WHEN LIFE THROWS YOU STORMS, THE ATLANTIC MAKE HURRICANES

This month has been one BIG adventure. Some of it awesome. Some of it just crazy. Some of sucky. But all the same it’s an adventure.

At the end of July my husband and I spent some time in Northern California for R&R. We got back to Miami, spent 2 days in our apartment, packed our bags and moved to a friends house to watch their sweet pup and home. Half way through our good friend and now adventure buddy joined us while he moved to Miami-looking for a job and a place to stay. In the midst of that, I re-auditioned for a job and was asked to go through another 4 months of unpaid training. It’s been a long journey, but basically, I spent 4 months training for a job just to get told I hadn’t met their standards yet and needed to do training again because of a flukey audition. I am at peace about it now, I 

 

believe God was protecting me from a field I just don’t fit into. But it has been emotionally draining to be told I’m not good enough and to lose a big source of income that should have been coming in. On top of that, let’s be real, it’s a bit embarrassing to have told people I got a new job (which technically I did-I was already on the pay roll), and then tell them it didn’t work out. That’s the human side of me. On an exciting note, I was offered a job with a great school to be the assistant cross country coach for the high school girls. But before I could turn the paperwork in we headed to Arkansas for a last minute trip to visit Gram and see family. That was good for the soul, but we flew to Arkansas the day we moved out of the house we were watching…in the midst of this there is was a nice surprise brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. Irma. To our pleasant surprise it changed it’s course to hit Miami directly, we found this out at 5 am the morning we were to head back to Miami to finally get a night in our own bed after 2 months and embrace our sweet pup, relieving Arthur from his dog watching duties. So we had to make a game time decision, because our flight to Arkansas left at 8 am. So after a night of deliberating and deciding we were going back to Miami, we changed our plans and headed for Jacksonville to meet Arthur and Lola and then travel further to avoid the storm. We are SO thankful to Arthur for helping us and being so flexible. And we are SO thankful for everyone who has opened their homes to us. It’s unreal.

 

Side note: If you’ve been following my marathon journey-I raised ALL of my support to Portland! Thank ALL of YOU who helped and support me! I love you!

But now we are in Birmingham. Last night I broke. The timing of life right now has seemed unreal, life events have not paned out well. I can’t get my paperwork turned in for my new job and let’s be real, I don’t know if there’s even going to be a school when I get back. Losing a job and mainly the income and being stuck out of town all fell within like 10 days. It’s put a lot of stress on me. And if you know me, you know I’m not good with stress. My training hit a blow from all the stress my body is taking and getting in quality runs has been hard which is super discouraging in this time of the game. My race is in a month and this is prime time to get in quality training. Then since were traveling so much and not at home cooking is harder and eating quality foods is difficult which stresses me out even more. Part of it is I just enjoy cooking more, some of it is I HATE sitting still for so long traveling, part of it is not having control of my food is just a stressor for me and stress impacts my appetite which is not good when I run 70-85 miles a week and typically have 10-15 hours of additional strength and cross training. Being and athlete and feeding myself right is a big part of my job, so when there is so much variability it’s hard and my body freaks out with all of the stress and starts shutting down. When that starts happening, my anxiety starts skyrocketing.

So with the craziness of life last night I broke. I’ve cried a lot recently, which I hate. But last night it just hit. We were in a hotel room, still didn’t know where we were going to be tomorrow. Thinking about finances and the fact this extra driving and eating out is not good on our budget, thinking about our home and our friends that are back home waiting out the storm, thinking about how off my training has been and how I’m going to get back on track, thinking about wanting to be back home with our friends during this time, thinking about what I want to eat even when I’m not hungry, but I ran over 10 miles, thinking about how I’m going to get the paperwork through when there’s a hurricane coming, thinking about how to please everyone while we travel and not feeling bad for inconveniencing so many people, thinking about finding another job or going back to school, thinking about how I’ve let Rusty down financially, thinking about making our pup less anxious and for the first time in almost 2 years I had an anxiety attack. 

I have worked so hard and been faithful to take care of my health and my stress levels to keep that from happening. It was a moment of defeat, but also a moment of humility. Today I’m reminded that life happens. Storms come and sometimes they come like hurricanes, brutal, reckless, unknown, and uncontrollable. But that’s it, I can’t control all of my circumstances, even though I want to. I have to relinquish control over my life. And when a lot happens all at once, I have to pause, take a deep breath, pray, and remember what’s really important. My relationship with God and my relationship with people.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the details. It’s so easy to think what if this? What if that? What could I have done different? But God is so much bigger than all of that. We make the decisions to the best of our abilities and then embrace the consequences and trust that God really does make everything work together for our goo

 

d. There is SO much in our lives that is out of our control. A freaking hurricane, one of the strongest and biggest in recorded history is heading straight for my home a place where Rusty and I have invested so much in. We’ve poured our hearts and souls to the friendships we’ve made and man, I want to be all together right now. These people are what’s important. It’s not how smooth my life is right now. It’s not how good we have it or how financially stable we are or how fast I am or how hard I work to get some papers into a school that’s already closed or how good our lives look. It’s about love.

Loving God and loving people. It’s coming together for the greater good.

I so wish I could say I can always view life this way, remembering what’s really important, but I don’t. My anxious tendencies get the best of me and I lose focus. And I break. However, it’s a reminder that I am not in control and I’m not perfect. I’m flawed and broken, but I have a big God who is perfect and loves graciously and unconditionally. He loves far greater than I can comprehend and he is far bigger and greater than I can imagine. He is faithful and good.

Thankfully we are safe and were able to enjoy some southern biscuits this morning with Arthur since we only get those about once a year. Making the most of our Birmingham visit.

LifestyleJo Butler