Our life has changed a little bit around our house. Recently, Pete left his job of 20 years and jumped into unemployment. His job had served our family well for 20 years and now it was time to move on: Pete knew it and I knew it. The timing was perfect, and we had prayed about it extensively for the last couple of years. It was scary, but we felt God’s nudges and His overwhelming strength. At the same time, we felt a sense of peace.
Pete is a man of strength and wisdom that has always gained my respect and admiration. He always seems to have perfect timing, and his courage gives me peace.
I am not going to say that this new venture has just been easy as pie. The first day Pete was home, I carried in bags and bags of groceries. When I finished my task, I turned the corner to see Pete sitting on the couch. Now, to his defense, he was working on his computer, but my frustration intensified as the scenario became “whoa is me.” You ladies know what I am talking about. Anyway, at this point instead of flying off the handle (which was my first instinct), I suggested that after I returned home from work, together we should move his desk up to our newly renovated barn loft (which by the way is heated and very comfy). Now Pete treks through the snow and sometimes ice across the patio, a short 10 yard walk, to the barn each day.
I needed Pete to go to work, so I could accomplish my tasks without feeling like he isn’t helping. Pete needed the concept of “going to work” each day, so that he could concentrate on his job search. It was good for both of us.
Pete’s unemployment has opened many new blessings for our family. He is now available to help out with appointments, grocery runs, pick-ups after school and has extra time to spend with Katie to do some 1000 piece puzzles. The time Pete has opened up for his family has been a blessing for all of us. During these teenage years, time with Dad is essential, and Pete now can offer that easily. There are days that I am sure Pete feels blessed to have this opportunity to spend with the kids and me, but there are also days that are burdensome to him.
He easily can get overwhelmed with the financial aspects of finding a job. He sometimes feels burdened by the need to be outgoing and to network with new people. Balancing family with finding a job can be a task that is daunting, but Pete seems to take it one day at a time. He includes God in his decisions. He finds time to pray and worship God on these days off. Like I said, Pete’s strength is amazing to me, and it is an inspiration.
We all have these little changes in our lives that can become obstacles if we allow them to. It is easy to start feeling sorry for yourself, to allow the guilt to settle deep down into your heart about how you handle the challenge, and to justify laziness. Changes are hard, especially when they have the outlook of affecting you financially. Challenges can become burdens fast. So how do we prepare ourselves for these little shifts in the road?
Pete and I had prepared ourselves for this challenge. Whether this is the right or wrong way to do it remains to be seen. We had prayed continually for this situation. We had downsized our materialism (thank goodness). We had asked God over and over what His Will was for us. Sometimes over the years, we had felt like He was asking us to take the plunge right away. Sometimes we felt like He was asking us to wait. Sometimes Pete and I were not on the same page – not even the same chapter. It was a daily struggle.
Over time though, we felt God’s gentle nudges that the time was coming. He needed us to do something new. He needed Pete somewhere else. As the challenge has unveiled itself, Pete has begun his discernment on just where God is calling him. It could be a long process. We don’t know the timing. We just know we are on the right path, searching and listening for God’s next nudge.
Psalm 31:3-5 (The Message)
You’re my cave to hide in,
my cliff to climb.
Be my safe leader,
be my true mountain guide.
Free me from hidden traps;
I want to hide in you.
I’ve put my life in your hands.
You won’t drop me,
you’ll never let me down.