About six weeks ago I received a phonecall in the morning on a Wednesday:
“Hey, it’s me. Are you sitting down?”
Aside: of course I’m sitting down, I’m at the computer procrastinating the bazillion things I need to do by using precious time and gray matter to view the slideshow “10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Half Siblings”. It’s riveting. There’s just no way to start your day without knowing this information.
“No, seriously, this is important.”
“I’m really, really sitting.”
“I got laid off.”
Poor guy, I made him repeat it about four times because it simply didn’t compute. Wait, what? He’s good at his job. He always gets the best reviews and the best raises. He’s confident with who he is at work. I used to joke with him whenever he’d unexpectedly show up at home at 2pm and ask him “Did you get fired?” That’s how comfortable we were because it was so absurd it was funny. I probably won’t make that joke anymore.
day week was a blur. We giddily went about the day doing normal stuff. Getting him a phone (he’d always had one supplied by work). Buying a baby gift. Talking on the phone. A lot. It was weird and surreal.
There was crying. We hid it from each other. Mostly well.
There was also a lot of praying. I am so grateful that I know—that we know--where to look for comfort.
One moment stands out. I was washing my face for bed and noticed that I was almost out of cotton rounds.
You know, cotton rounds? The flat, quilted cotton bolls?
And, I had this thought:
Cotton rounds are ridiculously expensive! How can I justify buying cotton rounds now? What will I do without my cotton rounds? I use 2-4 each day…letsee…if a package contains like 100 and it costs $3.99 PLUS tax, then that’s like…
You get the idea. I lost it. All semblance of reality. It had just shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Maybe that’s what happens when what you think is one of life’s essential foundational truths is now no longer true.
We took it for granted. We built our life plan around the expectation that that’s where Jeff would work through retirement.
Now, six weeks later, we are not in that place anymore. The sun will still rise tomorrow and the next day. There are new opportunities around the corner. We are still not at equilibrium, but it’s closer.
I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows us better than we know ourselves. We had become complacent in so many things. In Jeff’s job, certainly, but also in our relationship, in our finances, in our life plan, in our spirituality.
We had to step up our game.
And that feels good.
We are unified as a couple as we have rarely been. I thought having Jeff home all the time would drive me crazy. It doesn’t.
We have made a new plan that involves a lot of contingencies. We have created new dreams and even dusted some off. We are imagining ourselves in several scenarios and finding that we can be happy, really happy, in most of them.
We have raised the bar on our spirituality. We have been humbled and in that humbling we are more teachable, more sensitive to the Spirit. We have reached and we have found solace, hope and inspiration. I know that my Redeemer lives.
Life is good.