At first, we tried to see it as an opportunity to move to a new area and experience new things. It turned out to be harder than we anticipated.
As the months of job interviews dragged on, we were confronted with the constant stress of the unknown. When would our house sell? When would we find a new job? Where would we live? What would we do about school? And the list went on.
Facing a final paycheck in December, we felt we needed to have a job locked down by the end of the year, and were beyond thankful when an offer finally came in right at Christmas. It was the only offer on the table, leaving us with not much choice, but the guarantee of a paycheck seemed to be an answer to prayer. About the same time, an offer came in on our house, and we just knew it was meant to be.
The job took us from our home of 4.5 years in Kansas to the state of Georgia. We planned to downsize our mortgage by downsizing our house, and went from 7,000sq ft to about 4000sq ft. It was a hard adjustment for me initially, but as time went on, I grew to love our cozy new home. With all the money we were saving, we were even able to put in a pool....perfect for those hot Georgia summers. Weeks of back-breaking work were put into our yard, and we were able to transform our one acre lot into our own little piece of paradise.
As we started to settle in, issues at my husband's new job began to surface, quickly going from bad to worse. Talk of my husband being let go put fear in our hearts, and by June, after much prayer and discussion, we felt it was time to take matters into our own hands. My husband began searching for a new job, and we listed our house of only 5 months for sale.
The thought at the time was that we would be more available to move out of the area if our house was already sold. And if we ended up staying in the Atlanta area, we could simply buy another house.....
And after having faced the extreme stress and uncertainty just months before, we wanted to be in control this time.
We had instant interest in our home, and received offer after offer on it. Unfortunately, because we had just purchased the home only months before and had put everything we had into fixing it up and making it our own, we were way over on what we needed to get out of it, and what the actual value was. And the fact that we had lost over 100K on our Kansas house made it even harder to swallow. Our life savings being eaten away.
We decided to have our own appraisal done so that we would have a better understanding of the value of our house. It came in incredibly low in comparison to the money that we had just poured into it, leading us to take it back off the market to re-evaluate our plan.
That was in July. Around the same time, my husband began to make great progress in interviewing with a company out of South Carolina. It was a dream job, and as it began to look more and more like he had a really good shot at landing the position, we realized we really needed to sell the house. It was August, school would be starting soon, and that meant the real estate market would be drying up. We quickly re-listed the house, and had an offer within days. By this time, we felt the money we would lose on the house would be worth it because the job was such a great opportunity.
The interview process continued to drag on, and we were thrilled when we were finally invited as a family out to South Carolina for what we thought would be the final interview and a job offer. We spent our time there looking at a foreclosed house we had found on the internet, and fell in love with it immediately. It sat on 17 gorgeous acres and seemed too good to be true.
There was no job offer that day, but we left with the promise of an offer "in the works." That was good enough for us! We went home and waited patiently. Labor Day came and went, but still no written offer of a job. By that time, my husband had already spoken with both the President and the CEO of the company (brothers and co-owners), and had been assured that an offer was imminent. In fact, he was told they would be announcing him at their upcoming board meeting as their new National Vice President of Sales.
Our real estate agent in South Carolina called us to tell us that there was more interest in the house we loved, and we decided to make an offer, despite the lack of a written offer on the job. The bank accepted, and we were thrilled, quickly making plans to start fixing up our new home-to-be. I enrolled Jacob in a new preschool, and we even found a new church that we were excited to call home!
Everything was falling into place, just as it should. It almost seemed.....too perfect.
What is that saying......if it seems to good to be true...............
The recruiter called late Friday night. It wasn't good. They had announced my husband as their new hire at the board meeting like they said they would. One of the share holders wasn't too thrilled to just be learning about the decision. He wanted to be in on the interviews. Not only that, but he decided the position would have more much more travel and would require someone with a completely different background than my husband had. It was over.
We were devastated. I went dark on my blog. Too much to process. Too much to do.
We wouldn't be buying the house in South Carolina. But we had sold our house in Georgia.
The rush of phone calls and planning began. And while we were thankful that we had been saved from a job where the president and ceo let others call the shots for their company without any hesitation and couldn't even make the phone call to tell us the truth (leaving it to the recruiter instead), the sting of the loss was strong.
We cried, but we moved on.
Thankfully, my husband had not yet quit his current job.
I was able to find a house that we could rent for 6 months. Still uncertain as to our timeline, it seemed best to keep it to a short lease. We had been expecting a corporate move, and now the entire move would be on us. That meant boxes, moving truck rentals, etc. It seemed a very daunting task, and often I found myself overwhelmed and in a puddle of tears.
It's been one year. In that time, we've said goodbye to our home in Kansas. We've said goodbye to the life we knew and the friends we loved. We said goodbye to the affordable private Christian school we were so blessed to attend. We said goodbye to our hopes and dreams of life on a 17-acre farm in South Carolina. We said goodbye to a dream job in South Carolina. And now we say goodbye to the house we have grown to love, with its gleaming pool and wonderful backyard.
And now, friends, you know my story.
And those of you that know me, know that I am a firm believer in trusting God's plan for my life. And if you asked me one year ago, I would have said the same thing I will say today.....it's all in His hands.
The difference is that today, today I BELIEVE it.
I profess my faith in God's plan regularly, and then go on to complain bitterly about my circumstances.
It's not fair. Why does this keep happening to us?
Complaints at the drop of a hat.....thankfulness miles behind.
But the truth. The truth is that I am thankful. Incredibly thankful. And blessed. Oh so blessed.
So then why the questions, the distrust, and the complaints?
I talk with God every day, and I can only imagine what He might be whispering in my ear these last few months and days. He would say Jenn (He calls me Jenn), stop being afraid. My plan is to give you hope and a future.
And my response yes Lord I know, but it's so hard, so unfair....why should we endure this pain?
Of course I know the answer, but I choose to wallow in my pain and sorrow. God never promised us this life would be easy. That wasn't part of the plan. That's not what keeps us on our knees, is it? An easy life, free of pain.....would that bring us closer to Him?
By choosing to focus on the bad in my life, I only invite the pain to come on in.....to sit and stay for a while. In comparison, when I focus on the good in my life, the sky seems just a little brighter, the fall breeze slightly fresher, and the little one running ahead of me in his overalls with bare feet....just a little cuter ;)
We have said goodbye to so much in this last year, but today I say goodbye to something I should have said goodbye to long ago
my victim mentality.
My feet are firmly planted on His path, no matter where it leads. I will rejoice for He has never let me go. When I can no longer walk, He will carry me. I am not a victim. I know that my God is unchanging, no matter what the circumstances, and that He will always love me.
King James Version (KJV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
EDITED to add:
I realize how ridiculous it sounds for me to say that our 4000 sq ft house is small! Please understand that is how I felt at the time. I was spoiled and feeling sorry for myself, and it was all a part of my "victim" attitude. I now know just how blessed we are to have the means to live in such a wonderful house.....and this time I really mean it ;)