There is no scandal, no dissatisfaction or wrong-doing to report in this situation; the church has been hurting financially, and they had to cut five staff members to make ends meet. The pastor and elders were heartbroken about it. Our church is one of the last in our area to make staff cuts; many of our friends and acquaintances in the ministry have gone through this situation in the last few months. I guess I just never thought it would happen to us.
I am feeling at peace about it, though; strangely I am not worried or even that emotional about it yet. We've been given 12 weeks of severance and health insurance, an enormous blessing that I know a lot of people don't receive, and I am grateful.
I am also very blessed to have a husband who is exceptionally gifted and well-respected. He has more initiative than anyone I have ever known. For the past few years, he has basically been working two jobs; one full time job at the church, and another full time job doing his writing/conference speaking/blogging. He is brilliant and driven and I am confident that the Lord will provide something for him.
It doesn't hurt that I've been reading all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to help Gracie with
To be truthful, we've been through this nightmare before. After September 11, there was a huge economic downturn in the Durham, NC area, where we were living at the time. Our church had some... let's just say shady financial troubles that were hidden very well for a very long time, but with the drop in finances that winter, it got continually worse, and the pastor had to let Greg go.
At the time, it was devastating. I had a 16 month old daughter, and was five months pregnant with my son. A few weeks after we received that news, we went to the doctor for an ultrasound and discovered that a cyst was growing in the baby's brain. A few weeks after that, I was playing with Gracie in the front yard when I was attacked and mauled by my neighbor's 100 pound dog, with Gracie standing just a few feet away. A few weeks later, we signed off on the sale of our house, loaded up a U-haul truck, and sadly began the journey back to South Carolina, where we would stay with Greg's mom until we got back on our feet. As Greg was backing the truck out of the driveway, he steered it right into the front fender of his own SUV, with me behind the wheel paying attention to the toddler seated in the back. As he stood with his hands on his hips, surveying the damage, for just an instant I saw a look in his eyes not unlike Clark Griswold upon his arrival at Wally World, but it passed, and he got back in the truck and we drove off in a cloud of exhaust.
That story ends well; the baby was perfectly healthy at the next ultrasound, I got over my dog bites and away from the toxic neighbor, the time spent at my mother-in-law's house was an enormous blessing. We were able to live off of our savings and a few music gigs here and there until a new job was offered, and then we coasted into the DC area on fumes with $100 left to our names, one day left before our old health insurance expired, and a new understanding of the phrase 'Trust in God'... an understanding that is now going to be tested again.