My husband found himself working for a very unethical company. He tried to go through the right channels to help change things. That wasn’t working. His anxiety was rising to an unhealthy level so he began looking for another job. Months went by and he was told by the Spirit to leave this job. We, of course, assumed another job would be forthcoming quickly. He gave his two weeks notice. We felt at peace.
After the two weeks, still no other job, no unemployment and no insurance. He went through the Church Employment process. We got his resume looking great. With a degree and 30 years of experience, we knew it wouldn’t be long. We had savings and food storage with toilet paper, shampoo and cleaning products down in the basement.
We canceled the newspaper. We cancelled the secondary water. We stopped eating out. We walked everywhere we possibly could. We put a few items up for sale. We put in a wonderful garden. We were grateful to have followed our bishop’s counsel the year before and plant fruit trees.
Six months have gone by. We are still without a job. My husband is 58 years old. He has worked temp jobs, substitute teaching, swing shift factory jobs and just about anything he can find. But nothing permanent.
Our medications are a struggle. The generics are great. But we have four meds that are over $100 a month each. Our savings is almost gone. But our health has been good. Our year’s supply is pretty meager after six months.
We went to see the bishop. He was kind, thoughtful and concerned. This was not easy for us to do-- six years ago my husband was a bishop and he was on the other end of that desk. We feel like we are doing all we can. We live the Gospel, we are hard-working people. We followed the promptings to leave that job. So why hasn’t another come? We don’t know.
We have, however, learned great lessons. What a blessing the Bishop’s Storehouse is. I had been there before, but only to collect orders for members of our ward who could not get there themselves. This was the first time my name was on the order and I had a problem with pride! Everyone is kind and helpful. The process is easy and so much like a small little grocery store that I leave there with dignity and gratitude.
It has made us think of others around us who cannot find work. Did we misjudge them before? I hope not. We appreciate the things we do have--a home and family around us and every day new options to explore. We have a wonderful marriage. We have the Gospel.
I used to have a note on my refrigerator of things we wanted to do. On the top of the list was finishing up the basement, taking a cruise, travels to where my husband served his mission, serving a mission together and at the bottom of the list, for my husband—motorcycle!
I took that list down. I put up “JOB with benefits”. Then I tacked back on “serving a mission together” and for his sake, “motorcycle”—it’s good to have a dream.
We have learned to cope. Visiting the temple gives us great peace and calm and becomes our soft place to fall sometimes. We are trying to understand the Lord’s timing.
I think of the pioneers, leaving their homes, in faith, moving west. When hardship and cold and pain and death came their way, how did they cope? They cried, they tried to gather up their faith and they kept going. And so must we.
Sometimes we are very good at being strong—we know we will be okay, but other times it’s hard. When we become discouraged we ask for a ray of hope to get us through till we can be stronger. The Lord usually instructs us to find someone else to serve.
We had new neighbors move in who were members but not active. It was pretty evident when we came home from Church on Sunday and they were mowing their yard. We asked them over for dinner. We didn’t mention anything about the Church. It turns out that the father was in management at one of the company’s my husband had applied to. He was willing to hand carry a resume into work for us! We had tried to befriend a neighbor and we were rewarded with a business contact. Unfortunately that position was filled from within. But we were encouraged nonetheless. Two weeks later, guess who shows up at Church! Yes, our new neighbors.
We know that through this process we are more dependent on our Heavenly Father. We thought we were before. Songs have more meaning. We truly do “Need Thee Every Hour”. I found the story of Hagar, Gen 21:15-19. It gave me strength to keep moving forward. I read my patriarchal blessing and learned more about myself and the blessings we have been promised. The gas in our cars has lasted much longer than it used to. We have not needed clothing. It even seems our hair grows more slowly allowing more time between haircuts!
I don’t know how much longer this process will take. I never thought it would be this long and we daily pray for strength to go forward, for the right job and for patience in waiting. But we also pray for all those who struggle as we do, even those we don’t know. We pray for those who are losing hope, that they will have something to hang on to, to keep them going forward. We know we will be okay. We wish we could know how and when. But this is the Lord’s timing and He is in charge. We know that He will “heal those who trust Him”.