Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Unpaid Vacation

Something that I never really considered happening happened this week.  My husband was laid off.  It was a total shock, and I'd never really thought about it ever happening to us.  From all we knew, his job was very secure and we never had any evidence to the contrary.  So, last Thursday when my husband was laid off indefinitely, we were surprised to say the least.  My husband has referred to it as his unpaid vacation, as he dusts off his resume and sets about the work of applying for new positions, filing with government agencies and the like.

I think it's kind of like going through the stages of grieving.....first there's denial, then anger, anxiety, frustration and then a grim acceptance as problem-solving mode kicks in.  The first couple days were really tough.  It still vacillates between a calm reassurance that God will provide and a frustrated plea to let this time of uncertainty end soon. 

Our family will weather this storm, as so many families before us have.  In many of the hardships we've faced in life (infertility, loss of pregnancy, now a lay-off), I've seen God's plan to make more compassionate, obedient servants out of us.  A line from a song keeps running through my head when I think about what we're facing and how our family will come through this, "I will praise you in the storm".  In this trial, I have seen the definite hand of God shielding us from what could have been a much harsher reality.  Our finances are not dire and even the gift of a full freezer of meat recently given to us, I see as God preparing us and giving us some comfort in this time.

It is my hope that my husband is able to improve his career through this lay-off.  The evening it happened, I was quite distraught.  As I sat trying to read a book and calm myself, I closed my eyes and an image appeared in my mind.  God's hand reached out and picked the three of us up and cradled us in His hand and carried us to where we are supposed to be.  It was not an image I conjured up to self-soothe, it was a response from God when I cried out to Him in our need. 

Another great comfort has been the prayers of so many faithful friends.  In our homeschooling group, prayer intentions are lifted up regularly and I have felt the grace of so many praying friends like a cloak around me to shelter me from the anxieties that could overrun this time.  Two friends sent the same bible verse to me within minutes of each other:

Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord, "plans to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you hope and a future." 

That's why I believe something better will come of this, even though I have no idea what that looks like or where it will come from.  God is faithful and is the ultimate promise-keeper.  I will praise Him in the storm.

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