WARNING: Seriously LONG story. Get a cup of tea and stay awhile or come back when you have time, this is a big one.
Well, after more than 9 months of stress and strain, we now have a resolution to our work issue. Let me give you the background.
Last August (2007) D found out that the bank where he works in town was going to be bought out. He had a mid level back office position that was sure to be cut in the process (the new bank already has all their people that they would need for that and would not hold onto the overlap, ie. D and others.) We didn't hear final word for another month that, yes, his job would be no longer. The merger date took a long time to set, it could have been in December but it was put off until the end of March (this year). Read: Future is uncertain.
Even though D would not have been kept on at the new bank, he was necessary for the current bank to keep functioning smoothly and he was definitely needed through the "conversion" of the two banks where they merge their accounting systems, etc.. So D was to be kept on through the merger, and then through the conversion which could have been two or three months later.
In the meantime there were various discussions at work of compensation for the current time (to answer questions from employees like "Why should I stay on here, knowing that my job will be done in a couple months" and the "Why should I stay on after my bank is now your bank?") We seriously looked at various jobs after Christmas. (I mean, you kinda need a job to buy food, etc.!) We had serious temptations to leave early, forgo the extra compensation and take a couple of the different job options, just to get out of the stress of the situation and the not knowing what would happen in the future.
We even looked at jobs 10+ hours away in Oregon! (Yikes, no saltwater for this NW girl?? Now that is marital commitment! ...well, after some tears of course...) D even had three job offers at one point; he was feeling really blessed, but really confused as to what to do!
Meanwhile, knowing that we were losing our job here, and because of D's skills not being in too high of demand in this small city, we had planned on moving from here and had even gotten a contingent contract for the sale of our house to the people that board their horses here, and had accepted a job up in Bellingham at what seemed to be a great place and a great opportunity for D to work and grow in his field - although outside of the banking industry. (We had lived there 4 years ago for about 10 years, so it was OK for us to go back - almost a known quantity. Also, the job was very flexible in that they really wanted D to work for them so they were open to almost any start date knowing the bank's merger situation.)
Sooner into this spring it looked more and more (from D's inside perspective) that this deal might not go through, or if it did, it would take much more time because of some issues found at the other bank. Then we got more confused... "What do we do now?" "Do we stay here longer and help out here at the bank, or move on to where we could be and get settled? (That was my vote since I wanted to find where we were going to get kids registered for kindergarten and preschool, etc..) But, we hadn't finished the house sale yet... "Why isn't their house selling? They priced it really really well, were getting lots of traffic through it...??" What do we do now that this is going to possibly take longer???? (These thoughts were weighing on us, especially since we had been thinking of all this since August of last year! Like let's just get on with this shall we??)
And then the merger of the two banks didn't go through.
OK, what now??? We have put our lives on hold for over 9 months now expecting this job to disappear. Now we have to rethink everything. We had made several large commitments: 1) To sell our house to these people and 2) to take the new job. After the news of the failed merger came out, D still put in his notice at the current bank. We had already been down the path and talked together about what if this happened. We were ready to move on. The bank said fine, we understand. So we told both the house people and the new job people the end date for our employment here.
And then the bank came back a whole week later with an offer.
One that seriously made us pause.
Then came the "God, what are you doing???" "Why??"
We had to rethink EVERYTHING. Why had we made such decisions so early? Why had we decided that we needed to move? Why had we gone on our own and decided that D needed a new job so quickly? Why weren't we living out the current life given to us, enjoying the time we had here and waiting?
Sure we had prayed about every step we had taken. "Lord, what do we need to do to fix the house to sell?" "Lord, are these good job options?" "Lord, where should we look for houses in this new city?" Can you see that none of this allowed for God to say "Wait. I have plans for you that you cannot see yet." "Wait, you don't need to move." "Wait. I will provide."
We just up and decided that D had to have a new job. That he had to get it set up far in advance of knowing much of anything about the merger, except a far off termination date (scary for the soul provider of the three kids we have and the future child on its way!) Also, the idea that this new job had to be "off island." That we wouldn't be able to find anything here, so don't even look. Hmmm. How quick we are to make big decisions like this. Just uproot and go. We've done it in two of the past four years, why not this one as well. Of course once we decided on Bellingham, that was going to be "the place we will stay" and not move and uproot again. We would be able to get the kids in schools, get the garden started, finally get really involved at a church. But the land prices we just couldn't get over. We have 5 acres here and to get that there we would have taken on more debt. Also with the baby "happening" in the middle of all this, I started looking for four bedroom houses, the price for homes/acreage went up again!
So this new offer really made us pause. Rethink. Everything.
Where did we let God in to do His work?
HAD WE BROUGHT THIS STRESS ALL ON OURSELVES??!
(Now that was a sad thought!)
It was a wake up call for us.
Loooooonng story short, we took the offer here to stay.
We told the people buying the house and they were very happy for us. Everything went so well at that "meeting." They are such a lovely Christian couple and the wife and I had just been talking on the phone two weeks before about their house and her saying "God, what do I need to do to sell this? Haven't we done everything?" And I was telling her then, "It's OK, we have time. God is still pulling all the strings to get all the people in the right places." Funny how those strings involved ours not moving! They will still be trying to sell their house and find other acreage and will be keeping their horses here until that happens - yea! They truly don't have hard feelings against us which is nice. And they had kept looking at other houses (even with the contract already on ours) just in case something had happened to our deal in the meantime.
D has been trying to get a hold of the new employment place, but the bosses have all been out of the office. Hopefully God will be in the midst for that discussion as well. (D is a little concerned as to how they will take it, but they had previously said in the spring that if the deal didn't go through they would understand that he may want to stay - I mean it's not like we would have been looking for other work if this "merger" deal wouldn't have come up.)
So I will save our "new plans" for another post - there are many. (We have so many to catch up on after putting ourselves on hold for the past 9 months!!)
So far we have learned many valuable life lessons:
1) God will provide ...something ...sometime!
2) Don't put God in a box. You never know what He has in store for you, but He knows! Leave Him some room to work!
3) Wait! and wait some more!
4) **Most Important** Live fully where you are.
What is that saying? "Bloom where you are planted"?