust settle and then make a call. I felt we needed to time to pray and properly consider our options. Ironically, my wife felt more strongly, at first, that we should go than I did. Fast forward five weeks and I'm now the gung ho one, certain the time is right. My wife, who has built a tremendously successful hairdressing and beauty business in only six months, is having a few sleepless nights though. She'll be able to rebuild her client base in our new location because she's great at what she does, but the thought of moving, of starting all over again is understandably daunting.
'Daunting' doesn't quite reach far enough to describe the thought of moving to another state with nowhere to live and no job. We are applying for rentals in the area, but we will need divine intervention to overcome the fact that neither of us have jobs. How will we pay the rent? Until we find a place, we'll stay with mum. Our rent will be at least $50 higher than we're paying here, maybe as much as $150 more. My wife has no clients. I have no job. It seems like a bad situation, but we have absolute trust in a good God.
My whole life is a testimony to God's faithfulness, but especially over the last few years, we've seen God do great things for us. Even our meeting on eHarmony in the first place had God's fingerprints all over it.
One week from today we will be having breakfast, preparing for our road trip to Wollongong. The furniture and most of our possessions will have been loaded in to the back of an Allied Pickford Container the day before. After we leave, the cleaners will come in. I've compiled some awesome road trip playlists on Spotify and upgraded myself to Premium so we can enjoy the songs without interruption. Packing is under way. We've bought sleeping bags and a gas cooker for the trip. The car has had a full service. It's all happening.
My wife has continued working, and around her schedule we've fit in a number of farewell dinners with our many friends in Darwin. We're now doing an number of things for the last time. We ate dinner and watched the sunset at Mindil Beach Night market. Attended mass at St.Mary's. Over the Fence, the radio show I did on Monday nights with my good mate Trev, has broadcast for the final time. As I drive around, I can feel myself disconnecting. There's a tinge of sadness, but mostly what I feel is excitement.
My friend Mark, has given me some casual work in his office and I've scored a couple of freelance writing jobs, so things have been ticking along, but leaving the security of full time paid employment, a regular paycheck, is both exciting and scary. It's a new chapter and we are ready to answer God's call to walk out on the water where our trust is without borders.
Stay tuned for a special Road Trip series on Square Pegs. I'll no doubt have plenty to share about this eight day, four state, 4300km trip, not the least interesting part of which will be how my wife and daughter deal with all those hours on the road; especially camping. We're all pretty pumped right now.