Dwelling in Jobless Security

It’s been a little over three weeks since Andrew lost his job, and quite frankly, I’m tired of talking about it. But, there’s a lot to say yet, some things I still need to share. In case you hadn’t heard, my husband’s company did a large and unexpected lay off on August 8 and 9. Andrew left for work on that Monday morning, and at just after 9am, he called me to say he was coming home, his position had been eliminated. Just like that. After eight loyal years in which he helped the company profits grow by the millions. Done. Reality is his salary was the highest of the people in his position because he had the most seniority. So, he got cut, instead of the single guy who’s been there 18 months. I still feel anger and hurt when I think about it. It sucked.

But as I prayed through that first day, trying to process my new life, I had the oddest sense that God was saying, “If you could only see things from my perspective, you would be rejoicing.” I certainly raised an eyebrow to that whisper. And I’m still not quite sure what to make of it.

So many people have shared encouraging stories with us about times in their lives when God provided for their every need in situations similar to ours. And many people have reassured us that God must have something good or better in store for Andrew’s career. I fully believe all of that. But as we’ve lived out these three weeks, I’ve seen that it’s not just a good destination we are heading for, it’s a good right now, too.

micah_ridingSeveral people pointed me to passages in Psalm 37 when they heard our news. One phrase in particular did that jump-off-the-page thing for me — “dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” There’s nothing about self-preservation, working to provide for yourself, guarding against disaster, shoring up for hard times.

It’s simple. Dwell. Enjoy.

There’s no need for frantic worry and scrambling about. sophie_ridingWhy? Because God has covered us. I believe in this season we will see the good both right now and in the destination. We hope we will not have to eat peanut butter and jelly every night for a week. But there may be lean times before us. There may be less than desirable work. But there is always God in his goodness, spicing things up.

In just three weeks we’ve already seen an abundance of good poured out in our lives. We have spent every waking hour togetherfam_photo1 as a family. And once we figured out how to do that, it became a huge blessing. I love the friendship that Andrew and I share as we raise our kids. It is sweet to spend some of these fleeting days all together when our kids are so little, just enjoying each other. In addition, we’ve received SO much support through prayer and encouragement that it takes my breath away! On top of that, we’ve seen friends lining up free doctor appointments for the kids when they were sick. Free! Who does that? That’s amazing! (And we have awesome friends!) Envelopes of cash have been left for us at church and mailed to us by friends. What?! Such an amazing church family! Fresh garden veggies shared with us. Yum!! An iPad given to us to replace the one that Andrew had to return to his work. That is beyond basic provision to outright kindness! What’s more, we have been offered a vacation to the beach, expenses paid! Blow-your-socks-off kindness!

Because of this new place in life, I am returning to work as well, part time. When I shared this news with a friend, she came to tears as she reminded me of a conversation we had just a month ago. I shared with her a restlessness in my heart, a need to teach. But I had no idea whom I was to teach. Now I will have the opportunity to teach at risk youth who cannot attend traditional high school for a variety of reasons (truancy, expulsion, becoming parents, etc), through an evening program at our Educational Success Center. I expect these kids will need to be poured into and believed in. I have a heart for these kids.

I cannot look at the last three weeks and just think, “Gee, I hope we are headed for a good destination.” No, because we are in the midst of the good, even now. This is thomas_ridenot to say that our circumstances determine whether or not life is “good,” and they certainly don’t define God’s goodness. I simply want to thank God for his immense kindness to us in the past three weeks. It is so evident how much he loves us and, yes, has good things in store for us, even though it may look different than what we planned. Yes, there is uncertainty. We are in the least secure position we’ve ever been in as a family. And yet, we know we are totally secure. If we placed our security in Andrew’s job before, we were mistaken. In these three weeks we have realized that risks or no, job or no job, we are secure. Because we serve the King of the World. Every last thing on this earth is his. We know we are secure in his goodness and care for us.

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