As you know from THIS post, we had been struggling financially and we had used up pretty much all we had in our savings to get us to 'The Promised Land'.
So, here we were. Boxes piled to the ceiling. We had sold most of everything we had when it came to furniture, in order to make the move, including the kids' bedroom sets and beds, living room furniture and so on. We pretty much had nothing, and again, no job. No money. But we knew our God remained by our side.
The following day after losing the job, I went online to see what our funds were because we needed to buy groceries. I was in shock when I saw that our tax refund had been deposited the night before! It wasn't expected for another couple of weeks. GOD PROVIDES! I fell to my knees in tears and thanked Him, then ran off to tell Scott and my Mom, who was still here helping us, what God had done!
Now, we knew for sure, that God wanted us here. We just needed a plan. A strategy. What to do? Become a statistic like most of the country and file for unemployment and food stamps? Settle for whatever job we could find? How about the kids? How about my going back to work? So many unanswered questions. Prayers continued.
Being that we had moved to a very small, very conservative town, we started asking around about the public school here, which is just a few blocks away. We figured that I would have to go back to work for the first time in over 10 years, doing whatever would bring in some money. The following day, sweet hubby and I scheduled an appointment to meet the principal. We were blessed when we did! We spoke to her candidly about our beliefs, our faith, our values and what we did NOT want our children learning in school. Her beliefs aligned with ours. The kids were excited because it seems like everyone who teaches at the school, pretty much lives in the town and the kids all were neighbors within a couple mile radius, and most attend church with them. Every child in our little community rides the bus in the afternoon. The public school bus here drops off each and every child at their front door! I guess that's what happens when you live in a town of population 900. Not to mention the fact that the typical question when meeting someone is, "Where do you go to church?" Not, "Do you go to church?" :)
So, we agreed to start them the following Monday. They were very excited!
Next on the list, a job for sweet hubby and one for myself.
Sweet hubby has been in the same industry of business for almost 25 years. He worked for a particular company his entire adult life in New England, and also when we lived in Miami. On a whim, he looked up to see if this company had a franchise here in NC. It did! He went to their website, but there were no opportunities available under their CAREERS tab. I told him that maybe he should still send them an email with a copy of his resume attached, just in case. He did. But not only did he send it to Human Resources, my genius hubby sent it to the CFO and also to the branch owner, detailing his work experience. Needless to say, we were pretty shocked when 4 hours later, we received an email from the CFO asking if he would be available for an interview the following day. Apparently, the night before, one of their top employees had come in and said he could not longer handle the task of being an Operations Manager, the same exact position sweet hubby was applying for. God does indeed sit on the throne!
We prayed incessantly.
The interview went very well. He was asked to return the following week to meet the owner, who was going to take him to lunch. We've since learned that a) things are much slower and laid back here in the south and b) being taken to lunch for a job interview is always a very good sign.
Fast forward SIX weeks and several interviews, he was offered a position, for less pay than we wanted (or needed), as an Operations Manager for their main NC branch. The position was great. The pay was not. But nonetheless, it was a job and from what we were told by everyone in the area, it was miraculous because most people have been out of jobs here for over 2 years. The tax refund had taken us through the entire time we were jobless. We never applied for unemployment. Our amazing church family insisted on providing furniture for the children's rooms for us, so that problem was settled also.
I looked and looked for a job for myself, but apparently, the Lord did not want me to work, at least not getting paid to. Through it all, we never stopped praising and thanking Him for his goodness. Not only did He provide for the time sweet hubby was out of work, but He allowed us to spend almost 6 weeks alone while the children were in school. Remember we had been apart for over 2 months, seeing each other only once, during that time? It was wonderful getting to know this beautiful part of our state, with my best friend. A much needed reprieve from the world. A 'paid' honeymoon vacation from the Lord, Himself.
Finally, sweet hubby started working. As for me, I was a bit worried and depressed about the kids being in school. But, I believe it was my own pity party because I was lonely. They were adjusting beautifully. I began to spend my mornings alone with God. I asked him daily to lead me to where or what He wanted me to do. I prayed that it be something where I can serve Him and enjoy it at the same time.
Slowly but surely, he led me to volunteer at places that were near and dear to my heart. I began a little ministry, that first started in my head, visiting the home-bound elderly folks from our church that had no family and were not able to get to church on Sundays. I now do that weekly. I also spend time on a weekly basis at an Alzheimer's respite center, loving on some of the most amazing elderly folks I've ever met. It brings back beautiful memories of my grandparents, especially my loving grandfather who passed away from that dreaded disease. My days were quickly filling up. I signed up to volunteer at the children's school on a regular basis. And as of lately, I've been going twice a month to feed the homeless at the soup kitchen in a neighboring town. The blessings have been overwhelming abundant for me.
It's now been a little over 7 months that we arrived in this little town. We are all settled in. Me, with my volunteer work that fills my days to the point that I had to get a calendar to keep track of my schedule. The littles with school and extra curricular activities like Scouts, karate and church activities.
And sweet hubby? Oh yeah, he was recently promoted from not only being Operations Manager to the headquarters of the NC branch, but also the South Carolina branch. He's received over 20% in raises, which is unheard of in this economy. He is making more money than he's ever made, even during the good economic times in our past. We now all have health insurance, which we haven't had in over 3 years. We have formed a close family with wonderful, God loving believers at our new church. We live in a beautiful neighborhood out in the country where God's beauty surrounds us, from the hills, to the sounds of cows mooing in the distance, to the cardinals flying to my front porch to eat from the feeder, while I sit on the rocker, sipping my coffee and reading His word each morning.
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. - Job 42:10
Life is good. No, life is great! We are so thankful!
God rebuilds and restores.
We are blessed beyond measure.
We are living in The Promised Land! The land of milk and honey!
May all glory and praise go to Him, who led us here.