Living in a Layoff

Insurance is a complex matter to explain to kids. Actually, it’s a bit complex even for teenagers to understand. Honestly, let’s go ahead and include us adults too. There’s just so much to wrap our heads around.

Insurable interest. Risk analysis. Rates. Replacement Cost. Comprehensive and Collision. Deductibles. Liability. They are vocabulary words for the grown-up world.

Now that we have a driver-in-training, we frequently define these important words. And not just regarding auto insurance. A severe storm on July 14th brought one hundred mile-per-hour winds, and over forty thousand dollars worth of damage to our home. It was an unsettling site to see when we came out of the safe-room, especially for the kids. That was our time for informing them about homeowner’s insurance.

My dad sold insurance so I grew up hearing about “policies.” Life Insurance. Health Insurance. Auto Insurance. Homeowner’s Insurance. Flood Insurance. Dental Insurance. Long-term Care Insurance. The list goes on. At one time, Dad even sold Pre-Need Policies allowing for people to make arrangements for their funerals. It wasn’t something he just sold, but something he also did, which may I interject was a magnificent blessing to our family when he passed.

Insurance is a way for us to take precaution, preparing for the unexpected. We hope to never have to use it, but its there if we do. We’ve heard it called “peace-of-mind.”

The thing is, if you’re using your insurance it’s because something isn’t right, because something has gone wrong. And in those instances, while insurance is a blessing, it may not be enough for the unanticipated emotional storms we confront.

Nine days before the summer storm hit our house, Brandon called me with another storm.

“I have good news and bad news. Good news is I’m coming home to spend the day with you and the kids. The bad news is I lost my job.”

Hit the brakes. Tires screeching. Cars crashing. It was that feeling of being caught completely off guard.

I felt such shock and knew I needed to get off the phone. “Babe, would you want to sit out by the pool and visit about it when you get here? We can talk face-to-face or is it better to talk now?” He concurred to visit at home.

I got off the phone and immediately called a prayer warrior, “Brandon just called me. He lost his job. And I’m feeling very emotional. I need you to pray over me because I want to be strong for him when he gets home.” Let me say, while I felt broken during her prayer, I felt as strong as a lion by the time we said “amen.”

While our years of prepare-for-the-unexpected financial mindset, the influence and implementation of Dave Ramsey’s emergency fund, and the blessing of a severance package did of course give us peace of mind; we were on the forefront of reflection and evaluation.

I was the observer. Like a support-person for a patient in the hospital, I just watched, prayed and encouraged. My husband took everything into consideration, weighed every angle. I anticipated one of two things: major mid-life crisis or major encounter with God.

Although the situation came by much surprise, we never felt like it was an attack of the enemy. After having the last couple years with a rebellious child, we are familiar with an attack. We know the warfare of spiritual battles. This wasn’t one.

Brandon was transparent before the Lord desiring to know His plans for Brandon’s life. It’s something really. The whole ordeal made him question himself, his purpose, his abilities and value. As disheartening and helpless as it felt to walk through with him, we both gained treasures we would not have wanted to miss.

God revealed to Brandon that it was less about the plan and all about Him. The more Brandon sought the Lord the more peace He had in knowing that he was right where God wanted him to be and when it was time, the Lord would move him into the place He desired for him to be.

We both knew the big picture had nothing to do with finances, but everything to do with time. The names of the gifts were: time for family-fun with the kids, school drop-off and pick-up, even assisting for coaching soccer, time for physical improvement, time for spiritual growth, time for professional development getting his PMP, and time for marriage having omelet-and-mimosa-hot-tub Fridays.

My personal treasure from the experience was falling even deeper in love with this guy who’s held my heart since I was a teenager. Unemployment didn’t look pitiful to me—it looked admirable. It was an opportunity for what was stripped away to display this man’s character.

It was apparent when evaluating the budget that if I went back to work full-time we’d be able to keep the boat afloat. Not the lifestyle we’ve been used to, but meeting the needs nevertheless. Brandon wouldn’t have it. And he didn’t want us to tap into that emergency fund either. He had already made the decision to sell his car. “I’ll drive the truck.” The truck? The fifteen year-old-truck that doesn’t have a dash, the speaker is busted, the window doesn’t roll down and the rust has eaten away the fenders? “Babe. You love that car.” His response, “It’s just a car. It was fun, but it just isn’t fun anymore.” Hubba-hubba. He couldn’t have looked any sexier than at that moment. My love and respect grew even greater for this man of mine. I felt even deeper pride to be his wife.

The details of how the Lord orchestrated Brandon from July 5th to today are ones I’ve written about in the book. There’s just so much to share. God in His perfect timing and His perfect ways moved Brandon into a better place than what we could have anticipated. And in the process, answered yet another prayer of ours,

Lord, open our eyes to the struggles of those around us. Make us relevant and effective for You. Speak Your hope to hearts through our life.”

This book about overcoming life’s darkest moments, about endurance and perseverance includes a storm so many of us face, one we can’t emotionally insure. Thankful God uses all things. Even layoffs.

I Timothy 6:17-19 ESV
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

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18 thoughts on “Living in a Layoff

  1. Wayne and I went through the same thing, actually more than once, and God was always faithful to work things out so much better than we could ever imagine! God is always there to take care of us!

    • Thank you for sharing, Carolyn!
      It’s another opportunity for the Lord to strengthen our trust muscle. We hold on to this experience to recall in future moments of uncertainty that He took care of us “then” and He’ll take care of us “now”. He is so faithful. Bless you for encouraging us! ❤️

  2. “Happy tears” this is beautiful Heather. Brandon Meadows, my brotha from anotha motha! Well done. High five! God spoils us.

    • Bless you, Jill!!! Thanks so much for reading! God is so faithful. Four years ago when He called me to start this blog, I felt I had nothing people would want to read. And the Lord just said, “write.” It’s overwhelming for me to see how He’s using these life journey experiences to speak to hearts. Let me tell of His goodness! Thank you again for letting me share with you!!! Miss you, you amazing-smart-fun-energetic-uplifting-positive nurse you! ☺️❤️

  3. Hi Heather,
    Thank you for your story. I am blessed every time you post. Thank you to you and your family for allowing God to use you. You inspire me to tell my story and the storms because they are really what brings us all together. Sometimes the storm is a great tool. Well all the time 😁
    Thank you for your passion and love for Jesus!!
    Stay strong and be on guard!☺
    Love and prayers,
    Shawna Guilfoyle

    • Shawna- that is the most encouraging thing for me to read, “you inspire me to tell my story…”. I couldn’t receive anything greater. Yes! Please let this be a place that fuels you to see the Lord at work in the ins-and-outs of everyday life and boost you up to share with others about His hand at work within you. Bless you for being a part of our blog family here!!! ❤️

  4. Enjoy all of your posts Heather!! So thankful to know you and your family and im so glad our boys are the best of friends….look forward to what life brings in the future and really appreciate having your family in our lives. We love you guys and will be praying for you all!! I remember the first day i met you back in 10th grade and the impact you had on me then and i knew you were someone special!! Cant wait to read your book and i will be expecting an autographed copy!!😘

    • Tiffany–
      Thank you so very much for reading and be a part of this online home with us. Not only here but sharing the in-and-out moments of life with us as we raise our kiddos! I’m grateful for the re-connections God has in store for our lives. Who would’ve ever thought when we were in high school our little boys would be best buds?! I look forward to the day that book gets in hands and I pray it encourages hearts! ❤

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