Though I haven't blogged much about it, the past two months have been a roller coaster. My husband finished all his classes except for one, so he began looking for a job. I had heard people complain about the economy and heard stories of people looking for work for a year or more, but I never really understood how totally unsettling it is to not have a job.
Not to brag, but my husband has quite a variety of skill sets. He has done construction for years, taught art classes, worked in a hotel, cleaned at the school where I taught, and now has a masters in counseling. He applied at probably 12 different jobs and most of them never called back. He had some doors open and then close and then open again. He had an opportunity that we said no to and then wondered if we had done the right thing. Our standards got lower and lower. He looked at seasonal jobs and things that didn't even require a high school education.
Two weeks ago, I reached my limit. I was shopping for health insurance, which in itself is a walk through the valley of fear, and crunching the numbers, and living with the constant hope that the phone ringing was a job offer. It was exhausting and one evening I just laid on the couch and refused to make any more decisions or answer any more questions. I just needed a break from it all. I had my little breather and then I felt better.
And on Monday, he had an offer. Not a great offer, but something.
And on Friday, he had another offer. It was the job he had wanted, with benefits, in his specialty area, and the shift he preferred. It was all we had wanted. . . just a couple months later than we would have liked.
Seeing my husband so happy this weekend, I realized that he carried as big a burden and I did. Bigger, even. He loves us so much that he filled out application after application, got background checks and drug tests. Just to take care of our family.
Now I am reflecting, wondering what I was supposed to learn through this process. What gift of grace was I given despite the stress and anxiety? On this road that seemed so twisted and strange to me, what did God want to reveal?
One thing I learned is that gratitude is a practice, not a feeling. On the worst days, I could look up from my own fear and see how rich I am. I made myself pay attention to all I have and I discovered that my most favorite things in life are free because they are a gift.