Thursday, April 13, 2017

Job Loss and God's Love

A few weeks ago the company I'd been with for the past 3 1/2 years went through some restructuring and let go over 100 employees, including me. It was a day of mixed emotions - sadness, frustration, and relief. Many of us knew cuts were coming, but obviously didn't know who would be let go and to the extent it would affect the company. For anyone who's been through this it can be a little scary, but far from being worried about the future, Martina and I have felt peace, excitement even.

How can we be excited you ask? Well, we see it as a chance for new opportunities and challenges. A chance to learn and grow. We also looked at everything leading up to this point, and realized that while this situation isn't exactly ideal, we were prepared for it through the guiding hand of the Lord.

Several months ago, I was rear-ended on my way home from work. Fortunately I wasn't seriously injured, but unfortunately it led to my car being totaled. I loved my Jeep Patriot, and I was so close to paying it off! So the insurance company gave me the money for the car and Martina and I started looking at all the sweet rides we could get. While I wanted to put it towards a Subaru for myself Martina thought we should put look at something more practical, as in, a minivan. Initially I fought the idea, but the more we looked the more I warmed up to the idea of cruising around in a minivan (#dadlife). Still, something didn't seem right, and Martina had the same impression. We talked it over for a long while. Weighed the pros and cons. Really tried to figure out what our family needed. In the end, we decided our family would be a one car family. We'd use the money to pay off some debt and add to our kids savings. It just felt right.

Secondly, for any of you who know me, I've been obsessed the last few years with earning the Spartan Trifecta. This is the year I'm working to complete do just that, and the first race I had planned was the first ever Spartan Sprint in Cuba. I have wanted to go to Cuba since I was like 14. The race was expensive, but Martina and I saw it was a chance to be part of something special - the first ever obstacle course race in Cuba. So we were willing to shell out the couple thousand dollars it was going to cost to fly to Cuba, get a place to stay, and run the race. We put down our initial down payment months ago. The only problem was that there was a chance the race wouldn't go through. That the government would reschedule it. So here we were, right around the holiday season, wondering if we'd be headed to Cuba in March. The financial obligation meant that we felt tight on finances and were really watching our spend, which was probably a good thing. Ultimately the Cuban government did ask that the race be moved to a later date. We were refunded our down payment and felt like we had some financial wiggle room.

Now, fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I was let go from my job, and man am I glad to not have these financial burdens looming over our heads! Both with the car and the Spartan race there was a slight sense of disappointment, but there was also a larger amount of relief. Initially I thought it was me - that I'm so adverse to spending money that this was just helping me be less anxious - but now I believe it was more. It was the calm that can only really come from the Spirit. It will guide you and protect you if you let it. I have faith things will get better as I keep looking up.

Sure, I may be counting my chickens before they hatch. I may be overly optimistic about my situation. I may be unemployed for the next several months, who knows, but I do know that with faith and hard work the Lord will provide. And with my family by my side, I know I can do anything.

-A.J.

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