So you’ve heard about some of the wonderful blessings we’ve received in the past 6 months: a new house and a baby girl on the way. Unfortunately, not everything that has been keeping us busy has been as exciting. On the morning of January 12th I was informed that my position at work was being eliminated and that effective immediately I did not have a job. I was 13 weeks pregnant at that time (which my work knew).
Here are some thoughts that I jotted down that night:
When I got the news today I knew. I knew that things were going to get ugly before they got pretty. I do believe that God has a plan, and whereas this seems like a bad situation, I actually believe the end result will be good. However, here we are venturing into the sketchy territory of the in between period. It’s hard to stay positive when those around you are panicking, and when all you have to offer is your belief that it will all work itself out. I can see how that might not seem like much of a plan in the face of a financial crisis. I get it. But it really is powerful to know that God has a plan and that life is not random. That doesn’t mean the road is going to be easy, but it does mean it will all ultimately be for good. When serious decisions need to be made and important things are on the line, one certainly would like to have a map from God explaining how this is all going to work out. As that is not available, it is tempting to just take matters into our own hands. It is tempting to try to control it, rather than try to hear God’s voice amidst the chaos in order to follow an unknown path to an unknown destination. It feels like we have to figure this out, decisions need to be made, plans need to be put in place, actions need to be taken… who has time for proceeding slowly, listening, and waiting? The world demands answers, and I don’t have them. I proclaim to trust God, I say I have faith, but all of that doesn’t mean anything if I drop it as soon as the road gets rocky. That’s the time I need it the most, not the time to abandon it. Taking matters into my own hands has never served me well. Shockingly, the Creator of the Universe has a little more clue about things than I do.
The boys’ school was paid for through the end of January, so I used that time to file for unemployment, notify key business contacts about my departure from the company, update my resume, get setup on Linked In, Monster, Career Builder, etc., and to start applying for and interviewing for jobs. I was shocked at how busy I was each day with my new job of trying to get a job, and I was pleased that there seemed like a lot of promising job opportunities. As the end of January loomed near though, all those opportunities seemed to be drying up. When the hustle and bustle eased up, the reality of what was happening hit, and I started to fall apart. Fortunately, with the beginning of February came the time for me to be with me boys, and a new happier chapter began.
This time with the boys has been a blessing, but it’s also been quite the adjustment figuring out how to be a stay at home mom, while confronting the reality that we cannot afford for me to do this on a permanent basis. Figuring out how to balance job searching with carrying for the boys and the house took some trial and error. For example, I quickly discovered that interviews (even on the phone) required a lot more planning with children underfoot. Nonetheless, eventually I began to settle into all of these changes and started taking on more responsibilities around the house, including meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking (previously Clint was the main cook at our house). I have really enjoyed being able to care for my family in such a tangible way, although I continue to be surprised at how much work it is to be a stay at home mom and how it seems like there was very little to show for all of that effort.
It has definitely been an odd mix: the joy of caring for my family combined with the financial stress that me not working has put upon our family. The job search has taken longer than we had hoped it would. I suppose my interview skills were rusty at first, and I can’t really blame employers for being reluctant to hire a pregnant lady. To make matters more complicated, I am trying to find a job that will allow me to provide for my family financially without making it impossible for me to spend time with my family. Many jobs in my field require long days due to networking events or travel, which is not ideal for me at this phase in life. I have progressed through a 12 year career to a place of being qualified for a number of exciting jobs… that are in complete conflict with my home life. Clint and I have discussed options for changing career paths, but of course most of those options would not bring in much money in the beginning (which would be very challenging under the circumstances), and there is the risk that they may not even amount to much in the end.
Through all the ups and downs of this experience, I still believe that God has a plan for our family. I just pray that we will hear Him nudging us and have the courage to follow where He leads us, even if we don’t understand. As you can see, this is shaping up to be quite an eventful year, so please keep us in your prayers, and we will keep you posted as much as possible.