There have been many others who have walked the  path that we are just now embarking on.  This part of the trail is new to us, but for others it has been well traversed.   We have taken a turn on this path of life and where did this bend take us – to the trail of the unemployed.  Gary’s last day at his current job is  22 July!  At the company for which he has worked for the past almost 12 years.  He is only 1 month shy of 12 years!   This “lay off” is slightly different since it is really not related to economic woes but more because of decisions made higher up the chain of command. The product line that Gary has worked on is no longer going to be supported.  This translates into  the department being gutted and most of those people will be let go.  While there was some indications that this might happen at “some point in the future,”  the notice on Thursday came out of the blue and caught most people, including Gary’s immediate supervisor off guard.   However we are resting in the fact that God works all things together for our good and His glory and we trust that there is something better out there for us.

Gary had Friday off and he began the process of putting together a job hunting plan and revising his resume.    Some of the boys had big plans for him to apply for a job with Apple computers – until they heard that might mean a possible move to California.  Excitement for that job fell quickly.  Our desire is to stay in the Twin Cities area.  Gary, as well as the others that have been let go, have been encouraged to apply for other jobs within the company.  There may or may not be openings.  We have talked about other possibilities  – other jobs in the same field, Career change, etc.  There is always the possibility that I may need to go back to work as well – hopefully only part-time.

When a friend stopped by on Thursday and I told her what had happened, her comment was, “Why are you being sifted so?”  in reference to all that we as a family have been through since mid April.  While I don’t have an answer to that question, I was pointed back to this verse from Luke –

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

The sifting has begun.  How much and how long this sifting will last has already been determined by God.  He will do what it takes to bring about the transformations needed in each of our lives to make us more like Him.  And I pray that the seeds of faith that have been sown in my younger children will take root and flourish and that the faith that has already been springing forth in the older ones will not fail as we walk through this next phase.  I also pray that the faith that is in Gary and my life will remain strong, that it will become rich and deep because of walking this path.

While it seems overwhelming at times to think about the full implications of this event, there is still much to be thankful for.  Gary has a severance package that should get us through at least October, possibly early November.  He can apply for other jobs within the company and has been encouraged to do so.  We live in a country where there are unemployment benefits.  Giovanna’s neuropsychology test was moved up almost 2 months – which means that it is covered by insurance, which we would not have had in August!  God’s timing is amazing!

And we know that we are not alone – God has given us wonderful friends who are already praying for us as we walk this path.  God has not left us and I have been at peace.  While there have been others who have walked this path and some are still traversing it, they have much wisdom to impart to us.  It is so wonderful to see God bring them along side and walk with us and know that we are loved and cared for during this time.  I am sure that at some point along this path, I will fall apart and I know that there will be friends there to pick up the pieces and help put me back on the right path.  I am so thankful for the friends that God has given.

Please join us in praying that will be a short season of unemployment and that we will not grow weary with the sifting that is going on in our lives.  Pray that we will not waste these weeks or months as God ordains and that we will seek him continually.  May the Lord continually give grace to walk this bend until we reach the next.