This is a love story. A story of choosing love of my wife, my family, and myself over comfort and safety. This is about trusting God no matter what.
If you are an avid Adventure With Brendan reader, other than my parents, you might be wondering where I’ve been. It’s been about Six ish months since I last checked in, and in those past months, April and I have sold our house, bought a new one, and I have changed jobs. I didn’t go into 2022 thinking of changing anything other than maybe Sofia’s diapers. I am an expert at this as she only cries a little when I put her on the changing pad. I’ve learned that Sofia likes to hold a toy when being changed. As for all my changes, I’ve only cried a little.
Back in May right as the school year was ending, we were packing up our first house. We bought this house at the right time back in 2019 before the housing market really took fire and now we were moving out. A couple of weeks before I had thought that moving out over the last weekend of school would be perfect. It was perfectly stressful so the tears I shed when April and I stood in our first house, now empty and clean, were ones of relief and sorrow. We decided to sell our house and move because we want to have a larger family. Our first house was a blessing. Sofia was born there, well not literally. It was in the area my parents grew up in and so close to my grandpa’s house and my grandma’s apartment making it an endearing familiar location, and it gave April and me the ability to start gardening. But with a little baby, two dogs, and April’s parents living with us, we needed more room. In the extremely hot housing market, our first house blessed us with the ability to buy a new one.
This change wasn’t easy. Our old house was close to my work, but I was willing to look at houses closer to April’s job because she’d been driving over an hour a day and now that we have Sofia, I knew that her drive needed to be shortened. Yet, finding a new house was a challenge. One that reminded me of dating or trying to date while being a middle schooler. When I was in middle school I probably had crushes on at least ten girls at a time. I would fixate on one girl who was at the top of my list, but always be too shy to talk to her. Then a new girl would enter my life. Maybe she was in my church group or in a new class. Anyway, she would jump to the top of the list and I would be okay that the previous girl at the top of my list hadn’t worked out. How does this connect to house buying. Well, April and I started house hunting over a year ago, which means all of the houses we liked were ones we couldn’t even pursue as we had to sell our house first to qualify for a loan. This helped me hold lightly to what might be my dream home. I would fixate on a home, like I used to fixate on that girl back in middle school. Dream about what our lives would be like there, and then someone else would buy it. No matter, the next week another house would pop up and I would love it and dream about it and then have to move on because it too would be taken off the market in days. Well, then we sold our house and had the money to buy. So we were now actually hunting for our new home and the houses we were dreaming about were real options. But I knew I needed to hold onto the feelings I had for the possible new house lightly. Just like my middle school crushes, the cute new house would infatuate me, but then vanish, only to be replaced by a new one the very next week. April and I had a list of houses we loved. If only we could have this one we would have such the house! But this other one is so amazing we could do house things there! We would say. But we held each house crush loosely. We even pulled an offer on a house that had a basketball court in the back yard. Because we were willing to be patient. I knew there would be a hot new house just like in middle school there was always a hot new crush in my life. So no need for heartbreak when it didn’t work out. This way of living is what led me to April, the hottest crush of all time and then eventually to our new home. God led us to the right house. Even when we were waiting to see if our offer was going to be accepted, I knew it would be okay.
I knew it would be okay because I had April by my side. I might not have talked to very many of my middle school crushes, but now God lets me talk to April every day. We get to look into each others’ eyes and smile. Her smile lights up my eyes and reminds me of God’s grace. Grace for all the middle school failures at love. Grace for wanting perfection the first try. Our first house wasn’t perfect. April and I are learning how to love perfectly, through God’s perfect love. His love has called me to sacrifice for my hottest crush of all time. So when we found our house and our offer was accepted, I was willing to have the longer drive to work. For the past eight years I have worked for Jefferson Jr. Sr. High School. I have built life long friendships with my coworkers and even some of my students. But I felt God asking me to choose my family over my job. Working in a title one school comes with its joys and its traumas. Over the last year I have written about my time in therapy. On the last day of school I told all of my freshmen how much I loved them and I was excited to see them after the summer, I meant it. And then I found out I had a job interview at Regis Jesuit, a school I applied to when God challenged me to think about change and as a bonus one less than ten minutes away from my new home. I knew if I were offered the job at Regis Jesuit, I would take it because I love my wife and my family. As much trauma as I have felt with at Jefferson, I was willing to go back because of my students and coworkers, but I want to be a husband who is their both physically and emotionally for my wife and my kids (Sofia and her doggy brothers Gryffin and Phoenix). Driving more than an hour a day isn’t what I wanted for them. So when the interview went well I cried a bit. Changes is difficult, but my family is work it. After a weekend of prayer, I called Regis Jesuit back and accepted their offer. I am excited to start my new job, but at the same time, I’m going to miss all my old students. I messaged many of them so that they would know how much I care for them. All of them said that my new school was going to be lucky and that my new students would love me too.
So I started my new job a month ago and I love it. The change has been very good. I changed because I love my wife and I want to trust God with a new adventure. He will take care of the students I left behind. He will love on them and provide for them. He brought me into a new house and a new job because he wants me to live a love story. One where I choose Him and then my wife and Sofia (who just turned one two weeks ago!) over everything.