This is Luke’s story of how we had to quit something good, to start something great! Some of you may not know that Luke was in Nursing school before we got into business together! We took the leap and went full time, and our parachute didn’t open right away. Now, we are soaring- and we can’t even think of going back!
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I remember it being sunny that Christmas morning. It was one of those warmer winter days where there was more mud than snow. The morning started off great! I mean, when you are 2 months into your engagement you can’t help but have 20/20 vision through those puppy love eyes! 😉 Early that morning, Caitlin and I headed out to drive in my ’01 Buick back to Fairbury to spend Christmas day with my family! The radio was softly playing some Christmas music. Both of us couldn’t help but stop smiling as we continued having our conversations about our wedding and how excited we both were.
The conversation had a lull in it, which gave me time to think a bit. At that time, I didn’t have the wisdom to strategically pick when the right time was to have certain conversations. Let’s just say that some conversations aren’t meant for Christmas morning… especially on the way to see family! Since I didn’t have this much-needed wisdom, I blurted out, “I want to quit nursing school!” I think even the radio announcer even gave us a moment of silence at that point as every bit of oxygen was sucked out of that old car.
Caitlin blurted out, “What?”
Ok, let me give you some back story before you start thinking I make a lot of rash decisions! Caitlin knew I’d been wondering if nursing was the right route for me, but she didn’t know the extent of how I had been feeling all this time. I had spent countless hours going to class, clinical, and my hospital job, and after working in the medical field for multiple years, I just didn’t love it! There were days that I enjoyed my job, but you know what eventually forced me to say something? Monday’s! I dreaded every single one of them and I couldn’t wait for the weekend… except those weekends I had to work.
I can’t tell you how much respect I have for nurses. The amount of information they have to know and what they have to go through to get that degree is outrageous! The funny thing is those true nurses, the ones that are meant to be nurses, love their job so much that they could look past the crappy school experience. I couldn’t! Heck, I couldn’t look past it even when I had 1 semester left until graduation!
That’s why Caitlin was thrown off that Christmas morning. I had spent a lot of time and a whole lot of money on something, and the end was in sight- only 5 months away to be precise!
The way I looked at it, and eventually convinced Caitlin to look at it, was that I only have one life to live. Was I really going to spend it doing something I hated for 40+ years, waiting for the glorious days of retirement? Plus, I said, “We don’t have kids, and we aren’t even married yet, so it’s the perfect time to take the photography business full time!” That may have been true, but little did I know of the sacrifice that was to come in the coming months and years!.
The next year…
The next year we relied on God more than we ever had before! Early on, we truly didn’t know if we would have enough money to pay the bills, yet God continued to provide. All my free time was spent worrying about how to bring in more income. No joke- I would spend most of my time at church thinking about business ideas rather than listening to what God had to say to me! When I wasn’t actively worrying about something, I was considering going to get a job at Home Depot or something like that! (Tools are awesome so why not work at a place that sells tools?) I even forced Caitlin to come with me door-to-door to local businesses to ask about providing them a commercial photography subscription plan. Did I not realize that people could have just used their phones?! What was I thinking?
During this period in my life, I listened to a talk from Stephen Harvey where he talked about this exact thing. It went something like this: You have to jump before you can fly.
Imagine standing on the side of a cliff with a parachute. The ground is 1000 feet down, and your fear is as palpable as the breeze hitting your face. That’s the moment you decide you don’t want to jump. It’s the moment when you are about to actually commit to quitting that is truly the hardest! You certainly have to have faith that your parachute will open, but you have to have even more faith to jump. The biggest thing to remember is that jumping is exhilarating… but people forget that you have to fall before you can fly! The parachute takes time to open.
Choosing to take a leap towards your dream will almost always result in an initial scary fall. That may look like your savings account getting scary close to being empty. It could be that you get 50 “No’s” before you get 1 “Yes!” It could mean that you have to put in countless hours of hard work, but you know what? Eventually, that parachute will open and you will soar. You will see the beauty that this world has to offer and you won’t ever be able to imagine going back to what you had before. Your life will be completely different because you jumped!
What’s holding you back from jumping?
Most people are too afraid to even jump, and other people jump but aren’t patient enough to wait until the parachute opens! Your life is waiting for you to jump. Your kids are waiting to see that example in you. It’s time for someone to finally make the jump. Are you reading this and thinking that?
That Christmas morning was the start of our decision to jump. It was scary, and we needed God. And you know what? I miss how close I was to God at that point. My life was truly in His hands and that brought a peace that I wish I could explain in this blog post!
It’s been just about 5 years since we took that leap, and I’ve never looked back once! The view we now have is too beautiful, and I’m the happiest I have ever been in my life! Take a leap of faith… even if you fail, at least you tried. Most people can’t even say that they’ve tried! You will never regret something you tried and failed at, but you will regret something you never tried. And we fully believe you won’t fail at all- if it’s God’s plan for your life, you will totally fly too.