Last week my husband walked into his office a career man. Six hours later, he was overcome with emotion as he was told that his employer of 17 years was laying him off. Imagine the shock, disbelief, and feelings of betrayal that swept over him in waves as he tried to grasp what they were saying to him. He had been a huge part of the company, a key employee, for the better part of 17 years, and this is the thanks he gets? Laid off?
Oh sure, they reassured him that there wasn’t anything he’d done wrong. It came down to money issues at the company. Although my husband made the company a million dollars in the year 2014, another coworker and project manager lost the company a significant amount of money on another project. Yet, my husband was the one to take the fall for this. No, they didn’t blame it on him as they knew full well who was over that project. But, being as this guy was the vice-president, they certainly weren’t going to can him. Instead, they decided to lay my husband off.
Years ago I told my husband NOT to idolize his job. I remember times that he seemed to put his job before his family. That wasn’t right, and he has since corrected that way of thinking. But, he did love his job so much and enjoyed what he was doing. He served that company well for 17 years! However, one should never put their job so high up on the pedestal thinking that they are untouchable or that they have security in that position. One would think that after 17 years of hard work, loyalty, dedication, and devotion that it would matter a great deal to the company, but in this case, we can all see that, sadly, it did not. My husband was slammed with feelings of betrayal as he gave so much to this company, and yet now he’s being told that his employment has come to an end. He felt stripped of his position, as well as his company truck, and other perks that came along with his job.
I received a text prior to my husband’s meeting with the executives of that company. I could tell he was nervous as any one would be upon getting called into a meeting like this that wasn’t the norm for their line of work. Trying to reassure my husband, I wrote back these words:
God is already there. He knows the outcome of this meeting,
and He is in control. We just have to trust him.
When my husband called shortly thereafter and told me the news last week, I still had peace in my heart as I said:
Oh baby, I’m so sorry. But, I know that God is going to take care of us!
We just have to have faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed.
He responded that he had that, and I reassured him that everything was going to be okay.
Upon arriving home that evening, I hugged my husband and held him close to me. He was wracked with fear and worry. I just looked into his grief stricken eyes and told him again that God is going to take care of us.
We had to go in to his former employer last Friday to clean out his office. As you can imagine, he had a lot of things he accumulated in the past 17 years. His former boss came into his office not expecting to see me there with him, and when he did, the man became visibly nervous stuttering his speech and hands shaking right where he stood. He should have been nervous and shaking because he wasn’t only doing this to my husband, but he was doing this to our entire family. We have two children to provide for! He knew that, too. It didn’t seem to matter until he came face to face with me in that office. He needed to look into my eyes as well to see how this was affecting me, too, as my husband and I are a team. He wasn’t the only one going through this. We all were.
We drove away with the fear of the unknown riding right along with us weighing us down.
And so the job search began. Thankfully, my husband had contacts that he built a friendly working relationship with through the years. They started calling him as they heard the news of his lay off. As the calls started coming in, it was a mixture of disbelief and great sympathy for what our family was now facing. They had a great outpouring of support for my husband, and it touched our hearts and brought tears to our eyes on several occasions. One in particular spoke to me, and he truly felt for us in this situation. This individual gave my husband several job leads, which we greatly appreciated. Several others called him with job leads as well. My husband began contacting the people as suggested but wasn’t sure if there truly was a job need there at these places that were mentioned.
This week was especially difficult as we hadn’t heard anything from the leads from last week. I reminded my husband that it had only been a few days, and it would just take time. In the meantime, he signed up for unemployment benefits.
Along with losing his job, we were losing our health benefits. Sure, they offered COBRA, but no one can afford $1200 a month. Yes, that is per MONTH! How in the world do they expect us to pay that kind of money when he just lost his job? So, that was out of the question. We then had to go in search of affordable health insurance, which was no small task I’ll have you know!
To add to the stress we were all feeling, my oldest daughter went to take a placement test at a technical college, all that we will be able to afford now for sure, and failed that test. She had so much anxiety from everything going on that she got too nervous and just went blank. She felt just terrible afterwards, too, but there is an opportunity to take the test again in the future.
Also at that time, our youngest daughter came down with a 102 degree fever. To say we were stressed to the max is the understatement of the year! We took her to the doctor, and THANK GOD she did NOT have the flu! Whew!
After all of this, my husband finally just lost it. He went out into the yard and vented a little. No one can blame him, really, considering everything that has just happened. The man lost his job of 17 years. He’s entitled to let his feelings out.
He felt like he was hitting rock bottom, but you know what? God was right there at the bottom when he hit, and God lifted him right up. He scooped my husband up into His strong arms and allowed my husband to rest his weary head upon His shoulders.
Later, I told him that his former employer had already taken so much from us. We can’t let them do this to him … to us. We can’t let them dissolve our faith and leave us in a puddle of tears.
He got out his Joel Osteen daily devotional, and it talked of how doors were going to open for him. It was ironic that the message for that day said those words. The words he needed to hear right at that moment!
And what happened next floors us!
He got a call to come in to just talk to see if something could be worked out with a competitor. This guy had a working relationship with my husband in years past, but when he became a competitor, they were then competing against each other in the same line of work. They kept things friendly, but they could no longer speak at length since they were bidding on the same projects!
This call couldn’t have come at a better time! My husband was starting to lose hope very early on in this situation even though I told him repeatedly to cling to Jeremiah 29:11. I even prayed:
Dear Father, we KNOW that you have plans to prosper him and not to harm him. We KNOW that you have plans to give him a hope and a future. We CLAIM this right now in Your Holy Name! Amen
My husband did set up a meeting that afternoon, and he went in to speak at length with them to see how he could help them. He waited on pins and needles for a call back. The very next day, the phone rang, and it was this company saying that although they did not presently have a position open, they would MAKE ONE for him!
Again, we were overcome with shock and disbelief, but in a GOOD way!!!
They offered my husband a position that they are creating to help get caught up on a few projects. If, after a few months, my husband really likes the job and they like him, they will renegotiate for a more permanent position.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this was our GOD at work!
There is no other explanation for things to have transpired the way they did! From my husband being distraught last Wednesday to a week later … A WEEK … receiving a call that they were going to create a temporary position for him. We’ll take it!!! Oh thank you GOD!!!
The guy said that he could imagine the feelings of getting laid off were similar to that of going through a divorce. He said he wanted to help my husband and our family out, and I told my husband that I would hug that man right that minute if I could! 🙂
Immediately upon hearing the news, tears filled my eyes and spilled out all over my face as I praised God and thanked him repeatedly for what he had done for my husband and for our family! My husband said he dropped to his knees to thank God also!
My God answered prayer in lightning speed! And we are SO grateful!
God’s favor. That’s what it was.