I once heard it said that, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because it’s fertilized with poo.” I don’t know where I read it or who to give credit to for that quote, but I love it because it’s usually true.
This week marks the one year anniversary of my job change and our big move. I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around all that has happened. I struggle with whether or not the right decision was made. Throughout this year, I have made many discoveries about myself and about the things we tell ourselves when we are in pursuit of greener grass.
First of all, I have come to the conclusion that the decision to change jobs and move was neither right nor wrong. It was just a decision we made and that’s that. Did it have a huge impact on our lives? Yes. Would the decision to stay also have a huge impact on our lives? Yes. I can’t say that our lives made a 180-degree turn for the better. We basically have the same situation, just in a different town. Sure, I have a better shift and less off-the-clock things to deal with. But, Jeff has to work more evenings now. Our income didn’t wasn’t increased and our grass isn’t greener.
Secondly, we had to change churches. This was very difficult for us. We loved our church so much and had grown together in our faith and our marriage there. Our best friends were found in that church. Mentors and people that we looked up to were there as well. We told ourselves that we would be back to visit often. We have only been back twice in the past year. Thankfully, the church we now attend is also great (but really, would we put up with attending a church we didn’t believe was great?). We have made new friends and formed new bonds. There are also people here who are encouraging us as we grow in our faith and in our marriage. Again, our grass remains the same shade of green.
Thirdly – and this closely relates to my second point – we left family and friends behind. We moved from one group of family and friends to be reunited with a different group of family and friends. It was and is hard and we still find ourselves challenged with how to visit and stay in touch with everyone. Frankly, it’s a challenge to work and have kids and find the time to visit people in the same town as us. The good thing is, we have family and friends who understand the restraints on our time and resources and they don’t hold it against us when we aren’t able to stay in touch as much as we would like. Here we are again with the same old grass.
The fourth discovery would be our home. There are days that I miss our old home so much that it hurts. I’ve cried because I want to go back. I miss our house, our big bedroom, our neighbors, the basketball court that we used to walk to. Everything. In those moments, I question why we left it all behind. I’ve learned that I struggle with an attachment to the material. Our house was wonderful, but replaceable. We took our belongings with us and were able to find a new home. Our new home is also wonderful, but different. I know that it will take time, but it doesn’t always feel like ‘home’ to me. I often think that I could walk right into our old house and instantly feel at home, even though it’s been a year. We brought our babies home from the hospital to that house. It was our first home. At the end of the day, I tell myself that the memories I have there are what I truly miss rather than the house itself. Given time, we will build plenty of new memories in our new home. Our grass is green.
We moved for my job and over the summer it became clear to me that my job might be in jeopardy. Healthcare is rapidly changing and the direction that my hospital has to change in order to keep up with everything didn’t look like it was going to include my current position. I was terrified. Not only that, but I felt that our move had indeed been a huge mistake. What were we thinking!? Yet, God is faithful and a position came along at the end of the summer that I applied for, interviewed, and was offered. I am able to stay at the hospital and provide for my family. Just when I thought things were going to be settling down for us, I will have to learn a brand new function. While it can be intimidating to start over, I am so thankful that this opportunity presented itself. Going forward, this new job might be able to take my career in a direction I had never dreamed possible.
All in all, our grass may not be greener than it was a year ago, but it is, in fact, green. The pursuit of something different, better, bigger, etc. is ultimately unsatisfying. When you are in search of greener grass, you will never have enough – the grass will never be green enough. The last year has taught me to look at the present and be happy in the moment. I am a work-in-progress when it comes to the concept of contentment. I constantly have to resist the urge to search for greener pastures, specifically when it comes to my career. Looking back serves no purpose and looking forward only gives us unrealistic expectations. Another quote I love says, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because it is watered and cared for.” I can make my grass the greenest grass around if I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
God’s provisions for me and my family have been unbelieveable during this season of change in our lives. I can see how clearly He has connected the dots and made things possible that otherwise seemed hopeless. If all of this happened in order to strengthen my faith and trust in God, then the journey has been completely worth it.