For thanksgiving this year, my family and I traveled over to Houston, Texas to visit my uncle and his family. They are sailors and decided that they wanted us to experience sailing. So, in 30 degree weather, 13 of us trekked down to the nearest body of water, hopped on a boat and went sailing.
It was a great experience.
Today, though, my dad told me some frightening news.
This hasn't been the best year for our family. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs.
I'll just start from the beginning:
In September, everything was going great. I was a normal teenager with normal teenager problems. I pestered my parents for a car, I wanted new clothes, I hung out with my friends.
One particularly boring afternoon, I came home from school and was pilfering through the kitchen for a snack when my dad told me news that made me stop dead in my tracks.
He lost his job.
I think I was in shock. I can't really remember.
While I knew that this wasn't the worst thing that could happen, I knew that with the economy, this was very bad.
He told me first, then my mom.
She sat on the couch, motionless, and stared at the wall for hours. I lost track of time.
I didn't know how to react, really. I was trying to keep a positive attitude. I was thinking that now was his opportunity to make more money.
I am so naive sometimes.
This wouldn't be so bad if this hadn't happened seven years ago. Seven years ago, he also lost his job. Seven years ago is when we moved from where I grew up to here. Seven years ago, my whole life changed.
I couldn't believe that only thing tying us to here was gone. I had no clue what to expect.
I didn't want my whole life to change again. I'm about to be a senior. Do you know how difficult that would be to move at this age?
There was talk of selling the house. Downsizing.
We were blessed that it never came to that point.
We went through three months of relentless and empty job searches.
I was keeping hope, though. I kept faith that God would pull through.
Then, the night of the beauty review, he called me downstairs and with tears in his eyes told me that he got offered a good job.
I cried. I thanked God. I cried some more.
I was so relieved.
He would be taking a major pay cut, but we all expected that.
He got this job right before thanksgiving. We all felt like we had the most to give thanks for.
As our whole family gathered around the makeshift dinner table, we took turns reading a prayer about all we are thankful for. When it came time for my dad to read, it said, "I am thankful for a job that provides."
Here came the tears again.
It was just one of those funny little things that God does to remind us of what He has given us. What He brought us through.
I was so thankful that thanksgiving. I am thankful today of what God continues to bless us with.
While we are so thankful that he got a job, the times are still hard.
The news I got today was that we probably will be selling our house.
I don't know why my dad decided to share this with me, but he also said that if sales don't pick up, He'd be out of another job here soon.
That scares the crap out of me.
I wish that I could be famous and make a lot of money. I would give it all to them so they wouldn't have to worry about a thing.
They could put the three of us kids through college with ease and we could live the good life.
I would never miss that money.
This is a part of life, I guess. Learning to roll with the punches.
Sometimes, though, I feel like Evander Hollyfield and Mike Tyson is just not letting up, man.
Give me a break.
The reason for the tidbit about sailing at the beginning of this was because I can easily compare sailing to life.
You have to start out slow, then you can build and go faster, stronger.
Then, all of sudden you hear the worst noise and realize that the darn boat is stuck.
It literally won't move. You have to lean, and turn, and lean, and turn to get that sucker out.
It takes a lot of patience.
Then, it comes out, but you have to go slow becuase you don't want to get stuck again.
When you're in the clear, open water, you realize you can run.
When you run, it's like you're going faster than the world is spinning.
You're flying through the water effortlessly.
But of course it doesn't last forever.
You slow down because you can see something in the distance.
You can't turn around because that's where you got stuck, so you have to keep sailing forward.
Then you start all over.
You curse the wind, You fight, You pray for the wind.
It is the relentless cycle of life.
Until at the end you sail out for the last time, and never come back.
It's blue skies, and clear sailing.