Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving and Job Loss

I lost my job last month.  It was really unexpected and sudden.  Essentially a small business program the company was part of was ended by the budget cuts in August, and they were restructuring the company making my position unnecessary.  My boss told me they were letting me go Thursday and Friday was my last day.  I really liked my job and felt it was helping me to build a career that I could do while having children (I worked full-time from home), something I've always wanted in my dreams of having kids.  But more prominent in my mind is the fact that we lost my salary.  Our income was cut almost in half very suddenly.  My husband and I are still quite young and my job allowed us to be quite stable financially for the first time since we graduated college.  We had bought a house, and were making big payments on college loans and credit card debt.  With my husband's income alone we don't really have enough to buy groceries and pay all our bills.  

We were pretty thrown for a few weeks.  I qualified for unemployment (which can I say is pitifully low?) which covered groceries for us, and not much else.  I felt pretty angry for a few weeks about it, both at the company that let me go, and that we were back to being financially strapped after feeling like we had finally made our way to slightly easier times.  Additionally, it just felt unfair to lose my job at six months pregnant.  I had this horrible helpless feeling, knowing that any job I interviewed for was unlikely to hire me knowing I would need at least six weeks off in a few months.  My husband already has so much on his plate, between working, a long commute, and grad school, and I hated not being able to continue helping in the finances department.

However, a few weeks later a mini job came through for me at the local pregnancy center.  I only work ten hours a week and don't make much, but I like working there.  I've wanted to volunteer for them for a while so getting paid to help is great.  And the little bit of money I make helps.  I can cover groceries again, and I can bring L to work with me.  It just shows me yet again that God always takes care of us, even when it seems like things just aren't working out well.

For Thanksgiving we went out to visit my husband's family in Minnesota.  We got to stay with his parents for a whole week along with his brother and wife, and his grandmother.  His sister, husband, and their kids also live close by so it was a very intense in-law week.  We had a great time with them, but were pretty frustrated and ready to go home by the end.  A's family tends to be very materialistic, they like nice stuff, and they like to spend money.  A has this tendency too, but has tempered it considerably in the last several years.  While visiting we had many good solid talks about our values, goals, and how we want to be individually, and as a couple in regards to money and our possessions due to the materialism we were surrounded with.  It was incredibly good for both of our souls.  We never want money to be the most important thing to us.  In fact we hope to keep it from being a huge stressor in our lives if we can.  When we are doing well, we want to be generous with what we have.  When we are poorer we want to trust God, and be extra frugal, not worry and lament our sorry state.

The thankfulness present at Thanksgiving was present for me this year very acutely.  I am so thankful for my husband, for my daughter, and for our coming son.  Having more money would be awesome, and I hope we can figure out a better job situation soon, but I want to make the best of what we have right now (and hope our cars don't break).  Me losing my job has signaled a kind of spiritual renewal for my husband and I that I know we needed.  We have been making more of an effort to pray, both together and apart, and I feel very peaceful.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry that you lost your job. I'm glad that you found work at the pregnancy center ... thanks be to God! I'll be praying for you and for you to be taken care of financially. Its hard not to worry about money, esp. with a baby on the way!
    My in-laws are materialistic too. Its hard to hang out and have discussions sometimes, especially when they don't see the problem with "happy payment plans".