Moving Jack Back to Nashville? (Part 2)

Week 18 (4 months).

“So take your lessons hard… and when your car crash comes don‘t be misled.”
Convince yourself that everything is alright, ’cause it already is.” – “For Nancy” by Pete Yorn

In last week’s cliffhanger episode, I closed by saying that I was counting on a miracle in order to remain in Alabama, knowing that our savings we had been living off of since December 4th would be running out in the next few weeks and that every door and window had closed for us  regarding a long term job.  And more importantly, I needed a job with good insurance, since there are 3 of us now.  I avoid drama at all costs, but in order to be true to the reality of “dad from day one”, I couldn’t play down the real life happenings of coming to terms with the fact that our leap of faith may end with us moving back to Nashville, despite all our efforts to move to Alabama.

That was last Wednesday. It literally felt like my world was collapsing in on me, which I realize is no comparison to the literal collapsing that occurred in Japan last week, but still, it was the most intense thing I have ever lived through.  Maybe a better comparison is that it was like being in a car wreck, where I was in the driver’s seat, running the car through a guard rail, causing my family to be flipped upside down a few times as the car rolled over, not knowing if we were looking up or down.

It helped me to literally understand the phrase, “hell of a week”.  I never so literally felt such a heavy, demonic presence around me.  Not like dark storm clouds and a violent storm; more like a silent, heavy overcast.  It was so subtle, yet terrifying.  I truly felt that my family was caught between two spiritual worlds- with one army that wanted us here and one army that wanted us gone. With that being said, there must be some serious unseen reason why my family should or shouldn’t be living here in Alabama.

But as I had always expected, the scarier that things got in my real life during this move, it would only make it that much more obvious when God miraculously provided for us. In order for this real life story to be more legit, it had to be obvious that it was no coincidence if things worked out in the end.  I, the protagonist, had to be that desperate and completely dependent for God’s intervention.  And I couldn’t just paint God as a genie who grants wishes.  Also, like Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, I had to be willing to give it all up.  I had to become humbled more than I ever have before.

As I put it last week, “Perhaps there’s a thin line between bravery and foolishness. The way I see it, that thin line in my case is actually having a steady job.”  I could also compare it to that “bankrupt/million/bankrupt” wedge on Wheel of Fortune.

That was last Wednesday.  Less than 24 hours later, in what felt like a loopy dream, I found myself in a job interview at the place I truly had my heart set on when I moved here.  (Interestingly, this is not the position I referred to last week; this is something completely different.)  It’s a Marketing position for one of the world’s largest playground equipment companies.  I know it’s the perfect fit for me.  Today I took my drug test, so unless there was something extra in the brownies last night, I start this coming Monday (March 28th).

But… the good news isn’t over yet.  God is more creative than that for this story.

Something else happened in the past week that is pretty dang awesome. Something that I didn’t initiate.  Instead, out of nowhere, I was approached. It’s bigger than just simply having one of my articles or “dad from day one” entries being published in a magazine.  I don’t think it would be wise to give away all the details at this point, but just know that it involves me signing a contract, it will take “dad from day one” to a whole new level and audience, it means I will be teaming up with a major publishing company (in a regular paying gig), and it should officially begin within the next month or two…

So, that is what has happened since “Part 1″.  What a week.  Granted, I realize now more than ever, there is no where telling where anyone may end up for the duration of their lives.  I honestly never would have believed that I would ever have moved back to Alabama, or more importantly, that I would ever want to. But as far as my own plans, I want roots again.  I want solid ground.  I want anchorage.  I don’t want to even think about moving again.

Admittedly, I wouldn’t be surprised if all this dramatic struggle is a necessary part of the story of “dad from day one”.  With rare exceptions like the movie Napoleon Dynamite, a strong plot is vital to build a solid story line- not to mention, it’s absolutely necessary for character development.

So, will we be moving Jack back to Nashville?  With an exciting and fulfilling job starting Monday here in Fort Payne, a big secret “dad from day one” reveal coming up in the next month or so, and a juicy income tax return coming our way soon, I suppose it’s as safe as possible to say that we can keep our anchor down in Alabama.

It’s the ultimate irony that we moved to Alabama to settle down, yet it has been such an unsettling experience until now. And it’s pretty interesting, too, how these doors opened the very week that the winter season ended and the spring season began.  Man, the symbolism.  The dead of winter surrenders to the resurrected life of spring.

Please, God, let this good ending and new beginning be real.

“You got to go through hell before you get to heaven… ’Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay.” – “Jet Airliner” by The Steve Miller Band

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  1. by diana

    On March 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    you need to go buy a lottery ticket! as wonderful as the new job is, i’m more excited for your “dad” announcement! congrats on everything!

  2. by nickshell1983

    On March 24, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks Diana (and Drew) for sharing in this roller coaster experience with us!

  3. by joni

    On March 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Jill, Nick & Jack,

    I’m so happy to have just read that! Please keep us posted as were excited for you! & love ALL Jacks pix.

    Love, Joni & family

  4. by chuckrussell1

    On March 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    This is the ending/beginning that I was hoping for. You and your family were really on my heart this week. My wife and I are in a somewhat similar situation. We have lived in Santa Fe, NM for over ten years now. Originally, we are from Southeast Texas. To say that Santa Fe has been a soulless desert would be an understatement. In 2008, my wife’s mother died leaving us a lot of land and debt on two sides of Texas. It also left us with a massive legal battle and my wife’s brother moved in with us. Whew! It was tough. Now, the legal battle is over and our time in NM is coming to a close. We want to be back in Texas full time, but we don’t know what we’re going to do for money or where exactly we want to settle down. We will be closer to family and friends that love us. It’s amazing to hear how God has worked in your lives. Man, I’m getting a little choked up. The difficulty is this uncertainty. Why can’t we just know, now? My wife and I are constantly asking ourselves this question. Most days we know that God is there, but it’s hard to see that at other times. God bless you and your family. I thank God for everything He’s doing for you. I thank God that He gave you the talent to be able to express it and share it with others, too. It’s been a blessing.

  5. by Karen

    On March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Yay! So excited for you all! And we can’t wait to hear what the big “dad from day one” news will be. How exciting! God is good, all the time – that’s for sure. :) Congrats!

  6. by nickshell1983

    On March 26, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Chuck, I appreciate that. The Good Lord did it for me, He can do it for you. Thanks for reading and following my story.

  7. by nickshell1983

    On March 26, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Karen, thank you so much. I appreciate you being a part in this. I know you have been praying for us :)

  8. by Driftwood

    On March 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    You’re such a pro!! Glad to hear you have a more clear direction. Being directionless is the worst place to be. It’s one thing to not see ahead, but it’s a much scarier thing to not even know which direction to go. God is good. Glad you aren’t coming back to Nashville because then there would be two amazingly creative and extremely tough guys here. Two is too many, and I didn’t want to be the one that left this time! When I move to Ft. Payne… well, we’ll just cross that bridge when we get to it.

  9. by nickshell1983

    On March 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Thanks, Drifty. We still need to have our long-overdue wrestling match.

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