Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Meanwhile....it appears that Ben and I have entered a season of being stretched in our faith and in our daily walk. I'm not really looking forward to the process, I mean who enjoys having their lives stretched and pulled like Stretch Armstrong. (For those of you born before 1978 you know who I'm talking about) HOWEVER, I am very much looking forward to the outcome when all is said and done, because I know it will be good. So how do I know this is coming? Well, let me fill you in.
In 2000 I changed careers and went to work for a corporate office. At the time it was the best job I had ever had and honestly hoped to retire there. Six months later Ben got hired at the same company and for just under nine years (I say nine years since it was so close) he and I worked together (something I sincerely miss. Who wouldn't want to work with their best friend?). He also loved his job and hoped to retire there. It was a locally owned international company and we worked in the home office. The owners were extremely employee and family oriented and took care of their employees very well. As the company grew and so did the pocketbooks of the owners, a shift began to take place. Suddenly the once worker friendly environment began to become hostile....and we were no longer partnerring toward success as much as we were the means to their next golf course mansion or yacht. It was a hard pill to swallow in an environment where the owners used to come sit and chat with you about your family and life outside of work, to an environment where they didn't have time for you and you were suddenly beneath them. However, because of the way it used to be most of us hung in there hoping things might return to their previous state of being. Unfortunately, that would not be the case.
In January of 2008 we were all pulled into an office wide meeting and gently told that the company had been sold. The vast majority of us sat or stood in silent shock. We knew something had been amiss due to the influx of visiting executives, but none of us had suspected that. So after a moment, albeit a very brief moment, we were then promised everything under the moon to try and calm the growing fears of sudden job loss. Golden promises of never closing our office and people all being totally secure filled the room, but underneath there was a very present sense of foreboding. So in short time, as feared, the axes began to fall. By November I had given my notice to go and start my career at Sprout Cwntral, because I knew my division of the company would be the first to be completely obliterated. This past Summer what had been my division was in fact wiped out leaving several friends suddenly all out of work. With each passing month it seamed the end of the entire company was imminent, no matter what the new corporate execs promised.
Well, Monday they pulled Ben and the entire remaining company employees, ( a meager 30 or so, down from the 60+ at the time of the buyout) into another meeting. Yep, you guessed it....they were all systematically informed that as of March 31st of this year the office will be shut down and moved to Oklahoma. All those choosing not to chance a POTENTIAL job in Oklahoma or North Carolina will be out of a job.
**sigh** Well, thankfully Ben and I both have a peace about it. We knew it was coming, we just didn't know when. So now we know the when. We know God is going to do something amazing...we don't know what or how, but we know He will come through, He always does. We have been praying for a better job for Ben for YEARS but it just wasn't the time for anything to open up yet. It looks like it finally is now though. Oddly, we're both kind of excited to see what is on the horizon. Of course, being the provider and protector that he is, Ben is doing his best to not be overly concerned, but behind it all, we know God has it covered. Besides, remember that fleece I put out for God? Well, in the conversation I had with Ben that night Ben had reminded me to just trust God and He will cover every need we have. Interesting timing on that don't ya think? Ironically, remember how I said I had another 2 fleece to put out for God before I would KNOW the answer to that prayer I had been bringing to God? Well, lets just say this sudden change of events appears to be the POTENTIAL answer to that second fleece. HMMM........
So that was the first way I know we are about to be stretched in our faith. The second is more personal to myself. At our church I am leader of the hospitality ministry, it doesn't sound like much, but believe me...it entails a lot for a church that has three services on the weekend. I've finally gotten some good volunteers though and have hit a nice comfortable pace which has removed most of the drain on me. Now our church is growing again and we will be adding a fourth service on Sunday, a very good thing, but the thought of one more service to cover is a bit daunting to say the least. So I've given the Lord my word that I wouldn't complain about it, I saw how He provided for me when I needed it before so I know He will do it again, I just have to trust Him. I think I can do that........no, I KNOW I can do that. He's never let me down before, so I have no reason to think He will now. His answer may be different than what I expect, but it will always be the BEST answer if I'm willing to have an open mind.
Psalm 34:1 (The Message)
1 I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.