I was having a great day, 22 almost 23 weeks pregnant (or around there), my house was getting cleaned up and quickly. I had a family friend over who was gracious enough to help with the cleaning. Things were perfect. Chris, the kids and I were planning on heading to my parents' house in Buffalo that evening after he finished work. There we would celebrate Bradley's fifth birthday, go to family day and watch the Buffalo Bills play (this was our kids first NFL game, even if it was pre-season) and my kids, husband and dad would be going to participate in the Color Run with me! I was very excited about the weekend. It was going to be perfect.
When Chris came home, it was the normal time, around 4:30. I remember exactly what side of the kitchen he was on, by the vegetable sink, where our family friend was standing and approximately where I sat.
"I have some good news," Chris announced.
Our friend turned around and asked what it was.
I said, "This isn't good news."
Chris responded, "I got laid off today!"
"How is this good news?" Was all that could come out. I started crying and thinking what to do next. My doctor's appointments will start going to every two weeks followed by every week.
My "Atheist" husband tried to console me. He sat next to me, after giving me and little break, and asked if I was ok. Of course I wasn't ok. What were we going to do?
He looked at me and said, "Look at this as a blessing."
How dare he say those words to me! A blessing? If he had been a church going man I may have not felt so hostile with his comfort. I was furious he even said those words to me.
The economy is bad, people have been without jobs for months. I had to leave.
I ran out the door to pick up dinner (we already planned on eating a $5 pizza that night). I felt guilty for buying one. I called my dad in tears and he just listened to me. I had also sat in front of my best friend's house in tears, crying in her driveway.
Chris and I later talked about it in the car on the drive to my parents house. I told him how he angered me saying those things. I asked a ton of questions like, "Have you looked for another job yet?" and "What do you plan on doing?" "I don't want to have to move. I loved our house and our friends." Chris didn't want to move either.
Chris mentioned earlier in the evening I could get a job and I said who would hire a six month pregnant lady for a couple of months just to have her leave? Plus I was selling as an independent consultant for Pampered Chef. I could try and book more shows, but with a bad economy it is hard.
The first thing I did the next morning was call to set up an appointment for New York State Insurance for my kids, husband and myself. I was able to leave a message with someone to make an appointment. I also called our local WIC office and set up and appointment for myself and Amelia. Bradley was already five so he didn't qualify. Chris searched for jobs and worked on his resume. We carried out our plans for the weekend as planned. Friday night we went to Family Night with the Buffalo Bills and Saturday we ran/walked in the Color Run in Buffalo. I felt a bit better after the weekend.
Within three weeks Chris got a new job. It didn't start for another two weeks after that. We didn't have to move, the company sent him away for a few days of training and he is doing his "normal" job as a software engineer. He started at the end of September. It was nice having him home to tell you the truth. We took turns napping during the day, he finished my anniversary present (a farmhouse table), he worked on our house we own in Oswego, when he was home we swapped taking care of kids and bringing them to school.
It was still a struggle when we had to pay bills. The struggle was not knowing if we would have enough to get by. When we got his severance package it was a struggle to pay tithing. I do and always have a testimony of tithing, but this was one of the first times (not the first but one of them) where the thought crossed my mind, maybe not this time. The same thought happened when I had to pay it for selling Pampered Chef.
In the Old Testament it talks about paying your tithing. It says "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). How true that is. Chris had a school bill that followed me paying tithing. I was hesitant to open it. I did and couldn't believe my eyes, I cried. The balance due that month was $0. We didn't owe one red penny that month. We always had enough food for our bellies and blessing after blessing started pouring in.
After he started work we waited and waited for our first check. Turns out Chris only gets paid once a month, at the end. We struggled but thankfully listened to the admonitions of the prophets and had enough in our savings as an emergency fund. Just about three months worth which got us through. Now we are adjusting to one pay check a month. I kind of like it because we are able to pay all our bills up front.
As we went over the healthcare plans, which started on his first day of work, and two days before my next doctor's appointment I started seeing more blessings that were happening. We were covered. I canceled our appointment for New York State Health insurance, because our new plan would be effective prior to when they would have us covered and now Chris had a job. I also had called WIC and told them about the job and they allowed us to keep our WIC checks for milk and other things, I just wouldn't be able to renew them. I was extremely grateful and humbled.
There are several parts to this where Chris was right, and I told him he was right, I needed to look at this as a blessing. I was covered, he was covered and our kids were covered. I was able to keep my doctors whom I love and my kids had to get a new pediatrician, which I was thinking about anyway. Turns out we were able to FINALLY get into the office I had wanted to for three years! They finally were accepting patients again. And then there's more on the baby issue. Chris is able to take ten days off once I have the baby and it's paid leave! We aren't just talking about it being all at once either, we are talking about ten days, anytime he wants over the next twelve months after the baby is born. Amelia's nursery school is covered under the new job and turns out insurance cost is going up in his old company by $200 a month for a family, we don't have to worry about that, and I'm hoping we don't need to. When it's time to purchase a new vehicle we get it discounted, there's so much to be grateful for. There truly are many blessings and miracles that have come through all of this. I am so grateful my husband is so optimistic when I don't see it and humbled at the humility he can carry when the spirit it with him. My biggest fear at the time was insurance and having the baby and all the appointments we would have prior to the baby being born and afterward because of his faith and motivation it helped me and it turns out....
My husband was right, "Look at it as a blessing."