Today marks the end of 4.5 years of the best of my life. It is my last day as the full time live in nanny for two of the most incredible children I have ever had the honor of helping to raise. In the late Spring of 2010, I was desperately searching for employment. The only thing that I knew for certain was that was God telling me not to look for another waitressing job, and owning and running a photography business wasn’t even on my radar. I had nannying experience from college, and stumbled across Care.com. I applied to many different full time positions, and I can remember the profile picture that this family used even to this day. I had skipped over the posting a number of times because they were asking for a live-in. Something I was trying to avoid, even though I was drowning in a deep hole of debt and bad decisions. I remember specifically driving through the Starbucks drive thru, and out of nowhere, their profile picture came to the front of my mind, and God told me to apply for the job anyway. I don’t even think I drove home before applying.
I still remember the highway exit in Massachusetts I pulled off when she called. And every time I drive by it today, I remember His faithfulness even we least deserve it. She said that she was interested in meeting me for an interview when she flew up to take care of work details at Yale. I knew nothing was for certain, but I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard for anything in my entire life.
I met her in a Starbucks. I was so scared that I would ruin my chances. That I would look too desperate. That I would look as hopeless as I felt.
I’ll never forget the call that came to my cell phone at a local bagel shop asking me to be their nanny. I cried. I shouted. I think I knew true gratefulness possibly for the first time in my life.
They were moving up from Texas, and I was moving from across town. We met at Chilis for dinner the night before the big move in, and I remember thanking God again and again that her husband didn’t seem like a psycho killer. Seeing as how I bravely took the job having not yet met him, and someone who watches too many SVU episodes, it was a valid concern. Little Jackson was only 14 months old. I can barely remember him that small outside of photographs. Out of the entire evening, the thing I remember the most, is when he asked me if I drink coffee. That they were users of the French Press every morning and were contemplating the purchase of an espresso machine if they thought I would use it also.
I fought back tears. It’s so small. And so insignificant in the big scheme of all that was being handed to me so undeservingly, but I knew that it was God’s way of reminding me that He cares about the details. That His nature is not like that of man, and that He always goes above and beyond for His children.
This wasn’t just a job. This was God saving me. In the most incredible ways that I didn’t know I needed. I found deep healing here, and I am leaving an entirely different person than the one who carried her cardboard boxes in for the first time.
Last year, I stood in a circle of women at the Pursuit 31 Conference. We were being led in some powerful exercises as part of the mini Making Things Happen workshop that was made available to us. And I knew. They were asking us to say the big, scary things out loud, and I just knew. In front of women I did not know well at all, I said my biggest fears and my larger than life “What’s Next.” I slowly built my business during my time here as their nanny. I could not have asked for more support, and I know with all my heart I could not have done it, or be where I am with my business today had this family not stood behind me and helped make it possible. I knew that God had been nudging me in the direction of taking the steps to see my photography business go full time, (I think He knew how long it would take me!) and I had always rationalized, but I can’t because the kids need me. Jackson was identified in the autistic spectrum when he was 2 year old. It’s not just like getting another babysitter. I rationalized that Emily still has stranger anxiety and I could never be the one responsible for frightening her by having anyone else come in, or that she had to go to Daycare now because of my selfishness in wanting to have a great business.
But I realized that day in Rome, GA something so much bigger when God whispered to my heart what was really holding me back. “You’re afraid to leave because you don’t trust me to give you a family of your own as you desire.” And that, was what was holding me back. I came home from the conference and a month later had the hardest conversation I will probably ever have. They were incredibly supportive, and I couldn’t have asked for it to be received with any more grace than it was. And after it was blurted out, I knew more than ever that it was time to trust. Trust that God would yet again be always faithful to His promises. Trust that He would open doors for my business to go full time and give me the wisdom on how to do it. Trust that He would step in and take care of “my” kids and who I now I consider family here.
This past January, near the time of my 30th birthday, God gave me BIG promises for this year. Promises I still stand in awe of that have come to pass. Things that should have been more difficult were straightened out for me. Steps fell into place for the move to Maine. Big things happened for my business, and dream doors were opened with ease. The only thing that had not fallen into place this summer was my replacement. Whether it was going to be Daycare or another nanny, things were still unsettled and undecided, and I was losing sleep over it. I didn’t want to leave a mess for this family, I didn’t want to leave chaos, and above everything else I wanted the kids to feel safe and loved with whatever was next. They have the world’s most incredible parents, and I knew they would of course make the decisions that were best for them, but that in between time of waiting on what was next was near brutal on all of us.
It would make the story even longer, but the short version is that one of my closest friends is replacing me as a live out nanny. Not only do I trust her completely, and know that she is beyond amazing with children, but due to different circumstances it was an obvious fact that God wanted her to have this job when I left. Things could not have been aligned any sweeter, much like they were for me. Because that’s just how God is you know? Overflowing with grace and goodness beyond our comprehension. And it won’t be an incredibly dramatic good-bye, because I will be in Connecticut to visit about once a month this fall/winter because of portrait clients in the area. And of course having your friend taking over means I get as much FaceTime with them as I want. 🙂
I share this with you on here today to remind you that God is faithful, and that when we walk hand in hand with Him, he really does work out EVERY care and detail. It’s the closing of one door today, but the opening of a new one. A new season to chase after some really big things, and see the hard work of sleepless weeks and months of pouring into my business count for something and take me a bit further. To see the rest of His promises unfold, because His words are never empty. It surely won’t always be easy, and there will be mornings where I will relish in the quiet and mornings where I deeply miss the noise. Days where I excitedly put on “Real” outfits, and days where the back of my clean car will never look so empty. Days where my hands are free to work on my business efficiently, and days where my lap longs for their sticky snuggles. Days where I enjoy reading quietly at the beach, and days where I miss our rock throwing adventures.
If there were no ends, there would be no beginnings. So we trust. Again and again, everyday we trust. He is always faithful. So it’s my last day. But it’s a first day too. And I know without a shadow of doubt that EVERYTHING is going to work out exactly as it should.
But I am also accepting packages of chocolate and tissues in the mail. 🙂