Today was my last day at work. I am now entering a three month period of rest, relaxation and prep before taking on the persona of ‘Mom’. There are many words to describe the state I now find myself in –‘unemployed’ being one – but as I’ve mentioned before I’m really looking forward to this time.
Moving to Hatfield was a strategic decision for Col and I, and the first step in our plan to enable me to be a stay-at-home mom when the time came. Moving from a huge corporate company to working in a church was a big change, and looking back on it I’m surprised by many things.
A faster pace than anticipated
For one thing, it was often far more stressful than my time at Accenture. This really caught me by surprise. While at Accenture I had a few big deadlines, they were few and far between with lots of space to recover in the middle. At Hatfield we seemed to make one deadline by the skin of our teeth and then throw ourselves straight into the next one. I suppose the main reason is because the department that I was in had a crazy volume of work, all with a short turn-around time so there was always some big project looming on the horizon.
Personal and professional growth
Secondly, I have grown in so many unexpected ways. I embarked on a whole new career so I’ve got a different skill set now to add to my repertoire. But I’ve grown so much personally as well. One thing my boss did incredibly well (and which I am so grateful for) was create a place for her team to get to know each other and connect on a deep level. Our weekly devotion times are what I will miss the most I think – the support and encouragement that came out of them was always covered in God’s fingerprints!
The spiritual side of it
And then of course there is the spiritual growth that I’ve experienced. Working at a church you might think this would be obvious, but I think the management of Hatfield work hard at ensuring that their staff members are encouraged in their faith. I had the opportunity to do Life Training School last August (an exhausting, but incredible month of growing closer to God), the Global Leadership Summit 2011 was a great privilege to attend and the News Girls Ladies Conferences for the last two years were fantastic. Then of course the material I edited always taught me something (no matter how rushed I was while editing it). But mostly it’s the people I’ve had the opportunity to connect with that have taught me so much. I’m grateful to each one who showed me a little bit of God’s heart, often unknowingly.
Today the Events, Marketing and Design team took the afternoon off for a farewell lunch. My goodbye gift was three canvases, and it’s hard to describe how perfectly they represent my time at Hatfield. Firstly, they are beautiful – as the design department they are in the business of making things beautiful. Secondly, they are so personal – I was truly privileged to work with great friends, not just good colleagues. Thirdly, they speak into the season I’m about to start. I mentioned Isaiah 40:11 before, which is a verse the pastoral couple who oversee EMD gave me in devotions a few weeks back. At the time I felt myself just soaking up the words and they represent in a distilled way the many, many times God touched my heart over the last 20 months.
So with a largely happy heart I start on this new phase. But there’s a little part of me that’s heart sore too. And I feel like I need to say thank you – to Team EMD for being the best team a dame could ask for, to Colin for supporting me on this new path when it was in its inception, but mostly to Jesus who surprised me so regularly with his love and wisdom.