I woke up last Wednesday and greeted my husband with a kiss and “Happy one month Anniversary!”. Yes, we celebrated our one month anniversary on March 18. That day marked time for us – one month to the day since Chris had been laid off from his job.
We had mentally been preparing for this day to come. Chris read the writing on the wall and the signs as early as the fall/early winter. He knew, for sure, his layoff was imminent. While it didn’t happen in the timeframe we were expecting, it did happen.
The evening of his layoff, we marked time and went out to dinner as a way to celebrate God’s provision and goodness in our life through his old job. It was bittersweet as we knew the people we had grown to love and accustomed to over the past ten years would no longer be part of our daily lives, perhaps no longer part of our life at all.
At this point, my prayer to God was “We will follow You into anything you ask of us, God. My only request is that you make it crystal clear, abundantly obvious that we are following You and walking down Your path.”
Two days after Chris’ layoff, he received an email from a company wanting to set up a phone interview for that Monday. Monday came, phone interview happened and a face to face interview was arranged. This, too, happened, all the while I’m still praying for clarity, widely opened doors and a submission to do anything. Sometimes, I have to shake my head at myself.
We began praying about a mission project that tugged at our heartstrings two years ago in Scotland but we had missed the deadline for the Spring and Summer opportunities already. This still rolls around in our head and in our prayers but nothing of clarity has sprung forth on it.
A second interview has come and gone and a quiet anticipation undergirds our days. We pray this is the clarity we’ve sought. We hope this is the place God is leading us to. We wait patiently as the CEO returns from vacation to make a decision but, really, we wait patiently on our God, for we know nothing is done outside of his timeframe.
The anxiety of not having an income coming in doesn’t have to be. On February 18, when praying to God, I had to immediately let go of everything tangible. Our home. Our car. Our stuff. Our church family. Our city. I had to approach God with open hands so that I wouldn’t quickly wrap them around my “stuff” again. All of it was up for taking away and I quickly had to reconcile myself to that.
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain You. He will never let the righteous fall. – Psalm 55:22
This past month has flown by and while details and mild paperwork irritations have cropped up, I feel as though by clinging to God, I stand in the calm of the storm. There are days when life whips around me, faster than my eyes can keep up. Yet, I fold in under His arm and all becomes still. The center becomes calm for that is where He is.
This past month has been peaceful and it has been SO COOL watching God provide. A severance package that started 2.5 weeks earlier than it should have. A refund check from an old bill where we had overpaid. When I say old, I mean 7-8 years ago. The icing on the cake was the letter said they included an extra $25 for the inconvenience of having overpaid!! We didn’t even know we had overpaid and we certainly weren’t expecting THAT! I’m keeping the letter as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and provision. A gift card for groceries coming from dear friends who wanted to give to us out of love, even though they knew severance had kicked in. It makes me teary-eyed just typing it. More friends that swooped in and treated us to dinner out, just to love on us. Lots of encouraging words and prayer surrounding us through it all too! God’s provisions has been so abundant! I love seeing Him work! I love seeing His church love well! This is what love IS! Giving ourselves to one another – in need, in sorrow, in joy!
As we wait on His direction, we are lapping up having Chris around the house (only issue is sharing our one computer between job searches, school, and ministry work) for we know that he may not be around during the day much longer. Honestly, we feel a bit panicked in thinking Chris could go back to work in the next few weeks. The panic comes from having so many things we want to do but not having enough free time (or money) to do them all! We are secretly hoping we can negotiate a slightly later hire date (should he be offered this job) to have a little bit more time with him.
10 years ago, we found ourselves in this same situation. It took us two years to get on our feet and in that time, I went back to work and Chris went back to school. We made it through but not without some bruises and wounds. We were stressed, overwhelmed, and angry. And we took it out on each other. We did not lean hard into God. Honestly, we didn’t lean into God at all. We panicked and became wrought with worry and fear. We did not rely on Him for peace, calmness and strength. We tried doing it all in our own strength which only led to disastrous results.
I am grateful for this past month. I am grateful for the blessing of having my best friend around more. I am grateful for God’s provision through the coolest ways! I am grateful for making doors open and paths clear and even if we get to the end of this path and the job is not offered or what we hoped it’d be, I will still be grateful.