On being asked to leave.

Was for an event. Will now hang up for my own reminder.

"Did you at least flip some tables on your way out?" a friend joked in a message to me yesterday.

"No. I grabbed a two-week old half-eaten protein bar from my desk drawer, though. Made sure I took that with me," I responded.

There were a few things I'd forgotten, so I had someone get them for me. There's a difference between cutting ties, and ripping them. The latter isn't as clean. There are bits of things caught between the two places.

Sometimes they're not physical things. You have to reset your head.

I've just gone from having a long list of planning and preparation for various events and commitments, to a wide open expanse of take a deep breath and maybe grab a coffee hot chocolate. For months I've had event details working themselves out in my head. This is because you have a list of stuff you've started planning for the year, in a planning notebook, and it bounces around in your head until you solve the little problems that haven't worked themselves out yet.

My event planning and idea notebook.

Like a women's event you've spent two months making things for during every spare moment you have, baking and cutting and gluing and planning and painting, studying the themed passage in the Bible because you are supposed to give a talk on it. An event planned around the year's theme of being entrusted and being trustworthy, and doing a Bible study with my mom also called "Trustworthy", which taught about the kings of Israel and Judah, and the importance of being a trusthworthy leader.

"It's not a mistake we were doing that Bible study," my mom said to me.

Trustworthy. Entrusted.

Or maybe it's lists of Bible studies you're trying to get done so you can see if they are a good fit with the theme and something the other women would enjoy and learn from. "I won't lead a Bible study unless I've covered the material myself," I have told friends. "You don't want to get to page 23 and find screaming heresy and then have an ugly scene."

You think about all the stuff you've gotten to do with and for people. Women's Bible studies. Simulcasts. Movie and teaching nights. Starting up a new Sunday school class.

"I have to say that I was excited after that first class session," a friend said. "It seemed like we were going to have a great group that would discuss the Bible."

"We can still do that," I said. But I know it's not the same. We only had two classes, but the input was wonderful.

People texted and called. How are you, they wondered. Pretty good, I'd say truthfully.

"Consider yourself released," I was told, and I did. I drove home on a crisp and sunny afternoon, talked to my parents, messaged my siblings and other family members who had been praying about the situation, posted briefly on Facebook to quell any rumors or concerns, went to the gym with a friend, watched a few episodes of "The Mentalist" on TV, lined up a painting commission, worked on some writing, made notes to contact my accountant to prepare for quarterlies for 2020, watched a dumb monster movie, ate a Snickers bar at midnight, deleted all the alarms off of my phone, and started in on a stack of books I've been meaning to read. I can't complain.

"Where will you go to church now?" I was asked.

A weary part of me, stripped of illusion, thinks maybe nowhere for a while. But my friend and I talked. We decided on a place to go, a larger church to try, where no one would know my name, know who I was, and just let me be with my thoughts with God.

"It's the anti-Cheers bar church," I said. "I don't want to be greeted by name right now."

One person mentioned that I'd certainly have something to write about now. For a writer and artist, every life experience is fodder for exploration and discovery. And cartoons. There is valuable work to come from everything. Though I think, if anyone had been watching, I have been writing about this for some time (though not overtly). You can't not work from what's happening in and to you.

The people at the church were wonderful. I have absolutely enjoyed everything I've gotten to do, every class I got to teach. I love those people. I would still sit up for hours and cut glitter circles for decorations or spend a day prepping for Sunday school again, even if I had known about yesterday and the seeming futility of it all. It's an absolute HONOR--not task, not work, not chore--that God let me do these things, and that those folks were patient and loving and allowed me to lead. So many great discussions, opportunities to share from God's Word--all of it. It wasn't work at all. I loved it and enjoyed it and consider it the pinnacle.

God is entirely faithful and good, all of the time. This is not the first time I've been in a situation where a job ended. I have seen in the past how He comes through. Where to cut expenses, when to wait, when to move forward--I'm not going to fret about nor claw after money.

"I figure I have about two to three months in the bank as far as starving to death," I joked once with my brother, patting my stomach. We were talking about the apocalypse and other various lighthearted topics. He kindly said it was probably only one and a half months.

I know the timing of everything was incredibly perfect, as only God can do. The people he allowed to see various things, the people I was able to talk to and who heard my voice, the guidance in documenting things--all of it. It's as if I had instant clarity and peace when I walked out that door. He takes people out of situations for all kinds of reasons. Something new and better. Protection from what's coming. Or simply, the time is done.

Now I have art to make and books to write.








UPDATE 2/16/2020: I want to be clear: I had no intention of leaving, was not planning on resigning, and made no demands or ultimatums that would force this situation. I have much I could say but won't for now.

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