God hooked me up with the most amazing wife! She is the type of person that has an awesome attitude in all situations. She has an incredible wit, sense of humor and has the mental power to face any situation. We have grown up together over the last 40 years. We went to college together and then grad school together. We have been involved with doing church planting together over the last 25 years. She has been my ‘right and left hands’ in every situation. If it just happens that she is away when I’m preaching or doing something I feel like ½ of my brain and energy is gone. She thinks I am totally self-sufficient but I am totally co-dependent upon her presence, her smile and laugh.
We have juggled family, jobs and doing church for a long time. At times I have had to work on the side to make the budget happen. Anne has been willing to do a variety of jobs, which she hasn’t necessarily loved. Yes, she loves the people she works around but not the job. She has worked out of the house at times for years and also in an office. Her present job over the last year has been a temp job after she was ‘downsized’ from her job of 13 years. It turned out to be a great job but she didn’t bring anything home with her and the hours worked perfect. She had worked out of the house for many years but always had times when she had to work on weekends because of the Doctors wanting something done ASAP.
Anne and I typically text back and forth during the day while she is at work and I’m out doing my church or non-profit work. Yesterday, I received the text which I knew would come, yes our positions are all being terminated in a week but we have the option of staying on working an odd shift and getting new jobs at the same pay. Too many in today’s job market get pink slips and are gone in minutes. So it was gracious of this newer company to give some notice, which they had said they would terminate this transcription department in a few months but the timing was uncertain. So the question is whether it is possible to do a 2:30-10pm shift and still have a life. The promise, with no guarantees, is that they would work this odd shift for a few months than transition into a new position with normal hours.
The challenge for my Anne or really me is that I don’t know if I could hack not having my wife at home for dinner 5 nights a week? Also most of the church work we do is at night so not to have her by my side would be really difficult. Yet, if she quits then she isn’t able to collect unemployment. Over the last year we have transitioned to being able to live off of one income and save the other. Yes we are debt free and don’t have a car payment for the first time in 10 years. So we are fortunate to be able to live if Anne isn’t employed. We do need to save for our retirement years and as Anne would say special vacations.
I know that my Anne will feel pressure to take the odd shift and put herself in an awkward position. I would rather have her leave on good terms after explaining that she is more than willing to work a normal shift and let them be the ones to terminate her. We have had a few job transitions with my church work, i.e. having no funding to do a church plant vs. having to do concrete work to support ourselves. We have learned that God is faithful and gracious and always comes through with what is best. The challenge is that in the moment of the situation it isn’t always easy to know what is best to do. My prayer is that they will offer my Anne a normal schedule after she talks with them or graciously ‘lay her off’ so she can collect unemployment and look for another job.
We are living in a difficult time with both sets of our parents requiring lots of attention, which drains our physical and emotional energy. It is very difficult to watch the one who raised you and loved you become unable to manage on their own. This last week one of my painting grandmas died. She was 80 and had suffered with having to do dialysis three times a week for many years. Her daughter and grandkids are now close friends. I know first hand the heartache of having my mom die over a period of 10 years with cancer.
The adventure is that tomorrow is always a brighter day with more hope and the prospect of a better day. I know that God’s grace and mercy will make my life and my Anne’s incredible!