Have you missed me? I've certainly missed you - each and every one of you. A whole lot. I realize, after moving home to Florida last year, my blog posts were few and far between. I mean, what's a girl to do without her IIFs*?
Some of you have seen the proverbial cat running around out of the bag. If you haven't seen that cat, I'll introduce you to her, now.
Her name is RESIGNED. Which I did.
I resigned my position on 1 November 2010. At current & present time, for the FIRST TIME since 1988 (16 years old for those of you that are counting), I am (GASP!) unemployed**.
...and I can't remember a time when I've been more happy. More thankful. More RICHLY BLESSED.
"Toma? What are you going to do? Where are you going to work? How will you pay your mortgage? What about health insurance?"
Yes, thanks for asking. Glad you mentioned that, because I hadn't thought about that.
In the meantime, with my unending thanks to my baby brother, Sebastian, I have launched TaskOutToma.com, my very own venture into the world of virtual administrative assistants.
I won't bore you with how this all came about because the bottom line is only one word, three letters: GOD. He's never late, but He's always on time.
Shortly after resigning, one day Sebastian & I were chatting about how I can continue to make money 'in the meantime'. I was/am babysitting, dogsitting, product demonstrating, etc.. However, I knew I needed to grow pay my mortgage. In the course of a 15-minute conversation with Seb, TaskOutToma.com was born. I bought the domain (thanks, GoDaddy!), set up an email address, added a Facebook Fan Page and had business cards printed before the end of the day.
At 38 years old, I am so richly blessed, grateful and fulfilled, my cup runs over. Seriously. I have no ulterior motives, no grand plans to be rich & famous and (above all) I don't need any more STUFF.
I worked for 16 years and loved every minute. I bought a beautiful home on top of the Florida Keys. I have my best friend, Chester, by my side every waking minute. Today, and for the future - HONEST ABE - I just want to pay my mortgage, feed my dog and help raise my niece.
If you don't know me, or perhaps live under a rock, my brother, Sebastian, is a single Dad to the 9-year-old love of my life, Kayla. I loved her before she even entered this world, and I can't believe how much more I fall in love with her every single day. I want to get up, every morning, and simply try harder to be an example to her.
Below, I want to share with you an entry I wrote to my family about 7 days after I resigned. It encompasses and SPECIFICALLY points out exactly where I'm at right now.
Begin forwarded message:
From: T is for TOMA!!!
Date: November 8, 2010 1:29:13 AM EST
To: undisclosed recipients
Bcc: "Rusk Toma S."
Subject: This is What it Feels Like
Man, is God hard at work! It's almost 130am, I SHOULD be in bed (Hi, Mom!), but I can't sleep. You'll see why.
Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with a professional career placement service at 930. I JUST remembered that even though they have my electronic resume, I need to bring a paper resume with me. Sure, I am hopeful that the job with the Army at USSOUTHCOM will come to fruition, however, I am covering every base and ensuring I've put myself out there, even though it's completely new and different and...well....NEW.
Not 'scary'. Just. New.
ANYWAY - as I was printing up, putting it in a file folder, I just never felt any sense of fear. Not one moment.
In the background, I had my iPhone plugged into a speaker dock (of course) in my room. As I was printing, a track called "This is What it Feels Like" came on, by a group I've loved for as long as I can remember, FFH.
After years of performing, recording & touring, in 2006, the group took a hiatus and Jeromy & his wife, Jennifer (also in FFH), moved to Cape Town, South Africa to minister a church. They returned after 6 months to begin a new season in life, which they were POSITIVE did NOT include returning to FFH. I grew even closer to them late last year when I learned that the lead singer/husband, Jeromy, was diagnosed with MS in 2007. They pursued worship opportunities and parenthood, but just weren't sure where God was leading them. Then, after many attempts at 'trying to find what God wanted', they quickly discovered that God was silent, for a REASON.
Jeromy & Jennifer resumed FFH, but this time, as a duo and they scaled back on their touring. They knew God kept them where they were to raise their children and treat Jeromy's MS. This is their first record since returning.
I hear this song playing - I literally had to stop what I was doing - go in my room, hit 'pause' - finish printing, and come back and hear it, giving it my full attention.
And then, I simply said, "Thank you, Father."
I wish I could describe the resonance in the room as I heard Jeromy's voice.
Thank you family - for showing me His face and praying me through this time, and standing in the gap. You are Christ to me.
MAKE SURE YOU READ THE LAST STANZA.
Then read it again.
He's not done with me yet! Love you all, Toma xoxo
What it Feels Like (to be led)
So this is what it feels like to walk the wilderness
This is what it feels like to come undone
This is what it feels like to lose my confidence
Unsure of anything or anyone
So this is what it feels like to walk the desert sand
This is what it feels like to hear my name
To be scared to death ‘cause I’m all alone
But feel love and peace just the same
This may not be the road I would choose for me
But it still feels right somehow
‘Cause I have never felt You as close to me
As I do right now
So this is what it feels like to be led
So this is what it feels like to just fall apart
To be totally unglued
Find out that if I accept my brokenness
I get more of me, I get all of You
So this is what it feels like to just walk away
From everything I thought kept me safe
To depend just on you for every meal
And find that it’s better this way
*Imaginary Internet Friends, term coined courtesy of She Walks, with my thanks. Kristy is not just an IIF, she's an IIM (Imaginary Internet Mentor). And she doesn't even know it.
**Unemployed? By 'THE MAN', sure. But not without work. AHEM.