Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Finns take Jackson, part 2 (first contact)

You can read part one here

Mid week of Valentine's week, Nathan came home from work, put his things down, and sat in his rocking chair to chat with me about his day. This was not unusual or uncommon; he did this most days. The kids weren't around at that moment, though I don't remember why. Nathan seemed distracted and fidgety, but it wasn't enough to bother me.

Then he said: “I've been contacted by a friend at Union about submitting my resume for the Dean's position.” Long pause. “And I didn't say no.”

BOOM. There it was. He didn't automatically say no, and in that moment, I think we both knew something had changed.  In the past, different people had suggested Nathan submit his resume for the open position, but he had never felt led to do that until the "first contact" in February. 

He agreed to pray about it, and we took a few days to pray and decide if he should proceed with sending in his resume. Truthfully, I prayed a little bit, and cried a lot at least once in those few days. Yes, I had a big, ugly, I-don't-want-to-go-don't-make-me cry before Nathan even sent his resume. Because, you see, sending the resume is saying we were okay with going. And I wasn't. In fact, I told Nathan that if he wanted to submit his resume because of some age-old promise to Danny Akin (see part one), I wasn't biting. It was not necessary, and it was unfair to Union (or any other school that came calling) if we didn't really mean to go through with the process. Nathan assured me that he wanted to submit his resume to Union because he wanted the job. God had changed his heart, and I am not sure either of us saw it coming until it hit.

We can point to many things that led us to the conclusion that Nathan should submit his resume, but the biggest one for me was the multitude of 'outside confirmation.' To be clear, we told very few people we were even considering submitting our resume. It was much too early in the process for us to do that. However, Nathan and I each told our closest friends so they could be praying for us and supporting us (and for my girlfriends to know why I might randomly burst into tears at any time). The response was universally positive, encouraging, 'yes I could see Nathan doing this job' comments. We felt a peace about taking the first step in the process and Nathan sent his resume in.

This was not a calm peace, at least not for me. It was a jittery, on the edge of my seat, waiting for the cute guy to call me, nervous energy kind of peace. I knew it was the right thing to do, though I was reluctant about it, and Nathan knew it was the right thing to do, and we just wanted answers. What next? Would he get an interview? If he did get an interview, would he be offered the job? Would he take it? Our minds were racing about how soon Union University wanted to fill the position. As it had been vacant for two years, we knew they needed someone fast. There was a lot of crazy speculation happening in the Finn household, and at times, not much else! Nathan still had to teach, and be an elder, and a daddy, and I still had to homeschool, and help lead a Bible study, and be a good mommy and wife. It was an interesting balancing act, to say the least.

Right after Nathan submitted his resume to Union, winter storms hit. Two weeks in a row, we had snow in Wake Forest, and Jackson Tennessee had snow and freezing temperatures at the same time. It threw everyone's schedules out of whack, including all the committee meetings. So we sent Nathan's resume off, and then we heard absolutely nothing for weeks. It seemed like months, but it wasn't quite that long (though it was close). It was nerve-racking, but God was teaching us and molding us, causing us to cling to the cross, to focus in on what was most important, and to lean hard on God's goodness when we had no idea what the future held.

More to come....

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