When it rains, it pours…
Everything than can go wrong will go wrong….
When life gives you lemons……
When life throws you a curve ball……
For the past three weeks, these and phrases just like them have been bombarding my thoughts and trying to assault mind. Three weeks and two days ago (but who’s counting), my husband’s company announced that they were making cuts across the board and would be disclosing details within the week.
When, he first heard the news, and shared it with me, questions began to swirl in my head. Would he have a job? Would our son have a job? What would happen to us, our home, our life, the church we pastor???? My mind was racing as I was trying to collect information to stop my mind from racing and things from spinning out of control.
I asked if he was concerned and what he thought. I asked all the above questions and more. Poor guy. He didn’t really have anything to go on other than 11-12% cuts across the board, internationally. He said, he wasn’t too concerned about his job or his position, and he felt our son’s job would be fine too.
However, the next day as his company began to announce their plans for the first wave of cuts, he received an email, about a mandatory site meeting. They had already begun to make announcements and closures. The ripple effects where beginning to spread throughout the company about what they were doing. My husband walked out of his office and informed me, he had a mandatory meeting in two days and shared what had already been taking place in other areas of the company.
His words to me, were, “Well, maybe God is telling us it’s time for a change?”
Change! NO!!! Not again, change is a 4 letter word in my opinion, I just technically happens to have 6 letters! I have not always been a fan of change. However, the last several years we have been walking through huge amounts of it and God has been working on my faith and trust in Him. (you can read all about our season of change, by clicking on the picture below).
Before, when I would hear the word “Change,” fear of the unknown would creep in and I would go into planning, survival, and strategizing mode. This time however, I had a peace…..Weird …. total role reversal from last time.
We have been here before. Yep, just three short years ago, when we had just accepted an appointment and committed to step into the senior pastor position of the church we were attending. My husband and I stood on the platform hand in hand as the current pastor announced to the congregation that it was official. Our district supervisor had called and given us the green light to officially step in and lead the church. My husband’s words, “We are ALL in here.” Sounded so great in the moment, but five days later, they weren’t so great. I will spare you all the details, but let’s just say, I was stressed, panicked, and well, it was not one of my finer moments. It was six weeks of hell. Six weeks of not knowing. Six weeks of not being in control. Six weeks of figuring out how we were going to live and pay bills without a job.
Three years ago, when this similar situation came up, we watch God do what seemed impossible. However, as I said before, I didn’t handle it very well. I wasn’t filled with the faith to believe God would take care of us. I didn’t trust Him to make a way where there didn’t seem to be a way. The church by no means was in a place financially to support us and we needed financial income.
I worried, had sleepless nights, and I panicked. I tried to plan, to push, to control the situation, and solve the problem by figuring out my own solution. It was not a good season. I can say that it’s not something I wish to ever experience again anytime soon.
I am for the most part a positive person. I see the glass half full. I always look for the best in a bad situation and I look for the gold in the not so nice person. I usually am the one lending out my faith to those around me in need of some for the impossible situations they are faced with. It’s just who I am, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my moments of weakness or low points in my faith.
The day we discovered my husband’s job of 19 years was indeed going to be affected by the company’s announcements to cut its workforce and become more liquid, I said to my husband, “Well, when life throws you a curve ball, you go kayaking.” He looked at me for a minute and started to tell me that I again got another idiom wrong. However, I said, no, I know you think I got it wrong again, but – let’s go out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and wonderfully calm lake today. Let’s enjoy the beauty God has abundantly blessed us with, take a deep breath, and take the kayaks outs. So we did.
It didn’t solve any problems or make them go away. We had no solutions or plan of action to take, but I did have a peace. Two days later, when he had more information, we had no more answers. The information he was given wasn’t really here are your options, but more of what they intended to do. It was a, “we will be in touch with the month and let you know.” So we waited and each week I saw my husband’s morale go down… down … down. He watched people he worked with get let go and leave. People would ask, “What are you going to do?” “Are you going to leave the church and move with the job tout of state?” “Will you even have a job in with the company out of state?” The list of questions others and even the ones we had grew.
Today, right now as I write this post, he is again sitting in a meeting where we will prayerfully get the answers we need so we can begin to move forward informed as we continue to seek God about His will for our lives through all of this. We still need an income, the church has experienced much growth and new life over the past two years, but is still not in a position to support us, thus we are bi-vocational. Meaning we work and pastor the church.
When I was speaking at an event recently I shared about our current situation, as an example of going deeper, trusting God, and standing in faith. An example, of not taking matters in to our own hands and thoughts, but RESTING in the shelter of the one who has the whole world in His hands.
Out of my mouth came these words….
When life gives you lemons, you plant a tree so you will never run out of lemonade.
When life throws you a curve ball, you swing for the fence.
You see, when life throws you a curve ball, you get to decide what to do with it. You get to decide to watch it pass you by and leave the call to someone else. You can decide to step out of the box, or swing for the fence. I have always been one to swing for the fence. I love playing softball, and have done so since I was young. When I was up to bat, I hated taking a walk even if I deserved to. I would hit whatever ball came my way and take it for a ride.
We are at a place that we know we are not to leave our positions at the church, but we still need income to support our family and pay our bills. So things are going to change. There is no way around that.
Last year, our verse and word for our church was Going Deeper from Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
This season, right now is so much different than three years ago when this happened. Three years ago, I was fearful, and I had no peace. Now, I feel like I am this tree Jeremiah talks about. I have confidence in MY God that HE is going to do something great, just like He has before. I have peace, I am sleeping at night and am trusting Him. I have changed and grown deeper in Him.
Even when the thought of taking a riskier path than what feels comfortable, and what we may want is on the table, I have peace and full confidence that God is my provider.
I will keep you posted, so Stay Tuned and thank you for your prayers in this season.
My Post: “What’s in a Name?” was featured here:
My Post: “Will You Sit with Me?” was featured here:
My Post: “The Journey through Change” was featured here: