When It’s Time to Say Goodbye.

This week, my husband made a life changing decision for our family.
The other afternoon, he decided we are going to shut the doors on our paintball business.
It was sort of a thought in the back of his head (and definitely in mine!) for a while now, and finally the straw that broke the camel’s back happened on Tuesday and he called me up asking if I would be upset at him if we closed shop.
I laughed.  “Honey, I have said for the last two years that I wanted to be done with the business!”
“Yeah, but we’ll have some debt from it.”
But I don’t even care.  I just want my husband back.  Our freedom.  Our time together as a family and no more slavery to our own time-consuming and demanding business.
Remember this post that I wrote last month, about men’s insecurities and supporting Skyler through this paintball business, even though I didn’t want to?  After reading that chapter, I really had to give it up to God.  For the first time in a couple years.  I finally said, “Ok God.  If you want this business to keep happening, I’ll support Skyler.  I’ll stop whining about it and will be thankful for his hard work.  I’ll trust you with this business and to end it when it’s supposed to end, instead of me pushing the idea.”
Well, about a week after I wrote that post (and Skyler hadn’t even read it), he left for camp with YoungLife as a counselor and was gone for an entire week.  One of the first things he said to me after he got back was “we might be ending the West Coast Paintball Series.”  I laughed him off.  He has been known to swing high and low with different decisions and you never know what to expect from him.  But this seemed too far fetched.  He told me, “we’ll see how the next couple weeks go before our next event.”.
And this week, after a couple big (would-be expensive.  Like more than ten thousand extra dollars.) hurdles came up and Skyler decided right then that we were done.  He said he had made a deal with God while he was gone at YoungLife camp that if he had to cancel this coming event for any reason, he would just be done with the entire business at that point, and left it in God’s hands.
Yesterday as we were discussing closing shop, Skyler apologized over and over again for the recent big purchases that were made for the series that we now have some big debt over.  I couldn’t reassure him enough that I didn’t care if we were going to be pinching penny’s for the next several months (which we will be).  I am more glad to be done with the business, done with hours upon hours upon hours of his time (and mine) spent “after-hours” working on bettering the series and the events.  I’m more glad to have evenings free to go on bike rides as a family, have dinners together uninterrupted by a business phone call, have weekends free from paintball events, have a SUMMER again.  Most importantly, have my husband’s attention back for our family and for his schooling.  
We wrote up our farewell to the paintball community (who is much like a large family) and after posting, immediately shut off the computers and phones and just spent the rest of the night talking and laughing.  We braved checking online today (on the national paintball forum where everyone communicates) expecting to see some angry remarks at both cancelling this upcoming event and also at just up and ending the paintball series.  
We were both quite pleasantly surprised to find not a single negative complaint, but rather every single comment, email, text, etc. were positive and encouraging and loving.
And then, that’s when I realized how much I will miss all the friends that I have made in the paintball community.  I’ll miss all the friendships, the players always asking how Zeek is doing and how #2 is growing.  I’ll miss seeing the same smiling faces at each event.  I’ll miss the crazy busy couple days before the event and the insane morning-of times.  I’ll miss the joy in watching a paintball tournament successfully running, knowing it was because of mine and Skyler’s organization and hard work.  I’ll even miss the distinct smell of the sweaty players covered in paint and dirt at the end of the day.  I’ll miss hollering out raffle ticket numbers and watching players concentrate so hard on their tickets, hoping to hear their number called and when it was, seeing their excitement and their arms waving around.   
WCPS, I will miss you.  You were a huge part of our lives – exactly 3 years now – the same amount of time we have been married.  (Our first event was 3 weeks before we were married).   But I will appreciate the new-found freedom that will come with not owning our own business and being a slave to the work.  I will appreciate not having unending business hours, constant paintball talk and constant work to be done.
Tuesday morning, before I knew we were to be ending the business, I sat in Ezekiel’s room playing with him.  We were playing with his cars and trains and he wanted me to build him a track.  We were laughing and snuggling and reading.  After a while, I sat back and just watched him play.  It was at that moment that I felt, “I wish every day could be like this.  I wish I didn’t have work that I had to do that constantly kept me from just sitting and playing on the floor with Zeek and having no other agenda on my mind.” God answers prayers.  πŸ™‚  And it’s always so much better when you can finally say, “ok God, it’s in your hands.”  It’s always in His hands, but it’s so much more freeing when we choose to release it to Him completely and not try to “be God” in situations in our lives. 
The next couple months (at least) will still be busy as we work on possibly selling the business, determining our assets and closing up our lose ends.  Keep us in your prayers during this time.
It’ll be a lot of work, but it’s encouraging to know that this is the final work in this part of our journey.
Thanks friends. πŸ™‚

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