In recent weeks, I started assessing who needs what, as far as fall and winter clothing goes. I found a stack of sweaters for Larkspur at the thrift store, and now just need to find pants that will fit her tall skinny frame. Beatrix is covered by hand me downs (much to her dismay-she’s always hoping I’m going to come home with something for her). My older boys don’t need much, but my little boys do. So that was my little worry, finding clothes for Silas and Job.
Weekend before last, fighting tears, Jonny broke the news that he might soon be unemployed (after 16 years at the same job). Our financial situation since buying the new house has been precarious at best, not everything having fallen into place as we had hoped. The threat of unemployment felt like a crisis. I was stunned and could feel the fear bubbling up in my chest.
Later that evening, I got a text from one of our best friends, Mike. It was a photo of a newborn baby with the simple words, “He came fast.” It being about a week before his due date, so I wasn’t expecting that news quite yet.
I met Mike about thirteen years ago, and he’s become like family to us. About two years ago, I started praying for him to meet someone, get married, have a family. He got married last year, and that little baby was, I’m sure, an answer to more prayers than just mine. As I looked at his sweet face in that little texted photograph, the fear that had seized my heart eased a little…God answers prayers.
The following evening my neighbor (who happens to live in our old house) texted that a friend had just dropped two bags of boys’ clothes in sizes 6 and 7 at her house. Did I need them? Yes! I told her, and she brought them by a few minutes later. Sometimes the prayers we haven’t yet spoken aloud are answered. I hadn’t mentioned to anyone that the little boys needed clothes. I certainly hadn’t prayed about it.
“Your kids will remember how you handle this,” my dad said on the phone the night I called him with the news about Jonny’s job. His calmness about the situation seeped into me. This is part of life. It’s certainly not uncommon. Over the past week I had moments of panic and I didn’t sleep for a few nights. I think it’s safe to say this has been one of the most stressful weeks of our life. However, I’m trusting that God has a plan for us and we just have to keep doing the next thing. Jonny and I have both shed tears, but we’ve shifted away from being scared of what’s next, and we are starting to feel hopeful. The unknown, the uncertainty…it’s hard. But at the end of the day we’re really okay.
Today was Jonny’s first day being officially unemployed. It was good. In most ways it was like every other day, except the knot that’s been in his chest for the past year or so, as his job became more and more stressful, is gone. And my anxiety that was fueled by his is gone as well. As much as change terrifies me, I’ve recognized for some time that it was needed. I’m excited to see what our future holds.
p.s. My dear Aunt Genie, Uncle Jim, and cousins live in N. Myrtle Beach. My prayers are with them, and with all of you in the path of Hurricane Florence. I don’t think we are in terrible danger here in our part of Virginia, though our local college is closing and people are getting prepared as though we are. We got our goats and chickens squared away today, and I think we’re as ready as we need to be.
p.p.s.Most photos of baby Brooks were taken by Larkspur and Beatrix. 🙂