Today marks the end of a crisis. Not a huge one on the scale of overall crises but a crisis nonetheless. By crisis I mean those times when things don't go the ideal way, when you are forced in a situation or series of situations where you are left fearful and worried, or when we are shaking your head in fretful consideration not knowing how things will turn out in the end.
Crisis, in terms of it being something not planned and of the negative nature, has a tendency to either force us into a frenzy of fearful fretting or to throw our hands up in surrender not knowing what to do fix it.
Of course, on the other hand crisis can also be infused with grace and provision and then become an opportunity to see God for who he is and for what he does for us...if we are willing to see it for what it is, which is just that.
When my husband and I decided that it was finally time to move our little family from South Carolina to Tennessee, we were following through on a long term plan made a few years ago. While we loved our adopted family in SC, we were anxious to move closer to at least some of our grandparents, cousins and aunts/uncles. We were anxious to embrace the lifestyle of country living in the community my inlaws have lived for a number of years, but wanted God's timing to be perfect.
We had been praying about it for literally years, asking God to let us know when the time was right and this past spring he told us as much. We felt like it was time to move forward with plans, and tentitively went about moving our life westward. We took baby steps, asking God to guide our decisions, then prayed harder when we took the big steps of putting the house up for rent and looking for jobs.
Since one couldnt happen before the other we took a leap of faith, rented the house for the first the June, quit our jobs and heading to Tennessee. To answer the obvious question, no ...we didnt have jobs (we are both RN's ...he full time and me very part time). Not to say things were in the works and contacts werent made, but we didnt have an actual employer when we signed a lease and agreed to start paying rent.
A little scarey, but typically finding jobs for RN's is not a big deal and aside from getting the details worked out we felt sure things would fall into place pretty quickly. We had high hopes of no missed paychecks and having barely a week to get settled before starting to orient at the hospital we were hoping to work at ....but it didnt go that way.
Instead of getting our jobs right away, we spent the first 3 weeks waiting for calls back, and another three waiting for 'possible' positions to pan out. It was 6 weeks after we moved our lives to a new place that be both started working again, and another 2 weeks until we got paid.
Today is payday. The first one in almost 2 months. I have never been so happy to see a direct deposit :)
Now, like I said in the scheme of things this is nothing. People do this all the time, and 6 weeks is nothing compared to what so many in our country are dealing with right now. I know there are many who have been out of work far longer, and have endured much more struggle than we have. Our crisis is small in comparison to many, and dare I say, most.
Still, for us it was one of those times of crisis when we are tempted to give over to panic and frustration. In fact, there were a few moments where either my husband or I did exactly that (interestingly we never did it at the same time, which was good).
Evenstill, standing on this side of things with a paycheck "in hand" we are so blessed and aware of God's provision that we must stop and pause in humble recognition of it.
Here are some things that happened both before and during the time when things were hard ...
* We had an emergency fund ..baby step #1 on the Dave Ramsey list. Done. Huge blessing.
* We sold our our in literally 10 minutes of it being posted on Craig's List - not expecting that. Cash in our pocket for the next vehicle (note, that was our plan - not God's)
* We had a $1200 mechanic bill cut to $250 - we were thankful then, even more so now.
* We had free, manual labor help with our move
* We got to crash at a dear friend's house the night before we left (for free + a yummy steak dinner)
* We lost our moving truck the day before the pack up (none available?) ...and then found one again that was a bit more but not as much as a lot of the quotes were.
* We had people bless us with farm fresh eggs, tomatoes, squash, cheese and butter as housewarming presents when we got here ...yummy blessings all
* We found the rental house on this side in a MESS - but for our hard work and hands made raw from cleaning and moving trash ...we got a free table worth $400. Which was good, cause we didnt have one.
* A friend's mama bought us a nice dinner so we could all be together for one of our favorite friends' birthday
* We got a $100 Kmart gift card in the mail from an old friend who said she felt God asked her to do it.
* The next day we got another unexpected check from an insurance company we had 3 years ago paying us almost the total we found out the SAME day our rental check on the house we own would be short!
* Three of my siblings rerouted a family camping trip (we were all supposed to meet up in the middle) to our front door so that we could still be together and not have to cancel. They drove 4-8 hours longer than they would have otherwise and man ...was it a blessing!
* Even though we had to wait for it, we got the ideal jobs for our family!
* We have found 100 FREE things there are to do around here ...love it.
There are have been so many little ways God has provided for us along the way, including blessing us with such an unrealistic degree of peace about all of it. That peace has allowed us to really enjoy our excess of time together.
God has been really, really good to us.
This experience has really grounded a lot of thoughts that I will be sharing over the next weeks. I love how God uses these times to bless and bless and bless. Can't wait to share!